Day Trip to Lesotho & the Katse Dam from Ficksburg
Ficksburg is known as the Gateway to Lesotho, and if you find yourself in Ficksburg for the annual Cherry Festival in November, or at any other time of the year for that matter, a day trip or weekend to discover the beauty of the ‘Mountain Kingdom’, or the ‘Kingdom in the Sky’ as it is also known, is right there on your doorstep.
Important: You will need your passport to enter Lesotho!
Lesotho is a landlocked independent country at high altitude in the Maluti Mountains in South Africa. About two hours drive from the border post near Ficksburg you will find one of Lesotho’s main attractions, the massive Katse Dam – the second largest reservoir dam in the whole of Africa, sitting at an altitude of 3000m above sea level and surrounded by truly magnificent mountain scenery. The dam is 50km long and holds almost 2000 cubic metres of water.
The Katse Dam is a popular destination in Lesotho for the scenic beauty of the surrounding Maluti (or Moloti) mountaina, water activities, fishing, tours of the Katse Dam wall, hiking, camping, 4×4, whit-water rafting below the dam wall, visiting local villages and nature reserves, and pony trekking on the local Basotho Ponies. In winter, snow sports are on at the nearby Afri-Ski Resort, which has a 1km piste.
This Day Trip can be self drive or enjoy a guided Day Tour from Ficksburg. Aeriel fly-overs of the Katse Dam can also be arranged from Ficksburg.
If you are doing a self drive tour, give yourself plenty of time. The mountain roads are windy passes and going can be slow. You will come across a number of accommodation options on your way, offering further insights into what to see and what to do while you are in Lesotho.
If you are planning to stay overnight, dress warmly – the nights are freezing cold at this altitude, even in summer. Take a camera – the people, culture and mountain scenery will keep you clicking away…
Breathe Deep – the air up in the Molotis is unpolluted, crisp and reviving!
Some extra info…
Lesotho is very rural and in parts very poor; there is little agricultural land around the Katse Dam, and even less since the Dam was built, so it’s hard for the local communities to live off the land as they once did. Tourism has consequently become a much needed life-line of the small communities you will come across in this area, and there are an amazing number of hotel resorts and lodges throughout Lesotho. A popular mode of transport in this region is the hardy Basotho pony, and most establishments will be able to arrange pony trekking with local guides.
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