By Simon Steadman, Photography by Desiree Steadman
Riding a donkey has never really been high up there on my bucket list, but I guess that when you are in Lesotho, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” is very fitting. So there I was, camera around my neck, ready to mount my trusty steed and begin our Donkey Pub Crawl. But let’s backtrack a little…
Waking up at four in the morning is something that I will never get used to, or be a fan of, even after having been in this job for nearly ten years. This time it was slightly different: it was the first official SA4x4 tour, and we would have twelve avid adventurers with us on our five-day Lesotho Mountain Kingdom Adventure. We had packed everything into the Cruiser the night before so that we could be as efficient as possible for the next morning’s 5 a.m. start, in order to make our arranged meeting time of 10 a.m. at the Shell garage in Ladybrand.
Once all the fuel tanks were full, our seven-vehicle convoy headed into Lesotho via the Maseru Bridge border crossing. Parking is always an issue at these border posts, but luckily it was very quiet. Within twenty minutes, all of our border formalities were complete, and we were on our way to Semonkong Lodge − our home for the next two nights. The route to the lodge has now been completely tarred, but that doesn’t take away from the stark beauty of the scenery in this part of the world. There is something about mountains that really does help rejuvenate the soul, and Lesotho has these in abundance.