I had visited Swakopmond before, but on this trip, the agenda was to see the wrecks on the Skeleton Coast. What I got was much more than that, named the skeleton coast for the ship wrecks and the bones of seals, whales and other creatures that find themselves stranded on the sands battered by the cold Atlantic currents.
The remains of seal, from the spoor it was evident that this kill had happened less than a week ago. One could see the trail where the hyena (probably) had dragged the unfortunate seal to its death.
A detour to the Cape Cross, where there was a large seal colony. One could smell them before seeing them, and they were as noisy as ever. I had not planned on spending this much time in Namibia, but I was grateful as I stood there, in the cold air of the coast. Who knows when I would be able to stand and feel as free as i did.
The TransNamib highway, delightfully curvy at points as the luxury bus hugs the road and takes us to the Cape the shadowy figure of the table looms on the horizon until it is no more a shadow than a colossal structure demanding awe and respect. I was back in the Cape, I had done it, gone from Cairo and made my down to Cape Town, like many a traveler before me (although I would like to think I was the first Zimbabwean to do so!)
After a brief stop over in Cape Town I headed to Bloemfontein, where I would look for transport to get me to Lesotho. I had tried to get to Lesotho in December 2015 but my had been curtailed by an expired traffic disc on my car. Now, I would be hitchhiking possibly into Lesotho with nothing to worry about except my bank account.
The Mountain Kingdom, Lesotho I casually stroll across the border and a taxi ride later, I am in Maseru. The last time i was in Maseru, there was a coup raging on and I had stayed in the same hotel as the military and police reinforcements from South Africa. I had walked around the city and there was no sign of chaos contrary to the reports on news channels. My intention was to visit the highlands of Lesotho as well as Thabo Bosui, a high plateau where King Moshoeshoe made a stand against his enemies while attracting other clans as his people. This could be taken as the birth place of Lesotho.
A view from the top of Thabo Bosui
I am a man with a queasy stomach and the drive to Mogale dam (less than 100km from Maseru) was torturous for me. The hairpin curves and the steep inclines don’t
work well with me and I spend the entire trip into the mountains buckled over, eyes tightly shut, as I try to contain my lunch. My few moments of bravery on the
way up allow me to see the breathtaking views and why Lesotho is the Mountain Kingdom.
Little streams of light, reflect on the mountain surfaces tricking the eyes as streams of water trickle down the mountains. The animals here, both sheep and cows
seem geared for the mountain lifestyle as they chew and ruminate leisurely on the slopes.
I think this is one of the coolest dam designs I have seen. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to drive down the zig zag road down the dam wall.
Mogale dam, one of 5 dams to be built that will provide water to Lesotho, but primarily to the province of Gauteng, South Africa. 40% of the water that Gauteng receives originates
from the highlands of Lesotho.
From Lesotho, onwards to Zimbabwe, the mother lands, the former bread basket of Africa.