It was gorgeous around the beehive this morning on the premises of Clarens Inn Backpackers. Granny and I have been up at crack a dawn which is around 5 every day this trip and we sipped coffee till 7. Then friends Mark Murray and Stu fired up the Land Cruiser and we eased our way into the tiny unspoiled mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho.
We were headed for Tourette Fishing – Fight it in Africa’s latest addition to their long list of spectacular fishing destinations, Makhangoa Fishing Camp. This place is home to some of the finest smallmouth yellowfishing in Africa and undoubtedly one of the most scenic areas. It’s also a place where you can whiteness the local people living exactly the way they were thousands of years ago.
The drive was more like traveling in Idaho than Africa. We crossed the border into Lesotho then drove up and up and away. We went up the winding Mafika Lisiu Pass for the first hour and reached an elevation of 3090 meters (10,138 feet). It was freezing cold and windy up top. This is one of only a few places in Africa that receives a heap of snow during their winter.
After summiting the big pass we travelled up and down slightly but remained at high elevation. Then we came to the Katse Dam, the largest dam in all of Africa, and an obvious observation could be made, Lesotho, along with much of South Africa is in severe drought. The Katse Dam is so low that parts of the huge reservoir aren’t connected right now.
Granny and I were fully aware of the drought. Not only did my friends of Tourette warn us that we wouldn’t see Makhangoa Camp in its normal state but we’ve dealt with water restrictions in South Africa throughout our trip. The drought is just as serious here as it is in California. While everywhere should be lush and green in November this year the landscape is brown and dry.
On the bright side, there was rain in sight. Massive storm clouds formed as we drove and around 4 PM as we pulled into camp the skies opened up. I heard chants of “Monsoon Currier Rules” from my friends of Tourette and we got soaked unpacking the Cruiser with smiles.
There will be no fishing tonight. Since we moved into our rooms the rain has become heavy and the thunder and lightning is intense. It’s quite chilly and were all hunkered down around the wood stove sipping beer and wine and just about to make a big spaghetti dinner. The office contacted Mark and said we can expect the storm to last till the wee hours. This is great news however it’s likely that the river will blowout for fishing tomorrow. Till tomorrow. . . . .