Lesotho Qacha's Nek Sehlabathebe

Stormy Sehlabathebe

One helluva mountain drive, stormy weather, isolation and beautiful scenery make Sehlabathebe National Park in Lesotho an overlander's dream destination.

We spent two nights in the park during December of 2016. The drive in (from Ramabanta) was rather uneventful, until we hit the gravel. Within a few minutes we were driving in a mist so thick it was impossible to see ahead of the vehicle's nose! Slowly we crept up the mountain until we arrived at the Old Lodge campsite in Sehlabathebe. 

That evening - in our little Malamoo 3 Second tent - we survived a storm worthy of a hurricane-like name like Albert, or Martin. The rain fell like bullets as the wind eventually ripped out the ground pegs. It was cold, miserable and relentless - but it was one lekker adventure! 

The next morning our neighbours found one of their tents a few hundred metres down river. When the storm broke out they did not make it back in time, so the wind simply picked it up and flung it about. 

After cleaning up the chaos we set out to find a hidden waterfall. You simply follow the river for about 90 minutes until you find a secluded waterfall. We really tried, but we simply couldn't find any evidence of other people having been there lately. It truly is a gem of a spot! The hike back feels a little shorter, but don't underestimate those hills and thick grass. You will definitely feel the hike in your bones that evening. 

Speaking of, that evening we tried to braai, but the weather simply did not play along. We ended up having a candle lit dinner in the Old Lodge. Allow me to explain the set-up: all alone in these hills is a massive dilapidated house (the so-called Old Lodge) that once belonged to a Big Deal in the local government. It was his 'summer house'. This house has since been forgotten and only a few random bits and pieces of its past is still present. Very spooky, but a handy hide away when the weather turns. 

The next morning we woke to actual, real sunshine. After two days in the mountain we could finally see the full extent of our surroundings, and we were not disappointed. This corner of the Drakensberg - far away from the crowds and the traffic - must be one of Africa's best mountain getaways! 


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