Roof of Africa Rally adds speed to Lesotho tourism industry
Every year Lesotho welcomes motorbike enthusiasts from around the country and the world as they head to the country to participate in or support the Roof of Africa Rally.
According to the race’s officials, more than 300 entries were registered for Gold, Silver and Bronze categories all combined. The 2015 routes were a bit shorter but with more extreme sections for all categories to maintain its status as the “Mother of Hard Enduro”. This was done by adding sections such as the Moleko’s Pass, Thabang’s Road to Hell and DowntownX2 as part of the routes. The start and finish point was at Ha Patrick to allow more visitors the opportunity to get more spectacular sights of what the race has to offer.
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Events such as this create a buoyant economic environment; generate jobs in the tourism industry and other peripheral industries while they also contribute to sustainability in businesses.
The event, as the world’s toughest off-road endurance event attracts the best Eduro competitors. In 2015 it was graced by the likes of; Kenny Gilbert, Altus De Wet, Hanco Botha, Jade Gudzeit, Travis Teasdale, Graham Jarvis to mention few from United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Estonia, Italy, Scotland, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. Local riders were also represented by young riders like Basia Maseatile.
The winner of the 2015 Roof of Africa is Graham Jarvis who ended the three-day event 20 minutes ahead of Wade Young (2nd) and Brett Swanepoel (3rd). Jarvis made a conservative start on day one at the round the houses time trial by appearing in 6th position.
Rumour has it that, he knew that, two long tough days of the competition still lay ahead so he was still getting ready and warming up. When asked about his opinion about the race and his participation, one local participant; Mr Basia Maseatile said, “I consider this as one of the toughest contests. It was the first time competing in this race; I couldn’t finish the 3rd lap of the race because the bike broke down but I am very proud to have participated and represented Lesotho in this renowned competition.”
The Roof of Africa is seen from the tourism perspective as the gateway to Lesotho, so those international and local visitors also got to experience and explore attractions around the routes as well as other parts of Lesotho.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ROOF OF AFRICA aka ‘MOTHER OF HARD ENDURO’
- It is unusual in that, spectator assistance is a reality, and is encouraged as long as it is not premeditated. The truth is the course is tough and few finish it without the help from bystanders.
- The Roof is an extreme endurance, gruelling all times and takes massive a physical toll on you, but you don’t have to be the greatest rider in the world to get around. You just need to be really fit to do it at any pace.
- The Mother of Hard Enduro is regarded by Basotho as the draught-breaker; thanks to its habit of bringing the summer rains.