Mink Machine

Looking for dragons in Lesotho

Even though I released a book earlier this year called Here Be No Dragons, I must confess that I do enjoy a good dragon or two. So I found myself going up the steep dirt road in Sani Pass in a jeep to look for them.

The road was not for the faint of heart. After an hour I felt like being stuck inside a drink shaker. The 4×4 jeep was pushed to its limits but continued stoically onward through an endless number of hairpin turns of rock and gravel. Some of the sharp turns even have names, such as Devil’s Corner, Suicide Bend and Hairpin Bend. We stopped on a plateau about half-way up to have a sip of Bells whisky, according to the local tradition.

At the top of the pass we crossed into Lesotho, one of those tiny countries that many people have never heard of. The entire country lies entirely above 1000 meters in elevation, making it the world’s highest-altitude nation.

Drakensberg Driving through Sani Pass to Drakensberg.

Only two of the roads leading into the country are made of concrete, fortunately we are driving on one of them.

The surrounding mountain range aptly named Drakensberg (Dragon’s Mountain) is said to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien himself in his descriptions of Middle Earth, so what better place to look for dragons than this?


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