I am in an uncomfortable space right now, a lot of things are happening and a lot is changing and it seems like I’m living in a world where I’m the spectator of my own movie, but at the same time I’m in the movie. When I am in this space I usually take some time out or when there is an opportunity for me to travel via business, I will get some reflective time within that period. To recharge, to reflect, to take stock – I have this belief that God speaks clearly to me when I am outside Johannesburg.
As an entrepreneur your mind is constantly working overtime when it comes to your business because it’s literally your baby. The only time I get to shut down is when I’m out the country or Sundays so when the opportunity came for me to go to Lesotho I took it with both hands. I have always wanted to go to Lesotho because I believe that it’s one of those trips that are not hard to do because of distance, similar to Swaziland. My plan for this year is to do all the Southern African countries, so for now I’m just left with doing Namibia and Zimbabwe, then I’ll be good for the year.
So I started the driving for the first leg of the trip but what that means is that I drove to Lesotho and Papi would drive back picked me and Lelo up from my place in the 2017 Isuzu double cab but about 15 minutes later we had to turn back because I had forgotten my passport, clearly I wasn’t thinking and as usual I had packed my suitcase that morning (by the way I love my new suitcase that I got from my cousin Maishi, Lelo has been trying to get the suitcase from me this whole trip). I never imagined myself driving a bakkie but now that you think about it the Isuzu was a perfect car for this trip because of terrible roads to Lesotho (but you can use alternative routes because there was alot of constructions happening on our route), specially 2 hours before you get to Lesotho – lots of constructions. The Isuzu is not stable as soon as you push beyond 120km’s and the brakes doesn’t respond immediately but you shouldn’t be doing any high speed with the car. All in all it was comfortable drive and one didn’t have to worry about the bad roads as much.
We arrived around 7pm at the Avani Hotel & Casino and we were welcomed by Mabahlakoana Motemekoane the marketing manager at the hotel and we checked in and we met Mabahlakoana at the restaurant downstairs for dinner. Side note, the lady at reception that helped us check in at the hotel is flames! Mabahlakoana was really a great host and you can tell that even outside of her job description she is the type of person that you can chill with nje. I was impressed with Avani Hotel that they had the Femidom inside their drawers, thats progressive. I loved their branding as well, minimal and not predictable.
Saturday morning we met at breakfast, I slept well and I woke up to beautiful views of mountains and what I appreciate about Lesotho is that the air seemed fresher. We headed straight to Thaba Bosiu cultural village, personally I think this is the most magical place in Lesotho and now I fully understand why we can’t make Lesotho our 10th province –the history alone is a good enough reason for the Basotho people to keep it away from South Africa. We know that when Chief Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi was president for a day he attempted to invade Lesotho in 1998.
Thaba-Bosiu means “mountain at night”. According to legend, what was a hill in the daytime became a mountain at night. Thaba-Bosiu is an important historical site — the survival of the Basotho as a nation in the 19th century depended on Moshoesoe’s ability to defend his capital, and Thaba-Bosiu was never taken. Energetic tourists will enjoy climbing the trail to the summit of the hill. Nearby, three stones mark the entrance to Moshoeshoe’s compound.
Moshoeshoe’s grave, a cairn of stones, can be seen at the chief’s burial place on the hilltop, as can his restored, square two-roomed house nearby. On a protruding rock beyond, the footprint of Maleka, one of Moshoeshoe’s sons, can be seen. The boy was forbidden to marry a girl of lower rank and, lamenting the loss of his beloved, carved the print as his epitaph before leaping to his death below. From Thaba-Bosiu he extraordinary rock pinnacle Qiloane which is known as the “Basotho Hat” is also clearly visible.
We couldn’t go up the mountains because it was snowing at the time and Mabahlakoana was worried that if we went up the mountains chances are we wouldn’t be able to come back down. While we were at the cultural village we went horse riding which was one of the highlights of the trip because I’ve never been on a horse before. During lunch we ate traditional Basotho food which was wet bread and stew, what was amazing is that the food didn’t cost as a lot, so things are affordable
in Lesotho. Lesotho is one of the few countries I’ve travelled where everyone is very friendly, South Africans are usually nice people to have around but Basotho people are humble therefore they are such a pleasure to be around. When we got back to the hotel before we had dinner we were taught American roulette at the casino, I’m not a gambling person but I enjoyed the game and I won that match that’s why enjoyed it. Papi, Lelo and I had a good time learning how to gamble, it was such an experience for me learning something new.
After freshening up we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant downstairs, before meeting everyone else there Papi and I had a drink and I got a chance to taste the famous Maluti beer, it’s not bad at all. Personally I thought I was having sushi but that was not the case but Lelo was having such a blast with the food which is another great part of travelling is learning something new when you travel, I ate a lot of food that I was not even sure which animal they came from.
Oh another thing, Lesotho doesn’t have game (animals) because they ate all of them and the stories about eating a horse are also true – I was hoping to taste horse meat while I was there. I have to go back to Lesotho soon, for an even longer stay, it needs a week to explore other parts of Lesotho and mingle more with the locals as well. It doesn’t cost much to go there and the border experience is seamless – I think everyone should just make it a thing that they visit the country.