GPS Co-ordinates: 29°06’09.44”S 28°30’10.09” E
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)..
The upgrades on the R26 Villiers to Bethlehem are almost complete. It is now the best route for connecting the N3 to Bethlehem. Under no circumstances should you use the R57 connecting the R26 from Sasolburg via Heilbron. It is badly potholed and can cut your trip short..
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
Travel 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.
Drive from Sani Pass to Motebong Lodge; Follow the A3 from the border post to Mokhotlong, then follow the A1 for 36Km to Mapholaneng. At Mapholaneng turn West to Katse on a gravel road. (This section will serve the Polihali dam construction site and is currently under construction to up-grade to tar). After about 7Km you arrive at the first village of Ha Meno Drive straight though and follow the road for another 63Km to the village of Ha Seshote – for the period to mid-2023, there will be road construction activity on this route though it should be usable by an all-wheel drive with good clearance. At Ha Seshote, Katse dam wall will be about 20Km to the left and Motebong Lodge about 30Km to the right on the Nelson Mandela Road (tarred).
Alternatively, still drive from Sani Pass to Mapholaneng and the first village on the route, of Ha Meno, turn West towards Ha Palama. This is a 45km track to the Nelson Mandela road, which is tough and requires good clearance all-wheel drive vehicle (While 4H is all that is required 4L could come-in handy for hill descent using compression – some vehicles will have the hill-descent provided by the manufacturer) and patience – the driver is hardly ever beyond 3rd gear, as it has some rocky parts very un-even surfaces. The reward of this road is unparalleled scenery in all directions once at elevation. The route also boasts rare vegetation and particularly flowers of the area.
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.
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, please stop next to the Police stop sign and don’t move until you are flagged on.
SA Rands are accepted at all shops as tender.
50pp diesel and 93 Octane petrol is available in all bigger centres. Do fill-up whenever you travel to remote areas or to the highlands. Most fuel station in the towns accept bank cards.
At Motebong lodge we prefer our accounts settled by bank card and not cash!
If you are not familiar with the driving etiquette in Lesotho, please read Tips for driving in Lesotho
Motebong Lodge offers an array of activities for all of our valued guests. Located on the banks of the Katse dam, our unique location offers our guests days filled with adventure or relaxation!
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