Myself and fellow writers; Lelo and George escaped to the majestic beauty of the Lesotho Kingdom in a Isuzu KB and luxuriated in the comforts of one of Lesotho’s grandest hotels, Avani.
One of the joys of venturing off the beaten path in this picturesque country of ours is the people you meet and the tiny gems of small towns and resorts you get to discover. And I love how, through #SAfricansTravelToo, we’ve been able to venture to neighbouring countries and tell our tales.
The simple beauty of driving through the Karoo in the early hours of the morning with nothing to keep you company but the dancing stars and a warm breeze. Or drinking wine deep into the night along with the co-owner of a tiny boutique B&B on the Wild Coast as he regales you with tales as the private chef for the British royal family. Priceless times indeed!
And its often the road less travelled that holds the secret to memorable times. Take a recent drive I did to a region slightly forgotten for those who like to venture out from the confines of city life – Lesotho.
The history surrounding this country is limitless – no pun intended – and around each corner there is another piece of scenery that simply takes your breath away and another resort waiting to be explored. One such place is the Avani Lesotho Hotel & Casino on the edge of developing capital, Maseru.
Established in 1979, back then under the Sun International umbrella, this hotel is one of the oldest in the region originally as stopover for pioneers as they headed north. Fortunately, we had the pleasure of travelling to the property in the new Isuzu KB – maybe not as economical but a hell of a lot comfortable for our weekend away.
And while so much has changed since those pioneer days, the beauty of the region remains intact. Sitting on my balcony, and looking past the roads and developments that criss-cross the area, one can drink from the fountain of nature as you savour the perfect back drop of the majestic mountain range.
— Papi Mabele (@Papi_Mabele) May 13, 2017
History books come alive as you have the chance to visit the fields where battles between the Boer, English and Basotho unfolded, either through a one-on-one with a guide or through an interactive display in the museum. There’s also horse riding and a traditional feast at the legendary Shoe shoe restaurant . When it comes to Avani, forget about chain-style hotel type accommodation, because the Avani Lesotho staff have managed to make it their own. The hotel itself pulls so much and incorporates Lesotho in its culture.
if you keep things simple but world class, its fairly easy to do it well
Accommodation wise you have a choice of either the Avani Room (adequate for 2 adults), the Avani Executive Room (which is apparently more popular with guests and to where we resorted for our stay), Avani Superior Room, Avani Suite and then the luxe and modern Avani Presidential Suite.
The staff are genuinely helpful and the food is good, down to earth tucker just like you would expect from any four star retreat. Think of lamb curry, roast beef, steaks that are guaranteed to satisfy the hungriest of appetites. Desserts are equally yummy while breakfasts also prove that if you keep things simple but world class, its fairly easy to do it well.
Getting to Lesotho:
For #SAfricansTravelToo Lesotho, we partnered with Isuzu, for their all new KB. With cruise control activated for majority of our trip (until you reach the pot-hole struck Senekal area) we returned an excellent consumption figure of just about 7.7l/100km for a total of 501km one way.
— Papi Mabele (@Papi_Mabele) May 12, 2017
The vehicle provides plenty of passenger space, a comfortable cabin along with its matching features one would expect from a bakkie costing in the region of R600 000. There is also excellent ground clearance for those off-road excursions you are bound to make in an area as beautiful as the Kingdom.
So the next time you decide to take a trip down the Kingdom of Lesotho, add a night to your journey and experience the Lesotho hospitality and nightlife. You won’t be disappointed.