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Tour Packages Details

Price Per Person

USD 2,500
Country: Lesotho
Duration: 13 Day(s) - 12 Night(s)
Tour Category: Cultural / Botanical Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

Package Itinerary

LESOTHO CULTURAL/ BOTANICAL TOUR 12NIGHTS/13 DAYS

Day 1:

Pick up at Durban International Airport and transferred to Underberg.

Overnight: Sani Pass Hotel (DB&B basis).

 

Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After breakfast at Sani Pass Hotel, depart 08h00 for Cobham Nature Reserve along the Drakensberg Mountains, full guided tour of flower walk, and packed lunch on route. Full day round walk.

Overnight Sani Pass Hotel

Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart Sani Pass Hotel at 09h00, Tower Centre, Main Road Underberg, and travel to the World Heritage Site of the UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, with regular stops along the route viewing different flowers, following the Mkomazana River up the scenic Sani Valley to the South African Border Post (border formalities).

We continue up the Sani Pass, which was built by David Alexander between 1948 and 1954 viewing the Hodgson’s Peaks and the Giants Cup. Climbing to an altitude of 2.874m and zigzag upwards beneath towering cliffs, buttresses, past waterfalls and unique flora and bird life. Packed lunch on route.

After having completed the border formalities at Lesotho Border we visit the village to learn more about the Basotho culture.

We arrive at the Sani Stone Lodge and the “Highest Pub in Africa” (2.874m)

African meals from the A la Carte menu.

Overnight: Sani Stone Lodge

 

Day 4: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After having good breakfast at Sani Stone Lodge we depart at 08h00. We proceed on a city tour of Mokhotlong and interacting with the local people. Viewing of botany around the Letseng Diamond mine area and the Tlaeeng Pass (3275m) and the Mahlasela Pass (3220m).

Overnight: Oxbow lodge

 

Day 5: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After breakfast at the guest house, depart at 08h30; continue with viewing flowers via a very scenic route, packed lunch on route, toward Katse Dam, the high point at Katse Dame Lodge is 2100 m.

Overnight: Katse Dam Lodge

 

Day 6: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Breakfast at Katse Dam; depart at 08h30 for full day at the Katse Dam Botanical Garden.

 

 A Brief Introduction On KBG

Land use change due to construction of large dams in the LHWP has resulted in biodiversity losses at multiple levels (species, habitats and ecosystems) due to inundating by the artificial reservoirs. Many rural communities largely dependent on the resources for their day to day sustenance have lost access to such resources. It is the requirement of the LHWP Treaty that all necessary catchment conservation measures are effected to ensure that the project is implemented and operated taking the existing quality of the environment into consideration. The treaty further mandates LHWP to ensure that the socio-economic welfare of communities immediately affected by the project is not reduced from pre-project condition. To effect the environmental obligations of the treaty, LHDA environmental policy was developed with specific objectives that include catchment management (soil conservation, range management and management of wetlands), biological diversity management and conservation and stakeholder consultation including environmental education and awareness raising. 

The Katse Botanical Garden was established in 1996 under the Lesotho highlands Development Authority to meet the treaty requirement of protection of endangered flora of the LHWP. The 17ha garden provides a sanctuary of the flora that was rescued prior to the impounding of Katse reservoir. The rescue program was extended to cover the Mohale reservoir and will soon be extended to Polihali. The rescued flora has been planted in the main garden with the intension to multiply it by means of propagation from seeds and cuttings at the garden nursery and transplantation into the Katse Botanical garden, the wilderness and the outreach gardens established as part of the program of implementation of the garden activities.

The garden propagates only the indigenous flora of the high altitude grasslands of Lesotho which is collected from all over the country through seeds and live plants and it prioritises rare and threatened plant species. The seed and plant collections replenish the garden stock and help to protect those rare and endangered species of Lesotho. The garden has over the years successfully propagated various species of rare and endangered plant species across different life forms. The biggest success story in that regard is the propagation of the spiral aloe, an ornamental plant species that is endemic to the kingdom of Lesotho and it falls in the conservation status category of   rare and endangered plant species. 

KBG promotes use of indigenous plants and most of the seedlings that are produced at the KBG are sold to visitors and members of general public while others are replanted at the communal botanical gardens which the KBG has helped to establish not only as a means of biodiversity conservation but also as a compensation mechanism.  Some of the seedlings are replanted in the main garden for tourism exhibition and learning purposes to schools and other interested parties.

Aloe Broomii

Aloe Polyphylla Spiral Aloe

Dierama Pulcherrimum

 

Objectives of the KBG

The KBG was developed as a mitigation measure to minimize biodiversity losses due to construction of LHWP dams. The objective of the KBG is to keep a diverse living collection of plants that represent the indigenous flora of Lesotho for the purpose of promoting their conservation and sustainable use as well as enhancing appreciation of the native flora through display for educational purpose. The KBG is also meant to serve as a centre for horticultural research of indigenous plants in the country. By their nature, most of KBG activities are not directly revenue generating and the garden provide an opportunity to perform a corporate social responsibility (CSR) function. Based on this overall objective, the specific objectives of the Katse Botanical Garden are therefore to:

 

a)            Act as a sanctuary for rescued plants from the pre-impoundment areas of the LHWP reservoirs.

b)            Conserve and preserve the rare endangered plant species through seed and plant collections and propagation for sale and planting at the KBG, in the wild and in outreach gardens.

c)            Monitor wild communities of rare and endangered plant species in other to maintain their existence in the wild.

d)            Develop and implement community outreach activities at the KBG and other LHWP affected areas as well as in areas where plants and seeds are collected.

e)            Promote tourism to the KBG and collaboration with government, other local institutions and botanical gardens in the world.

f)             Identify and establish relationship with relevant institutions involved in the management of botanical gardens

