Southern Times Reporter
Maseru – COVID-19 has kept millions cooped away for more than a year now, but a skiing resort in Lesotho is urging people to enjoy the great outdoors.
Its selling point, apart from the thrill of skiing: Afriski Mountain Resort says the location is remote enough for travellers not to have to worry about crowds.
Afriski director Thabo Lerotholi last week said, “We are detecting that people have an increased appetite to visit more remote locations as these are perceived as being safer, and also to reconnect with Nature after spending long periods of time at home…
“People want to spend more time outdoors, and enjoy quality family time in the fresh air. Whether in winter or summer, that’s exactly what Afriski offers. The same could also be said for Lesotho as a whole. We are also hoping that people who may in the past have travelled to Europe to ski, will now look closer to home when it comes to selecting snow sports destinations.”
Lerotholi also expressed the resort’s satisfaction with efforts being made by the government to support the tourism sector.
“We have … been heartened by the receptiveness of the government to our request to open discussions regarding relief packages and potential recapitalisation for travel and tourism businesses in the country,” Lerotholi said.
“We feel that we have significant expertise to offer and we are available at any time to share our experiences and ideas for the good of Lesotho’s tourism sector and the national economy.”
Lerotholi went on: “Afriski remains committed to delivering superb experiences to our guests, and to leveraging tourist spend to boost the livelihoods of our Basotho team members and contribute to the economic upliftment of our stakeholder communities.
“To encourage more visitors to come to Afriski, we are spreading the message that the mountains of Lesotho are a particularly safe destination, and throwing our support behind government’s vaccination roll-out programme.
“The challenge of COVID-19 has also caused us to address with renewed urgency, the need to ‘sell’ Afriski as a year-round destination which has as much to offer in summer as in winter. Our marketing and social media activities have focused on the fact that Afriski is one of the few mountain resorts situated at the top of the Maluti Drakensberg mountain range, which means that it offers uninterrupted scenic views and a multitude of high-altitude adventure activities.”
With over 65km of well-maintained mountain biking, hiking and running trails, Afriski is a paradise for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors. The resort has added a 600m long zipline to a floating platform with a 70m abseil back to the ground. This is in addition to quad-biking, fishing, hot spring hiking trails and home stays.
“Combined with monster rollers, paintball, quad biking, excellent conferencing facilities and the highest restaurant in Africa, Afriski really does have a lot to offer both leisure and business travellers.”