The Historical Moshoeshoe Walk - a fulfilling experience
The 10th Annual Historical Moshoeshoe Walk was held on the 10th to 12th March 2016. According to the walk’s Official, slightly more than 600 hundred participants from Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe took part in this historical undertaking in honour of the late Moshoeshoe I, the founder of Basotho nation.
Before leaving Menkhoaneng, the walk was officiated by the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture; Mrs Likeleli Tampane whom while officiating the walk at Menkhoaneng indicated that, plans are underway for the walk to start at Botha Bothe, the place where Moshoeshoe I lived.
On day 1 the 31.9km walk began at the relics (Lithakong) of Moshoeshoe I in Menkhoaneng village where the visitors were welcomed by the villagers and the walk officially started. The day ended with traditional perfomances at Outward bound where participants had a night rest in preparation for the 54km journey on day two to Malimong village.
Malimong is home to Morena Moshoeshoe’s grandfather, Peete, where his collar bones were found. Peete was preyed upon by the cannibals at this place. According to the participants, this is the most challenging day as the walk traverses through the valleys and the rough terrain in the mountains. To complete this day, one needs to be prepared mentally and physically.
The 31km lap on day three marks the end of the whole walk, and ends at the final destination Thaba-Bosiu. Upon arrival at Thaba-Bosiu participants were welcomed by Government officials and representatives from the supporting agencies, after which participants departed to their respective homes.
The 117 kilometres expedition signifies and commemorates the exodus King Moshoeshoe I took with his followers in 1824 when he left Menkhoaneng, where he was born and travelled to Thaba Bosiu fortress where he took refuge and established Basotho Nation. King Moshoeshoe I was born in Menkhoaneng and at 34; he formed his own clan and became a chief. He was a cunning and powerful leader who also united the Basotho, in Lesotho. He established his village at Butha-Buthe, where his settlement and reign coincided with the growth in power of the well-known Zulu King.
The historical walk has been successfully organized since 2007 and is organized by T-Connexion under the leadership of Mr. Thabo Maretlane. According to Mr. Maretlane, the primary objective of the walk is to revive the spirit of unity amongst Basotho as it is embodied in the legacy left by its founder by Moshoeshoe I. The walk is organized in such a way that it has both the rudiments of adventure and education. During the walk, narrations on history behind places passed are given.
In an interview with the participants in this trip, Mr. Selimo Mona indicated that, although it was very tough, it was a “excellent experience”. “It was really beautiful and yet challenging especially the second day where one feels like giving up, traversing deep in the dongas and the rivers was such a fulfilling experience”. The colourful flags of different countries as waved with elation and pride by the participants from the respective countries was true testimony to the fact that tourism links cultures and nations.
The 2016 edition of the Annual Moshoeshoe Walk was graced by the participation of Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Bereng Seeiso. Her Majesty’s participation was two-fold. Firstly, this year marks the 40th birthday of Her Majesty and to celebrate this milestone she decided to take part in this 117km walk. Secondly, her participation was part of her efforts to raise funds for her charity programmes – particularly the Queen’s National Trust Fund.