South Africa and Lesotho

I was in South Africa and Lesotho between the 28 of December 2018 and 27 March 2019. The information and prices were correct at the time of writing

For daily distances and a brief description of each day follow this link

All prices are in South Africa and Lesotho are in rand  except when the charge was in USD.

When I was there the exchange rate was as follows:

1 GBP = 18. 57 ZAR
1 USD = 14. 38 ZAR
1 EUR = 16. 04 ZAR

I got my visa on arrival at both THE South Africa and Lesotho borders.

Spanish passport holders get free entry visa into both countries

Entering the countries
Entering the country was quick and very straight forward.

I had no problem finding ATMs in South Africa but the banks charged 50 ZAR per transaction so I mostly used my credit cards, most places accept both Visa and Mastercard.

South Africa SIM card
I got Vodacom. Straight forward at one of their offices. You need to take your passport I didn’t get a SIM for Lesotho.

Food and drink
In South Africa there are a whole selection of supermarkets where you can find pretty much everything. What you can’t find is stalls by the side of the road selling produce.

In Lesotho I took what I needed and at the Sani Pass I eat at the lodge.

There is drinking water pretty much anywhere where there is people. I didn’t buy any drinking water or used my filters.

On the Road
I found South Africa es Lesotho roads to be generally OK. In South Africa drivers and are not really cyclist aware, they drive very fast and you need to be prepared to leave the road. Some main roads had good shoulders.

Personal SafetyP
Please note what follows is the personal experience of one individual and it does not intend to provide any authoritative account with regards to safety in the coutry or account to recommendation to travel there. We are all different, our attitude to risk and our perception of safety is different too.

Always check your government’s travel advice for both countries before making your decision.

As a solo older female I was warned not to cycle in South Africa and I adjusted my behaviour (see blog post). Generally I felt safe and warmly welcomed everywhere.

Zeerust – Tracy’s Guesthouse Nice room -AC -fridge – kettle 400 for a double room – nice food

Swartruggens – Marlotti Guesthouse 450 for a double room. AC -kettle -bath with loads of hot water. Nice food

Rustenburg – Warmshowers

Magaliesburg – Lover’s Rock Nice campsite – grass -water taps and power points – no WIFI -100 pensioner rate -a bit noisy as it is by the road.

Carletonville – Beautiful guesthouse. A xmas present to myself!

Parys – Umfula Resort – Lovely campsite by the river Vaal. Quite busy but if you move towatds the end pitches 37-38 I was on my own watching birds and huge monitor lizards. Nice blutions with powerful showers with hot water. Drinking water taps and power points in the pitches. They let me stay for free.

Kroonstad – Local People High School hostel – Arranged by friends

Senekal – Oberammergau – Lovely grass to pitch your tent and great bathrooms. Lots of power points and drinking water but no WIFI. 120 PPPN

Bethlehem – Leonie & Alwyn They run a beautiful self catering apartment called Be Blessed that can be found in Booking. Com. Alwyn is a keen MTB rider and has all the tools you can imagine to work on the bike and a bike stand

Clarens – Local People

Caledonspoort (Lesotho) border – Camelroc Really comfortable chalets fully equiped. Powerful shower with lashes of hot water. The owner allowed me to stay gor free. No WIFI. Stunning location and right on the border.

Lephofung Cave – Lephofung Cave 100pppn + 150 site fee.They waved the camping fee.They also have chalets and a dorm. Communal kitchen with micro and kettle but no cooker and no running water but there is a huge tank with drinking water. African shower with warm water (with the kettle). I loved the visit to the cave with some really interesting prehistoric paintings

Oxbow – New Oxbow Lodge 300 for a double room. Kettle and Ensuite – lots of hot water – no WIFI ad electricity only from. 5 to 10pm. They let me use the kitchen to cook my own meal. Camping also available 85pppn

Letseng – Letseng Police Station They let me ‘camp’ inside one of their buildings. Toilet and drinking water

Ha Mojakisane – Chief James compound – A lovely spot. Quiet village and very friendly chief. Water is only switched on for a few hours in the evening. Nice clean toilet

Sani Pass – Sani pass Backpackers 225 for a bed in a 6 bed dorm. The kitchen and shower and toilets are in another adjacent building. Lots of hot water and fully equiped kitchen but the place is in need of TLC

Underberg – Warmshowers

Kokstad – Mount Currie Nature Reserve Nice campsite by the dam. Bucks and Guinea Foul walk around. Very quiet when I was there. Powerful showers with hot water. Power points and drinking water. 70 pppn

Chintsa – Buccaneers Lodge and Backpackers – 210 pppn for a dorm bed. WIFI and shared kitchen.  Great location by a beautiful beach. If you are self-catering you need to bring everything. There is a small shop in Chintsa but I didn’t explore it.

East London – Warmshowers

Kidd’s Beach – Guesthouse Ocean View  – 300  for a self catering chalet with a double bed and a sofa. There is a nice supermarket 300 mt down the road as you leave the R72. They’re in Airbnb but it was 100 cheaper booking directly. Beautiful views of the sea.

