South Africa
Part 2: Seeking the Source of the Orange-Senque River
Posted by Bridget Ringdahl on 15 September 2016
Bridget and Julia at the source of the Orange; The lone and brave Basotho herder we met en route; Stunning views all round.
Bridget and Julia at the source of the Orange; The lone and brave Basotho herder we met en route; Stunning views all round.

Over the next days we covered around 20 km daily across the impressive landscapes of the Northern berg. Apart from one Basotho shepherd we saw nobody else and had the whole of this extraordinary UNESCO site all to ourselves. Our main concern was always water, as Carlos, who has done over 100 hikes in the berg, noted that he has never seen this mountain range looking drier and he expressed concern over water availability during the course of the hike. Fortunately all the streams that he was familiar with had at least a small trickle which we could use to refill our bottles.

On our 4th day we came across the source of the amazing Orange-Senque river that eventually exits into the Atlantic ocean some 1500km later at Alexander bay.  The river rises from a depression on the escarpment forming grassy wetland that then flows back into Lesotho and down into South Africa. While water was flowing it was much less than normal.  Nothing like getting out there to realise how important this beautiful mountain catchment is for our country and to get another wake-up call about the severity of our water crisis.




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