PO Box 13158, Hatfield,
Telephone: (86) 1754754
The tiny African kingdom of Lesotho, entirely surrounded by it's larger neighbour, South Africa, opened it's first 'real' ski resort, dubbed Afri-Ski (www.afriski.co.za) in July 2002. The Lesotho Government, in conjunction with Afri-Ski (Pty) Ltd, were part of the development. The resort is nestled in the heart of the Lesotho Highlands and is only four and a half hours' drive by tar road from South Africa's Johannesburg. Those backing the resort believe that apart from job creation for the people of Lesotho, Afri-Ski will be a major boost for local tourism during the Southern African skiing season, which spans from June up until September. The main developer of Afri-Ski, Rocco de Kock from Urban Dynamics, says the exclusive designs will be in harmony with the unspoilt surroundings. The accommodation at Afri-Ski is described as, "exclusive, up market and elegant." Each chalet will have a view of the Drakensberg mountain range. At 3 222 meters above sea level the mountains in the resort area are equal to the highest peaks at Austrian ski areas. Some reports talk of total investment being around $10m and of the development of a high-altitude training centre for Olympic rowers and other athletes at the new resort. In the first season slopeside lodging will not be available but accommodation is available within a 50km (30 mile) radius through partnerships with hotels and other lodging on the South African side of the border. Rocco de Kock says many of the potential buyers are not just interested in the snow during winter time, but also in the activities available in the summer such as hiking trails, trout fishing, horse back riding, 4x4 routes, nature and fauna and flora. Attractions already in place include pony trekking, star gazing, hiking, trout fishing and four-wheel-drive trails.