Borders Exploration Group
Patron: Sir Michael Strang Steel Scottish Charity No:SC034336
The highest country in the world was picked as the first destination of Borders Exploration Group and was an unrivalled success for seventeen Borderers.
The community phase was undertaken in Thaba Khuha a small village outside the capital, Maseru. Here the group picked up shovels and helped build a stretch of road, clearing and digging dhongas (ditches) and building small dams in these dhonghas. Our venturers and leaders worked alongside their Basutho hosts and stayed with them in hutted accommodation. The Basutho we were working with, were participants in the "Price Mahato Trust" an organisation similar to our own Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Having teamed up with their appropriate Basutho host, each venturer then undertook an individual project/study phase eg. traditional medicine; comparative health studies, Veterinary work in Lesotho; local policing, local ceremonies and dental health.
The adventure phase included the Basutho and split into two groups. One group went pony trekking through the beautiful Malutti Mountains, staying in small villages and sleeping on dust floors. The other group walked in the Malutti mountains and slept one night in a cave on a mountain peak.
Two of the group left us to work on an archaelogical survey. The locals were as welcoming as everywhere else, they gave up their own rondival (round hut) for our venturers to stay in. In fact, they had cleaned them out thoroughly and especially laid fresh dung for them to be able to sleep comfortably!!
The whole group joined up again to stay in a Children's village. In reality, an orphanage which is run like a small village with the children not only attending school but also running a small farm. The produce supplies the village, with the excess being sold in the market in Maseru. While there, we graded eggs, cleaned out pig sties, washed carrots etc.
After being entertained at the British Embassy, the Scots said some very sad farewells to the Basutho and travelled into South Africa for a few days in the National parks, a swim in the Indian Ocean near Durban, visits to the Boer War sites and a gold mine.
A hectic few days to round off an excellent Expedition to one of the most beutiful and friendly countries in the world.