Begha – Guesthouse Cockle Inn – 500 for a double room with the most stunning view including dinner and breakfast. Great hosts

Port Alfred – Hostel Wanderlust – 180pppn in a dorm – 4th night and Sunday Bfast free – a really chilled place near the shops – great common kitchen.

Kenton on Sea -Hostel Woodlands Cottages and Backpackers – 200pppn in the dorm. You need to phone the number in the board to be able to access the premises. Big self catering kitchen – WIFI – Hot water – set in lovely grounds

Alexandria – Woody Cape – 90pppn – The toilet and showers in the campsite were filthy and covered in rat droppings but there were clean showers and toilets in the reception block. Also I used the staff kitchen because the Backpackers kitchen was very dirty. Incredible location amongst dunes and the beach was stunning

R72 –   They were full but let me camp in their garden. 160 pppn inc dinner and bfast. A really nice family with lovely children and lively dogs.

Blue Water Bay – The Bay Inn 300 for a double room. Fabulous guesthouse. Best to contact them directly. Fast WIFI

Port Elizabeth – Warmshowers

Thornhill – Owls Nest – 300pppn for ahouse in the grounds sleeping 4 people. Not good value for money. The cooker gave you electric shocks and they warned us about the dogs let out at night.

Jeffrey Bay – Hostel Jeffrey’s Backpackers 150 pppn Very friendly. Fully equipped kitchen. WiFi. Relatively close to shops

St Francis Bay – St Francis Bay Backpackers 180 pppn. Very nice Backpackers. Fully equipped kitchen. WiFi. Close to shops

Tsitsikama Faith B&B – Tsitsikama Faith B&B 120 pppn. Basic room – no WIFI – Acces to the kitchen

Bouklans Bridge – Tsitsikama Khoisan Village – 253 pppn in a chalet sleeping 4. No WIFI. Fully equiped kitchen. Very comfortable stunning location. Camping available

Knysna – Warmshowers

Wilderness – Beach House Backpackers 130 pppn for camping. Lively place. Relaxed and friendly. WIFI. Communal kitchen.

Swellendan – 200 pppn for camping in grass. WIFI, basic outdoor kitchen.

Bredasdorp – Jack’s Place – 816 – house sleeps 7 people. Nice location away from the road. Fully equipped kitchen. Good WIFI

Struisbaai – Aghulas Backpackers 180 pppn. Relaxed and friendly. Fully equipped kitchen. Good WIFI

Elim – Elim Guesthouse – 220pppn en suite, no WIFI, fully equipped kitchen. Spacious rooms in a traditional thatched village house.

Gansbaai – Gansbaai Backpackers 200pppn fully equipped kitchen and WIF. Shops nearby

Hermanus – Local People Stayed with friends

Betty’s Bay – Jack’s 600 for three people. Spacious en suite room, WiFi.

Stellenbosch – Stumble Inn Backpackers 220pppn in dorm. Kitchen and WIFI

Cape Town – Awesome 150pppn in dorm WIFI. Hot water 9am to 11am only – kitchen

Nr Atlantis – Municipal Campsite Busy campsite 148 for the pitch -nice showers – the manager kept my bike locked up in her garage overnight – no WIFI

Dwarkersboos – Municipal Campsite They asked for over 200 bu let me stay for free. Nice showers. No WIFI -felt very safe

Eland Bay – Eland Hotel Basic. Asked 200 negotiated to 170. Kitchen and WiFi only in the main hotel. They have a campsite but for on person is more expensive. The municipal campsite is next door but has no gate and didn’t feel safe with the bike

Clanwilliams – Daisy Cottage 400 -sleeps 4. Fully fitted. Fast Internet.

Nr Klawer – Nama Bike Camp Super friendly owner. When I was there they had a policy of letting cyclists camp for free. They let me use their kitchen. Lovely dogs too!!!

Vanhynsdorp – Vanhynsdorp Caravan Site Campsite on gravel – nice hot  showers – no WIFI – asked for 120pppn but left it t 50pppn – bar ad restaurant on site

Nuwerus – Hardeveld Lodge Campsite on grass -120pppn negotiated to 100pppn – very clean showers – campers kitchen – great common dinning room and sitting room.

Garies – Sophia Guesthouse A beautiful, comfortable place. They also have a camping place specially for cyclists 150pppn with kitchen, hot water and a covered spot for the tent. For rates

Kamieskroon – Camping Edelweiss 70pppn in the ‘tree house’ Herwig Nuss, the owner was very friendly. Water only at certain times but Herwig was very helpful. Hot water I shower – no wifi

Springbok – Spingbok Caravan Park 110pppn -Hot water and electricity -no WIFI -Camping on grass with trees for shade. Clean toilets and showers – Far from town so bring what you need for self catering

Steinkopf – 100 for a double room with ensuite – hot water -simple but clean and comfortable. Letitia the landlady is really friendly.

Vioolsdrift – Viooldrift Lodge 200pppn reduced from 250. Nice campsite right on the border. Pitches on grass