GPS Co-ordinates: 29°06’09.44”S 28°30’10.09” E
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Motebong Lodge can be reached by ordinary vehicle from anywhere in South Africa, except for those who want to use the Sani Pass from KZN, in which case they will require a 4×4 vehicle.
From Gauteng/Limpopo/Mpumalanga/NW: Take the N3 towards Durban, off ramp on to the R26 at Villiers or R714 at Warden towards Bethlehem (confirm the road condition when choosing either route).
From KZN: Follow the N3 to Harrismith then off Ramp onto the N5 to Bethlehem.
From Bettlehem: Follow the R26 to Fourisburg – miss the first turn into Fourisburg, take the second turn left for 1km and then right for Caledonspoort border post through to Butha Buthe.
At Butha Buthe turn right to Hlotse (30Km) and left for Ha Lejone (71Km)
FROM HLOTSE: Follow the sign for Ha Lejone and Katse Dam – Ha Lejone is 71km from Hlotse. (consider topping-up fuel as supply is unreliable in the highlands).
FROM EASTERN CAPE: Take the N6 north and turn onto the R26 at Rouxville to Ladybrand.
FROM: NC/WC/Northern Free State: Follow the N8 towards Maseru until it becomes R26 to Ladybrand.
From Ladybrand: follow R26 to Ficksburg then through Mapotsoe border post. Turn left at T-junction (4km) to Hlotse (12Km).
At Hlotse turn right for Ha Lejone (71km). (consider topping-up fuel as supply is unreliable in the highlands).
Alternative route (less congested border post but 6km gravel from the R26 to the Lesotho border): About 15km past Clocolan (ignore Peka bridge sign at Clocolan) towards Ficksburg, turn right for Peka bridge border post.
Selected Travelling distances and times
- Bethlehem to motebong lodge 170 kms; Driving time approximately: 3hrs;
- Caledonspoort border post to motebong lodge 110 kms; Driving time approximately: 2hrs;
- Hlotse to motebong lodge 72kms; Driving time approximately: 1hr 30mins;
- Police control post (below the Mafika a Lisiu pass) to motebong lodge 27km; Driving time approximately: 45mins. It is 10.5kms to the top of the pass from this point;
- Bokong Visitors centre to motebong lodge 14km; Driving time approximately: 20mins.
- Maseru to motebong lodge 170 kms; Driving time approximately: 3.5hrs.
- Johannesburg (via Bethlehem) to motebong lodge 460 kms; Driving time approximately: 5.5hrs;”
- The Lesotho customs laws prohibit the importation of eggs and all forms of alcohol regardless of quantity.
- Have your traffic triangle handy for inspection by traffic authorities.
- If you come across a Police check point pleasestop next the Police stop sign and don’t move until you are flagged on.
- SA Rands are accepted at all shops as tender.
- There is an ATM at Ha Lejone and it accepts SA and other foreign cards.
Tips From Sani Pass
The drive from Sani-Top to Motebong Lodge, like others most in Lesotho, is best measured in driving time as opposed distance – approximately 4hrs. During winter months the latest time to leave Sani Top should be 13.00Hrs.
Secondly, the advice for off-road driving with manual transmission cars; proper gears selection and timely changing of gears is everything!
Thirdly, as a common courtesy on the tight mountain roads, vehicles going up a slope have right of way.
The recommended route is A3 (Tarred) from Sani-Pass to Mokhotlong, then A1 (Tarred) from Mokhotlong to the Kao Diamond Mine/Ha Lejone turn-off into B804 which is 3Km past Letseng Diamond Mine and 1Km before Tlaaeng Pass – and this is the last 60kms of the route!
The first 36Km of the B804 is a reasonable gravel road, servicing the Kao and Liqhobong Diamond mines. This road deteriorates sharply after the turn-off to Liqhobong just past Kao mine, where there is currently no maintenance the last 19Km with the drive to Motebong Lodge being a about 1hour.
This last section of the route providing a medium of-road challenge – if Sani-pass left you looking for more. While a 4×2 vehicle with a reasonable clearance can be suitable for the route, a 4×4, AWD or front-wheel vehicle is desirable during rains and light snow. In heavy snow only a heavy 4×4 is recommended.
As the pictures below will confirm, driving the B804 after sunset might not be a clever idea!
The alternative route is to proceed on the A1 past Butha Buthe, turning left into the B25 at Leribe and leading to Ha Lejone/Katse Dam. Motebong Lodge – signs will be visible from just outside Hlotse and when entering Ha Lejone village. This route adds 130Km to the trip but is all tarred.
- Sani Mountain lodge (www.sanimountainlodge.co.za) with majestic views of Sani Pass is the ideal venue for a rest after ascending the pass and for staging a trip into Lesotho or to experience the warmth of friendly Lesotho for the last time before departing down Sani Pass.