Afriski Mountain Resort establishes first Eagle Hub in Lesotho

Afriski Mountain Resort establishes first Eagle Hub in Lesotho

No matter where you find yourself in the world, there are communities in need and organisations and individuals willing to make a difference. It’s seldom you’ll find a coordinated and integrated approach, that allows contributors to feed into the system at the right time, with the right skills set. Lesotho Rise is not only coordinated, it’s scientific in its adoption of Occupational Intelligence (OI) via the A2B Transformation principles, and involves role players from local business, government, donors, to tourists, in its goal to uplift, upskill and recalibrate communities in Lesotho.

The village of Moteng in Lesotho has been earmarked to be forerunner in the establishment of the first satellite Eagle Hub. “The vision of the programme is to move people and communities to positions of dignity and self-reliance,” ends Schultz.

Local Lesotho business Afriski Mountain Resort has invested over R500 000 in the establishment of the first Eagle Hub in Lesotho. The incubation centre teaches children and teenagers critical entrepreneurial skills via the JEEL and SEEL (Junior- and Senior Eagle Entrepreneurial Leadership) programmes. The centre adopts the HOOS (human optimisation operating system) universal change methodology. Tourists are welcome to visit the centre at Whistler camp at the entrance to Afriski Mountain Resort and take part in interactive activities.

The Eagle Hub is registered as an NPO and is a collaboration with Afriski staff and Lesotho Rise on the company board. On the ground, Afriski staff are being multi-skilled and empowered to get involved in the Hub and take the project forward.

In addition to a formal qualification in “Responsive Leadership”, community members at the centre are engaged in a variety of skills development outputs, including sewing masks in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, sewing fitted sheets, making African Happy Pants clothing, baking produce for supply to local business, silkscreen print, and other art skills projects. 


With the establishment of the Eagle Hub at the resort, the aim, together with Lesotho Rise, is to launch satellite Eagle Hubs throughout Lesotho. The Hubs will be venues where the community can learn new skills or advance their existing talents, and “create the footprint which will enable the development of social tourism routes,” explains Vivienne Schultz, changemaker at A2B Transformation and General Manager at Afriski.
Pinotage on Tap

Pinotage on Tap

Pinotage On Tap, or “POT” as it’s fondly become known, started off (15 years ago) as a simple little party on the farm in honour of our fabulous (and famous) Coffee Chocolate Pinotage, (the Original one) produced by the award-winning wine estate, Diemersfontein Wines in Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa. 

The idea was to celebrate the new vintage and involve and spoil the people who enjoyed it. 

Well… never did we imagine what would transpire from that in years to come! POT grew like Jack’s beanstalk – and so did the fans! Today we can proudly say that not only has this event established a reputation and following (second to none) but in 2014, Pinotage On Tap also received the coveted award for the “Best Wine Event in the World” by Drinks International.

From then on it’s only been upward and forward! Every year the festival is held in 4 key locations, namely Durban, Joburg, Cape Town and Clarens.

The nature of the event involves the following criteria – and possibly in this order too: Phenomenal wine, (Pinotage of course) pouring abundantly from the barrel taps (hence the name), mouth-watering food, top-class live music entertainment, fantastic company and the best wine fest experience you can possibly have!

Crank Chaos Afriski

Crank Chaos Afriski

CrankChaos will be hosted at Afriski Mountain Resort from 31 October – 3 November 2019.

Lesotho’s premier snow and mountain resort in the heart of Lesotho is an easy 4.5-hour drive from Johannesburg, 6-hour drive from Durban or 3.5-hour drive from Bloemfontein. Afriski has over 450 beds, ranging from backpacker facilities to luxury chalets. There is plenty of entertainment for the whole family and delicious meals available at the highest restaurant in Africa, Sky Restaurant. The Gondola Café is a unique, high-altitude après-ski bar that serves light meals and warm drinks.

The mountains surrounding Afriski are riddled with mountain bike trails, dams, spectacular views and a ski lift that doubles up as an uplift for mountain bikes, thus giving you access to multiple downhill and enduro trails in only 7 minutes. It’s the ideal venue for any outdoor festival and has successfully hosted both an SA Cup Series and African Continental Mountain Bike Championships, which have attracted over 400 riders from 10 different countries.

The CrankChaos MTB Festival is unique and definitely one for the bucket list. Emulating events like Crankworx and the Colorado Freeride Festival, CrankChaos brings you the very best that mountain biking has to offer.

The event is hosted by Afriski Mountain Resort in the beautiful Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, which at 3 222m above sea level makes it the highest festival of its kind on the African continent.

Once again, CrankChaos will be revolutionising the way MTB enthusiasts interact and engage with the latest gear and equipment in the mountain biking industry. By bringing together the biggest brand names in mountain biking, participants will be able to practically test and rate the tech on show while being able to engage with and ask questions of the respective brands and manufacturers. They can maximise their experience by hooking onto the only Mountain Bike Uplift in Africa which will give them over 200m in vertical gain in under 7 minutes. Once at the top, they can then choose from a myriad of tracks to get down the mountain again, testing the bikes and equipment in their natural environment.

The Festival will offer a variety of fun event options including 5 different downhill lines, enduro, downhill eliminator, dual slalom, whipp off, hillclimb and the strava challenge for the more social riders on its extensive trail network. Add to that the opportunity to test and ride the latest in mountain bike technology, awesome live evening entertainment and the traditional world class Afriski hospitality you can be sure that this is a weekend not to be missed. With only 300 guaranteed spots available you don’t want to miss out. 

