Riding High On Sky – A Mountain Pass Adventure through Lesotho and South Africa

Mountains seem to hold a special fascination for South Africa’s well-known explorer and Land Rover ambassador Kingsley Holgate and his expedition crew.  In 2016, they took 10 historic Land Rover Series 1s dating back to 1949 rattling and roaring through the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho, which has the highest average altitude of any country on Earth, in tribute to the end of the Defender range as we knew it then.

Two years later, Kingsley, his equally adventurous son Ross and their team completed a 17,000-kilometre transcontinental expedition from Cape Town to Kathmandu. This included traversing the high-altitude, snow-bound passes of Georgia’s Caucuses on the border with Russia, following ancient Silk Routes through the mountains of Armenia in temperatures way below zero, the famed Kyber Pass and Karakoram Highway in Pakistan’s Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountain ranges and finally, the Himalayas of Nepal – a world-first journey for the new Land Rover Discovery.

At the beginning of this year and BC (‘Before Covid’), the Greybeard of African adventure was at it again, this time in our own backyard, with a goal of completing 100 of southern Africa’s toughest and highest mountain passes in just 30 days. Called ‘Riding High on Sky’, it was an adrenaline-filled journey that had never been attempted before.

Kingsley takes up the story here