Afriski celebrates its 20th anniversary with a rebrand

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Image by Martin Schultz
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One of only two ski and mountain resorts in Southern Africa, Afriski Mountain Resort celebrates 20 years of mountain adventure in the beautiful country of Lesotho.

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Established in 2000, Afriski initially focused on developing a snow destination in Southern Africa, deep in the remote areas of the country. A perfect location in the Maluti Mountains which formed the right shaped ‘bowl’ for the perfect slope situated at 3222 metres above sea level. This did not come without its challenges. We had a temperamental lift system, no electricity, limited lances to make snow that relied on generators and if one needed cell signal your best bet was to venture to the top of Mahlasela Pass. 

Bringing us to 2020, Afriski now boasts multiple slopes, world class snow making equipment and facilities, a wide range of summer activities and a destination that welcomes over 15 000 people a year. 

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Re-positioning the resort into an all-year round mountain destination, called for a brand audit and the decision to re-design the Afriski Mountain Resort brand. The re-branding exercise ties in with the businesses’ 20-year anniversary and “aims to shed light on the evolving world-wide trend of expanding the mountain experience way beyond just snow,” explains Director Peter Peyper. 

Afriski now boasts a full range of ways to play in the mountains, with activities that include mountain biking, trail running, hiking, fly fishing and enduro biking. Another area growing in popularity is high altitude training and a new activity called the Zipsail. This activity combines a shorter 600m zip line with an abseil of 70m, from a suspension station located on the cable in the air, above the resort.

Afriski is a Southern African treasure, so it was important for us to build on the existing energy and enthusiasm of the brand and repackage it for a market that appreciates responsible, proudly African businesses. We looked to the local Basotho culture for inspiration and the result is a colourful representation of the vibrant people and breath taking landscape of this impressive Mountain Kingdom. The brand now enjoys a warmer and more inclusive colour palette applied generously together with strong, bold type and vibrant, rhythmic lines that mimic the easy roll of the mountains. This new brand looks and feels just like a holiday. 

“The Basotho blankets helped inspire a wide colour palette for the new brand, the mountains were captured through line work and photography. Their attitude was captured in the brand’s bold confidence.” Vasthi Strydom, Thought Capital advertising agency, Johannesburg. 

Underlying the new brand is the consolidation of Afriski shareholding under a Lesotho public company, Jala Investment Holding, ownership umbrella. This structure encourages investment from Basotho residents to create a diverse and balanced ownership structure.

“It also offers a platform for diversification and investment into other fields such as renewable energy, land sale and property development, as well as upliftment through education as witnessed by the Eagle Hub learning facility,” says Peyper.

The resort is open and local Lesotho guests have enjoyed very good snow this season, while South African guests wait in anticipation for the borders to reopen. 

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