 

I hope this brief introduction will be helpful, as for the challenges and other activities which didn’t mention I prefer to discuss with them when they get her

Overnight: Katse Dam Lodge

 

Day 7: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart Katse Dam Lodge after breakfast at 08h30, for Mashai Watch the majestic Cape Vultures in flight and beautiful butterflies in summer. Ascend the Linakaneng Pass at 3.030m and down again into the Valley. Refreshment stops at a local shabeen (pub). Packed lunch on route, before we proceed for the last few kilometers to our destination. Arrive at the self-catering Lodge (fully equipped kitchen) and enjoy the sunset while relaxing on the swing-chair. Viewing of botany in the Matebeng river basin

Overnight:  Sehlabathebe Lodge

 

Day 8: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart Sehlabathebe Lodge after breakfast at 08h30, after breakfast at 08H30; we now depart with 4x4 vehicles another 10 kilometers in the Sehlabathebe National Park. The Tsoelikanyane waterfall is the biggest waterfall in the park. This site hosts 23 percent of the plant species in the whole of Maluti Drakensberg area. The Sehlabathebe National Park is located in the Maloti Mountains in Qacha's Nek District, Lesotho, and is part of the larger Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site. Home to striking biological diversity as well as important cultural heritage, the park was first established on May 8, 1969. The landscape is dominated by grassland of various types. The larger ecosystem as a whole performs invaluable functions including providing freshwater to Lesotho and South Africa.

The Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho’s first national park, and second largest, is remote, rugged and beautiful, and getting there is always a worthwhile adventure, especially if you’re into wilderness and seclusion. Sehlabathebe means the “Shield of the Plateau”, mirroring the rolling grasslands, wild flowers and silence provide a sense of complete isolation. Situated in the south-east corner of Lesotho, at an average elevation of some 2,400 meters above sea level access could be challenging as it is rather remote.

The park provides the best secluded environment nature could offer with soaring mountain vistas, secluded rock pools, waterfalls, rock dwellings, massive overhangs, rock art, rock arches and a beautiful and unique ecosystem of plants, birds and animals. It offers a significant habitat to a range of unique Afro-Alpine and Sub-Alpine plants, mammals, avifauna, reptiles, amphibians and fish. It has spectacular scenery with unique rock formations. Most of the Park is taken up by a designated wilderness area and although small by international standards, it retains its natural character and is uninhabited. The Park is home to various outstanding biodiversity species, some of which are endemic and endangered. There are three endangered species, the Maloti Minnow (Pseudobarbus quathlambae), a critically endangered species of fish found only in the Park, and the Cape (Gyps coprotheres) and Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus).  Apart from the unique floral presence in the park, there are a record number of 65 rock art sites which have been identified in the Park, and other forms of previous habitation of the site.

World Heritage status. This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on October 8, 2008 in the Mixed (Cultural + Natural) category. This park will be included into the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area, Peace Park. Sehlabathebe is currently run under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture.

Overnight: Sehlabathebe Lodge

 

Day 9: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Breakfast at our lodge before departing for the most adventurous part of our journey. More Bushmen Paintings, flora may be seen a few kilometers along the road. We ascend the mountain pass, topping 2.040 m. climbing up the Somalenk Mountain back to the Matabeng. Picnic lunch at the summit of 2.940 m. Descending this mountain pass and traverse back along the Matebeng Pass, until we reach the Sehonghong valley basin, viewing of botany in this area and lunch stop. This area has a lot of San Rock Art paintings. We travel through the Linakaneng valley and up the Menoaneng Pass (3030m) this will give us an insight of what area to view, the next day!

Overnight at St James Mission-BLD

Day 10: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After breakfast, 08h30. Depart after breakfast for the Menaoneng Pass (3030m).Packed lunch provided for from St James Lodge. Viewing of botany and after lunch move to a different are on the Menaoneng Pass. (As I mentioned, we could even visit the Linakaneng valley that we traversed the day before).

Overnight at St James Lodge-BLD

 

Day 11-Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After breakfast, with packed lunch provided for, we depart at 08H30 for Black Mountain Pass (3394m) and viewing of botany around this area. Nearby is the Famous Thabana Ntlenyana (3482m).This is the highest point in Southern Africa. Afternoon spent tackling different footpaths viewing botany.

Overnight Sani Stone Lodge

 

Day 12: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After a good breakfast at Sehlabathebe Lodge, depart at 07h30, viewing of numerous proteas along the route, down the Ramatseliso’s pass, back to Sani Pass Hotel.

Overnight: Sani Pass Hotel.

 

Day 13: Breakfast

Breakfast at Sani Pass Hotel, depart for Durban International Airport.

Tour End

 

Cost is USD 2500pp

 

Included:            

Excluded:

Accommodation & meals as indicated        

Beverages & Alcoholic

Mineral water                                                              

Personal Expenses                    

Driver/guide fees

Personal insurances

Transport in 4x4

 

Transfer DUR – Underberg – Durban

 

Sleeping bags (you are welcome to bring your own should you wish.

 

 

 

 

            General  Information   -   Lesotho  Overland  Tours

 

  • Bring Soft Bags Only, no big suit cases.
  • Every guest on tour is entering a rural and unspoiled African terrain. Therefore it is necessary to travel with a flexible and tolerant mind.
  • Accommodations, bathroom facilities and meals are at most places very basic, simple and rustic.
  • Most lunch stops base on packed lunches or picnic meals.
  • There are no toilet facilities on route or very seldom.
  • We reserve the right to alter any routes or itineraries should circumstances, like weather, road conditions, unforeseen obstacles, etc. so demand.
  • Some accommodations use generators for the supply of electricity, which switches off at 22:00, and gas geysers for hot water supply.
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