Adrenaline On Tap
Tucked away in the rugged hills of the vast Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is a playground for those that seek unadulterated adrenaline all year round.
Situated at 3,222 m above sea level, high in the heart of the Drakensbergmaluti Mountains, Afriski Mountain Resort is the perfect place for those who have adventurous souls and want to be surrounded by unmatched natural beauty.
My unquenchable thirst for adventure led me to this mountainous playground for some mid-year skiing. There is an almost European vibe to Afriski, with guides and instructors from across the globe who make the annual pilgrimage to Lesotho in Winter or Summer to share their expertise with guests. However, there is the unmistakeable sense of Africa from the rugged landscapes, vast open skies, and warmth of the local Basotho people.
Summer (September – May)
Summer begins in September when the chill starts to subside and the snow stops falling on the Drakensberg-maluti Mountains. Afriski, fully-equipped with mountain slopes built for snow activities, is the perfect playground for a variety of activities to get the heart pumping.
In Summer, the area becomes a hub for mountain biking, guided Enduro motorbike trips, trail running, 4×4-ing, paintball, hiking, fishing, abseiling, and more. Utilising the Winter facilities, Afriski has the only T-bar lift in Africa with five exhilarating downhill mountain bike tracks as well as the Kapoko Park which offers bikers an array of thrilling obstacles and ramps.
Training at high altitudes is another draw card in Summer, with the remote trails, cross country courses, and marathon distance routes attracting avid sportspeople from all over the world.
Winter (June – August)
Afriski thrives during Winter, with hordes of people travelling from near and far to enjoy the plethora of snow activities on offer.
Since the introduction of world-class, modern snow making facilities and lifts in 2004, Afriski operates much like that of a European ski village and offers phenomenal skiing and snowboarding. Whether you are a complete novice or seasoned professional, fun is guaranteed. Providing all the components for a great ski holiday like ski equipment, snow passes, ski school, and more, the
Since the introduction of world-class, modern snow making facilities and lifts in 2004, Afriski operates much like that of a European ski village and offers phenomenal skiing and snowboarding.
resort has made a name for itself around the world.
Skiing and snowboarding are, of course, the biggest draw cards and the top-of-the-range snowmaking machines ensure that the slopes are in top condition all Winter.
The Ski School has all the expertise necessary to help you learn and improve your skills on the snow with local and international instructors imparting their wisdom and enabling you to master the latest styles. Kids can also discover the fun under the close supervision of a team of dedicated staff at the Pudi Kids Club, which means, while you hit the slopes, they will be safe and entertained all day long.
For the more advanced skiers and snowboarders, the Kapoko Snow Park offers a variety of adrenaline pumping obstacles like rails, jumps, and fun boxes, which provide endless entertainment and can help you hone your skills.
Other fun activities for the whole family to enjoy include bumboarding and tubing, which are a little like sledding – a great way to spend the day having care-free fun.
Stay and Dine
Afriski has accommodation options ranging from simple backpacker style accommodation and the more upmarket lodge options, to beautiful wooden mountain chalets and contemporary apartments. All options are a stone’s throw away from the facilities and restaurants, and are equipped with everything you need to make your stay in Winter or Summer as comfortable as possible.
When hunger strikes, Sky (known as the highest restaurant in Africa) serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and provides for all tastes with burgers and pizzas (these are made in a traditional pizza oven and are a real treat!) as well as more traditional fare. Offering striking views of the slopes and mountains, Sky is the perfect spot to start the day or unwind in a relaxed, friendly environment.
Gondola Café and Après Ski Bar is located closer to the slopes and serves drinks throughout the day as well as lighter meal options like pastries, sandwiches, and muffins. The wood-clad café has an expansive deck from which to watch others take on the slopes. At night, the café transforms and offers the ultimate European Après Ski experience on the roof of Africa with DJS and live bands, as well as Foosball and other games. One particular game that Afriski is renowned for is “upside downers” – an attempt to break the existing record by drinking shots while hanging upside down from a snowboard attached to the roof.
How to Get There
Despite feeling as though you are on the edge of the world, Afriski is only 80 km from the South African border. Driving from Durban, one would enter via the world-famous Sani Pass (which is an adventure in itself). Those coming from Johannesburg only need to drive around four and a half hours via the Moteng and Mahlasela passes. The roads are good in Lesotho, but it is advisable to always check in with the resort as weather conditions can make driving a bit tricky – especially in the Winter months when the snow falls.
After experiencing the magic firsthand, it is no wonder Afriski Mountain Resort has firmly established itself as a top destination in southern Africa. After only two nights there, I felt as though I was saying goodbye to family. During a day on the slopes, it is impossible to not make friends, and at night, revelry is abundant at the Gondola Café where the staff go out of their way to host shows, quiz nights, and all kinds of fun activities for guests to enjoy. Afriski truly is a special place, and if it is not on your bucket list, it should be.
For more info, visit www.afriski.net.