Afriski And Oxbow Lodge

Afriski And Oxbow Lodge

Oxbow Lodge Bar

On the 25th of July 2008 we left the office with smiles on our face, and adrenaline in our blood. It was time for the annual all Africa skiing trip. We climbed into Karen’s trusty Renault and headed for Lesotho at great speed, after all, speed was what the weekend was all about. Well, that and bruises.

We arrived at Oxbow Lodge in Lesotho at around 20:30 and headed straight for the bar to calm the anxieties. Western’s parent’s had trundled up earlier and greeted us with a bottle of wine in hand. Clearly we were in for a good weekend. After lubing up our bodies for optimum skiing performance we headed for bed…in just 8 hours we would be on the slopes, and in Africa! Can you believe it? Europe eat your heart out.

Finally the very chilly morning arrived and we eagerly ate a hearty breakfast consisting of porridge, cereal, yoghurt, egg, bacon, sausage, toast, etc, etc. For those of you planning a trip I can definitely recommend the lodge. It offers affordable accommodation and a friendly staff, with good breakfasts and dinners which are just what is needed. Afriski is located about 8km away on a good tar road.

The Afriski Slope

Upon arriving at Afriski we rented our equipment (which took about an hour) and then hit the slopes. It was Western’s parents first time on snow and it took them about a day to revert from what can only be described as the question mark stance. But once they got it, they were addicted, as everyone is.

Afriski currently offers one slope of about 700m with a T-bar ski lift. The slope ranges from an easy red at the top, to a green at the bottom. It is well maintained and ever growing with plans of future slopes and more accommodation on site. There is also a tuck shop and restaurant for the hunger pangs which comes from a good day on the slope.

Both days were sunny and offered good skiing conditions. Where else in the world can you ski in a t-shirt (for the brave of course).

As the trip continued the competition heated up…everyone wanted to be fastest to the bottom. As the speed increased, so did the risk, and the adrenaline…

Western King At Speed
Warren Prior Snowboarding

There was also a ramp set up by a few of the local snow boarders which we gave a try. This offered spectators with the “rare” opportunity of seeing us on our asses.

I have to say, Karen had 2 of the most spectacular take-offs, and landings, I’ve ever seen.

Nothing brings a smile to the face like seeing a girl flying through the air horizontal to the ground, and yet somehow landing skis first before sliding down the slope on her back. And yet up she got, and tried it again. Clearly I’ve taught these people well…if you don’t get it the first time, you’re sure to make it the second time. That’s what experience is all about. Sadly this theory doesn’t often work.

Apparently there was also a rail, although all I remember of it is incredible pain on the back of my head. Hmmm…

All in all this was a memorable weekend away and I would recommend it to anyone. I’ll definitely be be back there next year.