Maseru – Sixteen counties will gather in Lesotho this week until April 10 for the first-ever Expedition Africa tourism event in the country, that will also be marking 10 years anniversary since it was first launched.
During the event 38 participating teams will compete in activities such hiking, abseiling, horse riding, paddle boating and cycling. Participating countries include United Kingdom, United States of America, Norway, Estonia, Brazil, India, Reunion Island, Ireland, France, Portugal, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark, with South Africa and Lesotho being the only countries from the African continent.
With its mandate to facilitate broad participation of the private sector and communities in promoting Lesotho as a tourism destination of choice, Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) in partnership with a South Africa-based marketing and events company, Kinetic Events, has partnered to organise the 500km Expedition Africa Lesotho 2022.
This adventurous event which has the potential to promote and market Lesotho to the world as the destination of choice for touring, is not only a sporting event but also a tourism event as the race runs through places of attraction in the mountain kingdom.
LTDC’s head of strategic marketing, Tebello Thola, said this event was supposed to have happened in 2020 but was rescheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thola said this event serves the corporation’s mandate to draw in tourists to visit Lesotho so as to grow the economy.
“At LTDC we create awareness and encourage and invite tourists to visit our country because when they do visit in large numbers they leave money in the country as they spend. Every cent tourists leave in our country contributes positively on our economy. For example, it creates jobs, alleviates poverty and contribute to the economic growth, hence we need tourists,” Thola said.
Thola said this kind of event has previously been hosted by Kinetic Events in countries such as Eswatini, South Africa, Mauritius, United Kingdom, India and more hence LTDC found it befitting to partner with the organisers as they are already experienced to host the event.
Expedition Africa Director Heidi Muller said she is excited for the event to finally be hosted in Lesotho. Muller, who has visited Lesotho with her family before, said she is thrilled to come and experience the eye-catching scenery of the mountainous Lesotho again.
She explained that Expedition Africa is an adventure tourism that creates positive energy for adventure lovers across the world. Muller said among the activities there will be an indigenous donkey racing activity in Semonkong that has been sponsored by Alliance Insurance, while Vodacom Lesotho (VCL) is the network sponsor of the event and Leseli Tours has prepared all the necessary travel arrangements for the tourists.
“To give back to Basotho, our trophies for this event will be Mokorotlo hats and no medals have been brought in from elsewhere. We thank Maluti beer for supporting the event,” said Muller who also mentioned that Afriski is the host resort for all guests who arrive on March 31. She further noted that cars which will be used during this prestigious event are only Basotho-owned and none of the tourists are bringing a car from outside Lesotho.
Muller said Expedition Africa was invented in 2011 and this year marks the 10th anniversary but due to Covid-19 pandemic across the world, activities were put on hold for 2020 and 2021 therefore resuming only now in 2022 for the 10th anniversary hosted in Lesotho. The highlight of the ceremony of this adventurous event will be in Semonkong this Sunday April 3 and will be grace by Queen Masenate Bereng Seeiso, the principal chief of Matsieng, Seeiso Bereng Seeiso and minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture.