AN INCREDIBLE, AUTHENTIC LESOTHO ADVENTURE

We had the most incredible, authentic Lesotho adventure, with Polihali Lodge being our base point.

It is situated in a traditional village called Molumong Village, where Basotho shepherds and children spend their days caring for their herds and where the main focus of life is showing hospitality towards others.
We loved the laid back pace of life and friendly atmosphere, where life seems so much simpler and uncomplicated – away from the hustle of city life. It was a true privilege to become a part of the community for a week.
Daniel, a local shepherd was able to organise whatever was needed, from his donkeys carrying water to the lodge to organising enough horses for us to take a ride, enjoying sunsets like no other.
Polihali became our home away from home, and a piece of our hearts will always be left behind there.
We all want to say a HUGE thank you for the adventure, and look forward to next year, for we will be sure to make this a regular trip!

Until next time…
Megan, Andrew, Spencer, Ofentse, Armand, Arno, Kerone, Abby, Avalon, Caitlin & Joshua

November 2018

At your leisure …

Polihali Lodge and Pony Trek Adventures features in the latest edition of adventure motoring magazine, Leisure Wheels. Janine Avery and her husband incorporated a trip to Lesotho in their trusty Discovery during a recent road trip for an unforgetable adventure.

Here is an excerpt from her report:

“And what a destination it was: we had arrived at Polihali Lodge, a rustic dwelling set within a traditional Lesotho village. Unfortunately, we only had one night to spend here, so we couldn’t enjoy the full wealth of what Polihali has to offer – specialising as they do in overnight pony trekking in the mountains of Lesotho – a true cultural experience without another tourist in sight.
What we did get to enjoy was an afternoon of trekking through the traditional agricultural lands, tended by the blanket-wearing Basotho with cows and sheep in tow, and a local village where women and children waved to us enthusiastically as we passed by
their homes. It’s safe to say we will have to return to experience one of their multi-day adventures through the Maluti wilderness, camping in shepherd’s huts under the vast Lesotho sky.”

For more on the report, see the link here

Snow falling in the Lesotho Malutis!

The entire north-eastern region of Lesotho is experiencing snowfalls. The falls are mainly confined to the higher lying areas, above 2 500 metres. In places, the snow is falling at lower altitudes.

Daniel at Polihali says the snow is clearly visible and that most roads are still open. It is cold and visbility is poor in places. Roads are wet and slippery.

The picture, courtesy of Snow Report, shows what it is like a few hours ago at Letseng, about two hours away from Polihali. With more snow expected, roads may well be closed in time to come.

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Snow in October!

IMG_20181002_214325_447Snow is expected later today, Wednesday, and into Thursday over the Malutis in north-eastern Lesotho. According to Snow Report, some heavy falls are likely in the areas coloured purple on the map.

Expect the high-lying areas of Sani Pass, Black Mountain Pass and Menoaneng Pass, to receive a decent cover. We at Polihali Lodge and Pony Trek Adventures overlooking Molumong village, expect to see plenty of snow in the surrounds and on the mountains.

We will update the blog once we’ve spoken to Daniel at Polihali, and have first-hand information.

Sani Pass breaks suspensions

The SFA (solid front axle) Toyota Hilux is considered one of the toughest vehicles ever built. The vehicle pictured, a double cab 4×4 2.8D with an after-market turbo, has proved its value again and again, in oor operations at Polihali Lodge and Pony Trek Adventures, overlooking Molumong village.

The Hilux has also ascended Sani Pass close to 150 times since 2002. As people familiar with the pass know, Sani Pass is unforgiving at the best of times. When it has deteriorated, like it has over the past few months, it is doubly unforgiving. Even the Hilux took a hit when two of the four leaf springs on the front suspension snapped. The broken springs were only discovered while checking the oil in the front differential, and could have resulted in a potentially catastrophic accident coming down the pass.

The moral of the story is to treat Sani Pass with respect, and to check your vehicle before and after a trip.

It’s a peach-blossom spring!

The peach blossoms are in full bloom, suggesting that spring is well and truly underway in the north-eastern highlands of Lesotho. The prevalence of the blossoms also show just how popular, and valuable, the fruit tree is.

As always, our visitors at Polihali Lodge and Pony Trek Adventures marvel at the sight of the trees in flower when they stroll through Molumong village and its surrounds.

Endangered aloe best left alone

 

From time to time, we at Polihali Lodge and Pony Trek Adventures are alerted to people removing a spiral aloe, presumably with the purpose of trying to grow it elsewhere. It is a pointless exercise that inevitably results in the endangered plant’s death. Here’s why:

  1. The spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla) is endemic to Lesotho’s high altitude grassland, between 2 000 and 2 500 metres above sea level. Any altitude lower, and it won’t survive.
  2. The spiral aloe grows in basalt rock crevices on very steep slopes with loose rock which aids in keeping the plants very well drained.
  3. They often grow in the mist and cloud belt.

At Polihali, we take the plight of the spiral aloe very seriously and will do waht we can to ensure its survival.

September, spring and snow!

Shepherds, herdsmen and livestock owners in the mountainous north-east of Lesotho are scrambling to bring their animals to lower altitudes in anticipation of heavy snowfalls on Saturday and early Sunday morning (Sept 7&8). According to Daniel at Polihali Lodge and Pony Trek Adventures overlooking Molumong village, Radio Lesotho has been broadcasting warnings about expected snow falls. The authoritative Snow Report said by sunrise on Sunday, heavy snowfalls are expected over the eastern parts of the Maluti mountains in the north of Lesotho and over eastern Lesotho and the entire KZN Drakensberg,

The cold weather is due to frontal system moving from the west to the east, and its impact may be already felt by tomorrow (Friday, Sept 7) in Lesotho.

Polihali: What’s in a name?

 

 

 

We’ve been asked why we chose POLIHALI as the name for our modest lodge that overlooks Molumong village and the Senqu valley in the Maluti mountains of Lesotho.

The reason is that we wanted to claim the connection with the future Polihali Dam that is set to ransform the upper Senqu valley, its surrounds, and impact on communities.

The idea is for rainfall harvested from the ranges of the Maluti mountains to be captured in Polihali Dam, transferred through a 38-0 km tunnel to Katse Dam to augment the water already supplying Gauteng via the Vaal River system.

Part of Phase Two of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, Polihali Dam will be built downstream of the confluence of the Senqu and Khubelu rivers and is projected to coffer 2.3 billion cubic metres of water. The dam will have a 163.5-metre high concrete-faced rockfill embankment dam wall, measuring 915 metres across, with a full supply level of 2 075 m above sea level. A 49.5-metre high saddle dam and spillway will also be built. The 38.2 km tunnel, from Polihali to Katse,  will have a diameter of 5 metres.