A photographable Lesotho road trip towards the Kingdom in the Sky
A photographable Lesotho road trip towards the Kingdom in the Sky leading you into the magnificent Lesotho mountains.
Crossing the Border
Across the Border, life is direct.
Honest work, tools in hand
with a slow pace while you bargain.
No price tags, but everything offered.
You stop for a fix and receive so much more.
African pace with branding and a helping hand
putting you on the open road to the mountains.
An African Road trip
Setting out on an African road trip is exciting. Your camera is ready and your warm clothes packed for the mountains. The lodge owner and his Cruiser is waiting at the airport to greet you.
It is wintertime in Southern Africa. Winter is mild, but the Cape is full of storms and rain. Gauteng and the Freestate are dry and icy in the mornings and nighttime. The warmest part of South African wintertime is Durban. The North coast climate is mild, with light humidity and sunny beach days.
We are on our way to Lesotho, The Kingdom in the Sky.
A scenic landscape surrounded by mountains. The average altitude is above one thousand metres throughout entire Lesotho. The highest peak, Thabana Ntlenyana, is three-thousand eight hundred and two metres above sea level. The oxygen levels drop, and so do the temperatures as you climb in altitude.
Crossing the Border is eventful. Stalls and vendors greet you with handmade art, curious and traditional wear. With a refreshing Maluti lager at lunchtime, you browse through the road shops. A Mokorotlo is a type of straw hat, traditional Sotho clothing and the national symbol of Lesotho. The trademark Lesotho hats line the stalls.
I see a table with tools next to a stall making lunchtime sandwich rolls in the corner of my view. You can have your car repaired while having a snack. The scene in front of me is photographable. There are moments everywhere to find a photo moment.
How do you find exciting moments to photograph on your road trip?
Become interested in everything that is around you when you stop your car.
Life in Africa is slow-paced but filled with sunlight and street bustle culture. Set your camera F-stop to F2.8 or F4, depending on your lens and work with your time value. The setup will give you the best opportunity to turn and capture moments while sliding your camera time value up and down to compensate for your exposures. Moments happen fast.
The scene is rustic with tools and empty Coca-Cola bottles catching sun rays. It makes for an authentic photo moment. Dust floats into your frame as the cows walk past you, guided by a herder boy. The livestock in Lesotho roams the landscape.
Your first photo is vibrant with orange hues. The road trip visuals ahead leading into the mountains will be gripping.
communicating in a universal language.
Driving through the rolling hills, you see football nets all along the road. The kids play with passion. Football is a universal global language with no need to speak the local language. Where there are fields and nets, there is a moment to play.
The first overnight stop is cold.
It is close to the Border with sunset winds. The fire inside is crackling while the football teams take turns to strike. The light is crisp, with charming orange rays shining through the goalpost dust. The African football story inspires hope and dreams for many kids allowing time to play. Life in Africa can be brutal and raw, without comfort.
The following day, after a cup of strong black coffee boiled on the fire, we head into the mountains.
There are so many striking moments to photograph as you drive through the plains.
The air gets thinner as the Cruiser slowly climbs in altitude. The river streams are icy with fresh mountain water.
You drive through the winter landscape. Herder boys wrapped in their traditional Lesotho blankets guide their cows. You wear traditional Basotho blankets like a poncho. The blanket is thick and colourful, protecting herder boys from the icy winds blowing through the Lesotho mountains and fields.
The Cruiser spins up the dirt road searching for grip to steer up the rocky path. The higher you climb, the more picturesque the landscape opens up in front of you.
The dust is coloured gold,
a story of a man and his horse visually told.
Chasing into the sunset,
riding into the Kingdom in the Sky.
On the top of the mountain, the huts line the edges of the village.
Every morning traditional bread balls are rolled and fried in a pot to sell. The locals brew beer daily and invite you in for a taste. There is a pleasant calm on the hill. Life in the Lesotho mountains is colourful, rhythmic and happy.
In the mountains, the Lesotho wind curves around every corner. You can feel the snow is approaching. I woke up before sunrise to photograph the sun lighting the day. It was freezing, dressed in layers and layers. Nothing is sufficient to warm you against the highlands winds.
The rest of the day, there was time to enjoy breakfast and lunch in the sun to warm up. I charged my camera and packed my backpack with the team to head out into the mountains. Malea Lodge offers many activities for guests and backpackers.
Approaching the cliff, you see the landscape, and rough mountain edges stretch out as far as you can see.
A walk towards the cliff edges is where we met the Lesotho horseman. The team followed the horseman down into the dry creek. I snapped away, running up the frame count on my camera card.
It is a harsh landscape with cinematic beauty. There is a photo moment in every direction you turn your lends. On the climb back up to the top, you can feel your lungs working hard to breathe in the thin highland air. The locals are climatized and fit mountaineers.
The horseman rides into the setting sun with gold highlights shining over the mountain tops. Gold dust flairs up, colouring the photo. The horse breathes past my lens, turning into the light. The picture-perfect moment is a graceful harmony of movement by a horseman and his horse.
It is an energetic silhouette play until the sun sets and the dust settles into the highland mountain earth.
Lesotho is an adventure. Scenic, photographable and inviting. The cold lures you into the warmth of the local’s hospitality and traditions. The crisp highland light leads you towards the Kingdom in the Sky.