‘Walking to Malealea?’ Why? You whities can easily pay a taxi. Why do you want to hike all the way? It’s very far, you know. Or I can maybe give you a lift in my ‘bakkie’.
The Lesotho locals think that we’re crazy to hike over the Maluti mountains from Moroosi to Malealea.
5am: Mick wakes us up with a delicious cuppa Rooibos. Looking out from our tent we’re amazed by the stunning scenery. The green mountains never seem to end. Slowly the sun rises and the landscape even becomes prettier. Green mountains, unbelievable rock formations, indigenous forests, it’s all right there waiting for us to be discovered. We sometimes reach 2800m. The lovely Basotho huts are spread all over the country side, often painted in a colourful way.
7am: We start to hike. Every 2 to 3 hours we have a short break to regain strength, fill our bottles at a stream or spring and eat a snack or enjoy lunch. Between 3 and 5pm we start looking for a good camping spot. Preferably close to a stream but often we’re already happy if we find a decent spot to set up the tents.
A Basotho, dressed in traditional Basotho blanket, is curious about these Whities in his village and comes to check us out. I don’t think he’s ever seen anything like this before. Some Basotho women come and sit with us. We offer them a glass of wine but reading their face, we’re quite sure they don’t like it. They empty their glasses quickly and then go back to their huts. Mick speaks Sesotho fluently. I still find it very hard to remember any of the words. So far I only know, Keh leboha (= thank you) and dumela (= hello). Probably all spelled incorrectly but at least I can pronounce it a bit.
The Basotho ponies are unbelievable. They manoeuvre through the steep, rocky and narrow paths in an incredible way. We had 2 pack horses for all our stuff, including food for 5 days. On day 1 we notice that the amount of food we’ve got is HUGE. I’ve go a very healthy appetite so this is a relief.
We hiked 3,5 days. The first and last night you stay at the lodge. These hikes will be organised every 6 weeks.
Hiking in Lesotho is not for ‘sissies’. You have to be quite fit, have an appropriate outfit and must like camping in the wild with no facilities. During the hike there was no cell phone reception and the outside world can’t contact you (no radios).