Every week I climb on to this soap box and wax lyrical about this, that and the next thing. I have no idea who reads this, save for my parents, beautiful fiancée and a few mates who humour me. For that matter, I’m still to figure out why anybody would read the views of a failed under-thirty millionaire, who’s trying to recreate himself in to a millionaire under forty. Is that a clock I hear tick tock-ing away?
That said, like one of my heroes Bantu Steven Biko, I write, what I like. Oftentimes my writing is spurred on by life experiences, other times it is simply some musings that I haven’t managed to share on my daily radio show. Either way, I appreciate every eyeball that finds itself trained on to this column. Especially those that train their eyes on this for the second and third time.
I managed to do some cross country travelling this week. I was once again reminded of the wondrous splendour that is the country, and countryside here in the Mountain Kingdom. This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world. When people proudly proclaim this about whatever part of the country they emanate from, you have to believe them.
Yesterday, as I enjoyed my breakfast, the backdrop of the mountains made that breakfast that much more enjoyable. The crisp mountain air really allowed this column to bleed out on to this page beautifully.
I did my aforementioned radio show live from my room in the BnB I was staying at. It was the first time I had ever broadcasted outside of Maseru. That was exhilarating on its own, the fact that it was in the part of the world my people emanate from was the cherry on the proverbial cake. That’s not the point of this column though. The point is to hammer home, the importance of unlocking the potential of the tourism economy of Ntate Motlotlehi’s Kingdom. There is much that must be done.
The first thing I would like the reader to know, is that the champagne air up there is worth its weight in gold. As I said, I stood outside early in the day and enjoyed the fresh mountain air and listened to my thoughts. It was as though I had unlocked some kind of deeper meaning. Unfortunately, we didn’t get all the way out to Sehlabathebe national park, but I have made a commitment to get out there before this year ends.
The last time I was there was twenty years ago, and as under developed as it was then, you could see what was coming was to be easy on the eye.
I am talking about Qacha’s Nek as it’s where I come from, but really there are many splendid parts of the world that need our attention in terms of tourism focus. We passed by Semonkong and its wondrous ‘Maletsunyane Falls.
I’m aware of the annual braai festival that is held there with the very aim to promote travel and tourism to that part. Sadly, Covid and its new reality halted that initiative last year, but I believe the tourism centre is just about completed if it isn’t already. That should stimulate the tourism economy somewhat. Abseiling, pony trekking and the opportunity for some fresh Mountain air once again make this worthwhile. Mokhotlong boasts the popular AfriSki resort where folks can go skiing and enjoy an overseas style holiday right in our own backyard. On the opposite side of the country is my favourite lodge Ha Lejone where one can equalise and enjoy some genuine tranquility. While there, it only makes sense to get up and have a look at one of the great feats of engineering ingenuity in the Katse dam project.
There are a number of these locations that those of us interested in enjoying the sheer magnificence of the country ought to get out to. Our government and the operators need to come together to find a way where we can make travel and tourism in this country not “the next big thing” but in fact thee big thing! We need affordable rates for local tourists to enjoy. This long weekend coming up should see us flocking to tourist hotspots, all Covid protocols observed naturally. We should be talking about going to recharge, and refresh at some of these outrageously beautiful spots.
Even local road trips can be fun. There’s plenty of opportunity for picturesque spots to stop and enjoy a photoshoot and even picnic. Let’s do it! Let’s stimulate tourism in this little pearl of ours. Visit Lesotho guys. It’s not just a hashtag.