Beyond Lockdown – Letlamoreng Dam

Around three decades ago, I was joined on a weekend quest into the thorny back-country of #Bophutatswana, then a so-called independent ‘homeland’ or Bantustan. My fellow adventurers were an Australian, a Brit and a Dutchman (and yes, I know it sound like a joke just waiting for a corny punchline).

At the time, Paul Newling, Gijs Labaar, Neil Ingham and I worked with the Anglo American Corporation, based in Klerksdorp, of all places, and the best way to survive mining anti-culture was to get the hell out of Dodge whenever the opportunity presented itself. Which is why we ended up at a shebeen near Mahikeng (then #Mafikeng), paying our Black Label school fees in 750ml installments.

The following morning, we woke in sleeping bags, to a sub-zero dawn and scattered around my old Mercedes 240 Diesel in a roadside picnic spot. Massively hung over and in need of immediate sustenance, the best we could do at the time was to find a #Wimpy and regroup over porkies, oily eggs and hash-browns. This was when one of us recalled the telling of the tales of the #Lotlamoreng Cultural Village the previous evening …

One of the Mahikeng locals had regaled us with a story of a worls+renowned Zulu #sangoma constructing a tourist village nearby, and this sounded like a perfect post-breakfast mission. We eventually found Lotlamoreng and actually got to meet the incredible Credo Mutwa (who unfortunately passed away recently). It was a strange day, and even now the whole experience replays as a dream-like motion picture flicker in my mind … I’ve posted a few monochrome images from this trip.

Over the years, I’ve kept in touch with info on both #Lotlamoreng and #CredoMutwa, and somehow this connected me with the brilliant Galefele MatlhwăiMolema, who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time during our Isuzu South Africa #BeyondLockdown trip.

It was such a privilege to have this considered, intellectual and gentle-hearted giant of a man as our guide and interpreter as we returned to Lotlamoreng. The village is unfortunately in disrepair, and is minimally maintained only through the passion and support of Galefele and his Mahikeng Cultural Association. These are the kind of local #Tourism Projects we hope to highlight and assist in the aftermath of our Expedition, so keep an eye out when we share details on how you can help support this #playlocal and #staylocal initiative.

This 9000km ‘Rainbow Nation’ #roadtrip of ours is now heading on to our final stop at Hole In The Wall, Eastern Cape, South Africa: it would never have been possible without the ongoing support of #isuzusa and their kickass vehicles, or #DunlopTyresSA 🙏

Click here to view the pics