5 Free State routes to add to your bucket list


Are you thinking of a South African holiday? Give the Free State a try where you can follow five routes named after popular South African animals and birds; Cheetah Route, Eagle Route, Lion Route, Flamingo Route, and the Springbok Route, which offer a range of attractions that would make your holiday worthwhile.


Free State offers plenty of activities, sightseeing opportunities and cultural experiences. The Cheetah Route offers many adventures. Picture: Cheetah Experience.


Curious about the historical roots of the Free State? Then follow the Cheetah Route, which includes Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu. Its historical, cultural and natural attractions will capture anyone’s imagination.

It is said that the political party ANC and author JRR Tolkien were born in Bloemfontein. Bloemfontein, the provincial and legislative national capital, for instance, offers the Cheetah Experience. The registered non-profit company gives hope to endangered and threatened species including cheetahs, leopards, male lions and a Siberian tiger.

Don’t miss the Free State National Botanical Garden, which has 400 species of plants, 144 bird species, 54 reptile species and about 32 mammal species, nor the Naval Hill Precinct, where the iconic 6.5m tall bronze statue of Nelson Mandela stands, and Loch Logan Waterfront.


The Eagle Route passes through Ladybrand, Clocolan, Ficksburg, Fouriesburg, Clarens, Bethlehem, Phuthaditjhaba, Harrismith and Memel. The route offers some of the most picturesque views in the province.

Be sure to spend a few days in Clarens. Clarens boasts everything from adventure activities, arts and crafts, hiking spots and good food. Places to visit include Clarens Brewery and Golden Gate Highlands National Park.

Ladybrand is a quaint town famous for its Stables, a rock shelter used by the Boers to stable horses during the 1858 Basotho War, and the Cave Church, a hollow sandstone outcrop where Anglican missionaries worshipped.

Clocolan is for explorers. You can fish at Amohela Ho Spitskop dam or enjoy a cherry tour at Ben Nevis Cherry Farm as well as Ionia Cherry Farm. Ficksburg, which is known as the cherry capital of the country, hosts a festival every November.

Phuthaditjhaba gives a glimpse into the area’s culture. A Basotho Cultural Village depicts the lifestyle and habits of the Basotho people during the 17th to 21st century. The Wetsi cave is the famous place where Chief Wetsi of the Makholokoe tribe hid cattle stolen from the Boers.


The Lion Route comprises Deneysville, Sasolburg, Parys, Vredefort and Kroonstad. Situated at the wall of the Vaal Dam, Deneysville is an hour’s drive from Johannesburg.

Deneysville is renowned for watersports and the Deneysville Croc Ranch, with over 2 800 crocodiles. Parys is packed with activities for the entire family. You can interact with the big cats at Dell Cheetah Centre, play a round of golf on Golf Island in the middle of the Vaal River and visit Bon-Af Berry Farm, South Africa’s only black raspberries farm.

The town hosts the annual Free State Madeira Flower Festival that draws travellers from all over the country.

The Vredefort Dome is the world’s largest and oldest known meteorite-impact site. The meteor, believed to have struck Earth two billion years ago, is estimated by scientists to have been 10km in diameter, larger than South Africa’s Table Mountain.

The site is an hour-and-a-half drive from Johannesburg. Visitors can enjoy an array of activities including hiking, horse riding, abseiling and canoeing around Vredefort Dome.


The Flamingo Route includes Bothaville, Welkom, Ventersburg, Virginia, Winburg and Brandfort.

Bothaville is the ideal town to rest and take in nature. The town offers hiking, birdwatching and water sport opportunities. Welkom, established after the discovery of gold in the area in 1947, is famed for the Gold Museum, the Phakisa Freeway Race Track named one of the fastest tracks in the world and mining tours.

Although it’s tiny, there’s plenty to see and do in Ventersburg. Visitors can see the ruins of the Basotho chief Moshoeshoe’s kraal, the Sand River monument and the Willem Pretorius Game Reserve that overlooks the Allemanskraal Dam.

Brandfort was where Nelson Mandela’s former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, spent years under house arrest for terrorism from 1977-1985 and is worth a short visit.


The Springbok Route, which connects the Free State with the Northern Cape, comprises Jacobsdal, Koffiefontein, Jagersfontein, Bethulie, Gariep Dam and Philippolis.

Jacobsdal is part of the Diamond and Wine Route. Diamonds were discovered in the area in 1867 while grapes have been grown since 1972. Indulge in a wine tasting at Landzicht and Wilreza wine cellars in Jacobsdal.

Gariep Dam is home to the province’s largest nature reserve, Gariep Dam Nature Reserve.There are many resorts and activities in the area to entice you to book a holiday.

Enjoying the Joy Dogs

Enjoying the Joy Dogs

Thank you Sue Green. Thank you Jazmine, Thank you Orion, Thank you Yola. You brought us Joy!

We are going to meet the Joy Dogs…

They also visit institutions for the therapeutic and caring aspect that they can bring. They visit physically and mentally challenged people in institutions and aged facilities.

By popular demand they started the wellness division of the JOY dogs in the second half of 2013. This is now their primary focus.

Come to the Artists Cafe between 12:00 and 15:00 and meet celebrities! The Joy Dogs will be there…Yes, Sue Green, who has always had a special interest in dogs and has been involved in dog handling and training for 20 years will be in town, with her pack of Old English Sheepdogs. She has assisted in running support groups together with a psychologist and social worker, focusing on helping people with personality disorders and psychological problems.

Apart from being glamorous movie stars, the Joy Dogs has been serving the educational sector since 2011. It has been their mission to educate learners about responsible pet ownership and safety around dogs.  

Orion is now the new Dulux Dog and features in the advert currently being flighted on TV!

Come and meet them.

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