Hundreds of adrenaline junkies and motorsports enthusiasts descended on the recent 2017 Roof of Africa race, not only one of the hardest but also one of the oldest off-road motorcycle races in the world.
On the foot of Maloti Mountains, bikers navigated the the grueling terrain and unbearable weather conditions making the three-day event fun-filled and unforgettable.
The race saw riders pass through sand roads, rocky footpaths over vertiginous mountain terrain, as well as racing at 2700 metres above sea level.
The ice-cold weather could not scare off motorsport lovers from the Lesotho popularly known as the Kingdom of Mountains as well those from outside the country who wrapped themselves in blankets just to follow the epic race.
“It was a very good race and time trial was well organised, markings were superb...so i couldn't actually fault anything today,” said Rebecca James, rider.
Others were not happy with the weather but acknowledged its significance.
"I'm not really familiar with this type of weather, it’s a bit of a shock..so.., but, yeah...we are here for an adventure," said a rider.
Despite the success of the event, Lesotho Prince Bereng Seeiso said that local small business suffered highlighting that locals have to be sensitized about the economic benefits of the rally.
“Often times because they don’t appreciate whats going on, a sign would be put saying turn left, they turn it upside down - turn right. We've had some fatalities not understanding what's happening. But the herdboys, cause they know the terrain, they know the local environment, they could be our prime and in a core team, in showing how and which routes to take,” he said.
Prince Seeiso said that the riders should do all their pre-race activities in Lesotho to learn and experience the Basotho culture.
“They need to start re-fuelling in Lesotho, eating Lesotho food, so that they can feel the warmth, the hospitality, the culture and heritage of Basotho,” said Seeiso.
Every year, thousands of participants take part in the race whether as riders, fans or local business people. The event injects millions of cash into the economy through tourists who come for sightseeing in the spectacular landscapes of the country.
The race has been running since 1967 and has grown in stature over the years.