Wartrail is a mountain farming community steeped in tradition. Many of the farms are still inhabited by direct descendants of the original settlers to the area. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Lundean's Nek connects this part of the Eastern Cape to the Lesotho border at Telebridge. You may wish to stop in at "Woolys of Wartrail" for a delicious cake, cup of coffee and to admire their emus! You will pass by the remote Lundean's Nek police station and just beyond the police station the summit of the pass provides fantastic panoramic views of the Maloti Mountains. As the road progresses towards Telebridge the river to your right forms a natural border with Lesotho. You will pass many remote mountain villages where traditional cultures and farming practices are still very much a way of life.
Wartrail valley’s name goes back to the time when Moshesh used to send his raiding parties into South Africa from his stronghold in Lesotho to steal the settlers’ livestock. They’d round up a bunch of cattle, cross the river at Moshesh’s Ford, between Barkly East and Rhodes, and head for Lundean’s Nek and the safety of their mountain kingdom. Many skirmishes took place in this valley as farmers tried to retrieve their stock, and this rustlers’ raiding route became known as Wartrail.The route is still guarded by a gate and a police station.
This is a pretty, pastoral route through farmlands where sheep peacefully graze in verdant fields of mauve-flowered lucerne before reaching the road reaches scenic heights overlooking Lesotho. From the R396 between Barkly East and Rhodes, take the R393 to the Wartrail valley and continue north .
The road meanders up a wide valley where balding sandstone domes speckled with green lie beneath craggy, reddish-grey mountain buttresses. After crossing a river, you start climbing steadily towards the high peaks bordering Lesotho. Lundean’s Nek is prominent on the horizon beside sharp needles of rock piercing the skyline.
Shortly before the summit of the pass is a gate in the road, outside one of the highest police stations in the country. It was built to curtail the activities of marauding stock thieves and dagga traders from across the Lesotho border. It takes nearly an hour to drive this section and it is another 46 kilometres of slow driving to the Telle Bridge border post with Lesotho.
Allow plenty of time to linger on Lundean’s Nek at an altitude of 2162 metres. It’s a magical spot, with breathtaking views of Lesotho’s high Maloti peaks, craggy rock formations littering the panorama and striking sandstone domes standing sentinel.
Continue down the pass, winding round a few hairpin bends before dropping down to the banks of the Telle River, which forms the border between South Africa and Lesotho. The road follows the Telle River along an increasingly narrow valley. Lovely waterfalls are a feature of this area.
There is an option to turn off to Sterkspruit, but the more scenic option is to continue along the river gorge to Telle Bridge.