General Info and Description of event.
*** This get together is planned to be held at Sani Top Lodge on 9 March @ 18h30. To log the event you need to be there at the pub between 18h00 and 19h00. ***
The main gathering will be at the pub. This pub is the highest in Africa; a new meaning to the words "getting high" . At this height the Gluhwein does taste better. Drivers please stay away from any alcohol. We are planning to stay over on Friday and Saturday. This is not compulsory neither prescribed to log this event cache. As a bonus or as an addition to this event there are several geocaches in this area. For the more adventurous cachers or the ones that want to attend that do not have access to a 4x4 could make use of the 4x4 taxis and pay their fee for a trip up and down the pass. I am not sure of the going rate. If there are any open spaces in a vehicle please communicate this to the cachers via a note. During this event we will discuss the hiking route and event planning for the next day as a secondary objective. Please go to bed early if you are joining us for the hiking trip, you will need it.
How to get there:
Closest access road is from Himeville. From Himeville the next stop will be the South African Border Post, which is at 1967 meters ASL. Here you will have to complete the necessary formalities. You will then enter 8 km of "no man's land" and you will negotiate several hairpin turns with grim names such as Suicide Corner, Grays Corner, Icy Corner and Reverse Corner. If I remember correctly then there are 22 of them. Some of the sections are at a 30% gradient. From the RSA border post you will do the climb up Sani Pass to about 2874 meters. Here you will have ample opportunities to appreciate the beauty of the mountains and the scenery is extremely pleasant. Please keep in mind that this is subject to weather conditions and mist could spoil your view. The Lesotho border control point is on your left as you get to the top.
Some border formalities and requirements for entry:
· Make sure that your passport is valid.
· Most citizens, including North Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, British, Southern Africans and most Europeans can get a free permit upon entry, usually valid for 30 days. Your passport should be valid for another 6 months after leaving. Note that things regarding visas might change over time and that certain nationalities do need a visa. It is best to check the nearest embassy or consulate.
· A new requirement is that you have to provide proof of insurance for the vehicle. If you are not the owner of the vehicle then written permission from the owner must be obtained. Make sure you have your original registration paper with you if you are the owner. They can request this documentation at the border or at a roadblock.
· Only 4x4's are allowed and low range is essential.
· Border gate opens at 08h00 and will close at 16h00.
· Please note that raw meat is not allowed into Lesotho and you will have to forfeit the barbeque. Sani Top does have something on the menu for the stomach and you will be responsible for your own account with regards to food and drinks.
· No animals/pets are allowed.
· Road fees payable in Lesotho are in the region of about R10 per day.
· Slow down when you encounter any animal or locals.
· Carry apples or some other fruit in case you encounter any locals. Do not hand them sweats.
· Please do not take any photos at the border and/or of any official.
Some off road driving tips:
· The event organizer and his team will be available at the RSA Border Post from 10h00 to 10h30. (DV).
· The vehicle travelling from the bottom to the top has right of way but some people do not understand this rule or choose to ignore it.
· If you park your vehicle at the top make sure that your handbrake is not pulled to the maximum. You could be in for a surprise the next morning after an extreme cold night.
· Make sure that antifreeze is added to the cooling water system at a ratio of 50/50.
· Make sure your battery acid level is correct or you will battle to get it started the next morning.
· Park your vehicle with the front against the building or wall to prevent wind blowing through the radiator and engine.
· If we encounter any snow conditions in the pass or somewhere during our trip try to slow down using the gearbox. It is easy to slide and to lock the wheels if you misuse the brakes. Keep a considerable distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. We will carry two radios, one in the front and one at the back.
· The cache owner will lead from the front. You are responsible for the vehicle behind you at all times. If you cannot see him or he falls behind you will slow down and allow the person behind you to catch up. The driver in front of you is responsible for you again and he will need to slow down.
· Make sure you have sunglasses available. The reflection of the sun on the snow is a problem. (If there is any)
· Make sure that someone in your team has sun block with them.
· If needed make sure that you have enough clothing for layering. Make use of thermal underwear, which will keep you dry and will maintain your body heat temperature. Then wear a T-shirt, then a shirt then a jacket or fleece jacket and then a raincoat to keep any wetness away from you. Don't forget your pants. Make sure that you boots are water resistant and if needed coat them with a fresh layer of polish without polishing. Wear thick socks or make use of special thermal socks. If your feet get wet or cold they will stay cold for the rest of the day. Maybe this will not be needed but be prepared. Also do not forget the blanket for your sleeping bag. More important - under no circumstances should you forget the sleeping bag. I am not planning to share mine.
· Accommodation is at a first come first serving basis. Keep your valuables such as cameras and GPS equipment in the vehicle and out of plain view.
· This is unpredictable at his best. It could be hot, it could rain, it could snow - it could be anything. We will inform the potential attendees of the weather reforecast about 3 days in advance before the event on a daily basis.
Best of all this is a different world with different people and we hope all will enjoy the company, the adventure and the geocaching stories. Good luck.