After two days of driving from Johannessburg we left Himmeville and headed up Sani Pass into Lesotho. Sani Pass is the only eastern access to Lesotho and is 2900 metres high. It is 4WD only, the customs post will not let you past if you don’t have a 4WD.
The road is a rough track in places, but not that hard. The most difficult part is the last kilometre that is a series of switchbacks up to the summit of the pass.
We then went though customs into Lesotho paying $3 road tax. We then drove on a brand new road (still being built) that was using chinese trucks and construction equipment, with the Lesotho workers supervised with Chinese supervisors. We then crossed an even higher pass Kotisephola at 3241 metres. It was a 50km drive to Mokhotlong passing Basotho villages along the way, as well as herders with their anogora goats and donkeys and horses. We passed 3 cars.
After reaching Mokhotlong with people riding horses down the main street we realised we needed to retrace our course back a few kilometres to reach the turnoff to St James Lodge.
St James Lodge is fairly basic accommodation (no power) next to St James school and has several nearby villages that the school children come from.
We have been in South Africa for 3 days but have suffered load-shedding 4 times already. South Africa is suffering load-shedding because it cannot generate enough electricity, so suburbs have power cut off for two hour blocks. The first night we were here the power went of for 2 hours from 6pm to 8pm, but we were zoned out from jet-lag so it didn’t matter.
Friday night getting ready to cook dinner, and bang the power goes off for another two hours. Then Saturday morning we get up early because we are collecting our 4WD, we leave the apartment at 8am and bang the power is off again. On the way north we stop at a supermarket to get more supplies, but we knew driving through town that the power was off, as the traffic lights were all out. The supermarket has a huge generator screaming outside, and inside is half -dark with only some of the lights operating. This is South Africa 2015, but they are building new power stations and it will all be fixed – in 2020!
UPDATE: As I wrote this post I wondered why someone was running a generator in a powered Caravan Park, until I realised – off course the power is off- and we are load-shedding again!