Kingdom Enduro African EWS qualifier is Back for 2020

Sep 16, 2019
by kingdomenduro  

Press Release: Kingdom Enduro

Kingdom Enduro is a 3-day stage race through the Kingdom of Lesotho. It's the first-ever Enduro World Series qualifier on African soil, set in a wild mountainous country with incredible scenery. Lesotho has a huge network of paths used for centuries by the Basotho people and their animals that make for amazing bike trails, plus the event stacks a heap of world-class, hand-cut, enduro trails on top of these, all carving down vast lush hillsides.

Kingdom Enduro is one of the most adventurous mountain bike events on the planet, offering amazing riding as well as an unforgettable visit to a place that's totally different to most westerner's everyday experiences.

2020 will be just as wild, raw and unique in terms of the trails, scenery and atmosphere. And thanks to tons of hard work by the organisers and locals, the completely hand-cut tracks will be even longer, higher and harder than ever before too.

Next year's edition takes place on 27-29th March, with strictly limited entries opening on 16th September 2019.

Ludovic May getting high

Max Schumann high above one of the only tarmac roads around

Rock roll anyone?

For the all-inclusive entry fee, racers stay at a full catered base HQ in an old trading post in Roma dating from the days of a wilder frontier land where merchants cut deals with local farmers and shepherds for goods. Little has changed outside the gates really, as (apart from a few tar roads) the lush countryside is still completely unspoiled and the independent nation has never been particularly modernized or industrialized. Kingdom Enduro stages criss-cross the stunning local peaks where every corner brings a new view and a new type of terrain, and expect anything from being chased up mountains by little kids laughing to ending up after riding dancing in a local 'shebeen' bar with a beer in your hand to some local house music.




The race stages number up to six days and vary from 5 mins long up to around 15mins. The tracks offer everything from hand-cut berms and ruts like steep European or Alpine riding to completely open rock slabs or even simple pieces of tape across huge open spaces pointing you in the right direction. It's part of the game staying on course and staying safe in a country where even the paramedics have to be shipped in from over the border. The sheer altitude and distance traveled and tough climbs to access them make it pretty challenging even before the steep, rocky and rough timed sections, and in the two previous editions, the weather has ranged from sunny and hot to raining and back again in rapid succession. It's mostly very sunny and bright at this time of year.

Off piste


Riding around exploring, you'll see most of the Lesotho population have few material possessions, but there is an openness and warmth that's almost shocking coming from a more westernised society. You can't expect five-star luxury or to remain isolated like on some exotic riding trips, and that's the beauty of Kingdom Enduro; you're right in and among the people and end up experiencing the location in such a way most riders find it impossible not to let it get under the skin. Don't just take our word for it though; here are some testimonials from previous competitors:

Anka Martin

Anka Martin, "There is a special energy that you feel when you’re surrounded by the mighty Maluti mountains. The kind of energy that captures your soul, that feeds your wanderlust, that makes you feel alive. The rich colour of the soil, the mountains, the sky & the vibrant Basotho people will leave you longing for more. Lesotho is a wild, raw and a very powerful country, landlocked within South Africa. The trails are endless passionate creations dreamed up, created & shaped by my good friend & race director Rene. This is not just a race, it’s a journey, an adventure by bike that will remain engrained in your heart forever. Thanks to dreamers & creators like Rene for giving us the opportunity to not just enter another bike race, but to share a new culture & country with us. If wild, technical, proper mountain biking is what you’re looking for, get yourself to The mighty Kingdom Enduro!"

Chris Johnston

Chris Johnston,"My time in Lesotho ranks as one of my best trips to date! I love a good adventure, stepping into the local culture and exploring the mountains around Roma was an incredible experience. The riding is raw, challenging and had us grinning ear to ear. The local people were very kind, friendly, helpful and curious about bikes and Roma Trading Post was a great home base and provided all the amenities we needed."

Kim Hardin

Kim Hardin, "The Kingdom Enduro should be on everyone's bucket list! Rene put together quite the race - 3 days of fresh-cut trails, taking you over and through the mountains of Lesotho. The terrain is challenging and of great variety: loam, techy rocky bits, slabs, dry riverbed, steeps, and more. Based out of Roma, you're in the heart of the mountain kingdom, and not only get to experience the trails, but the people -- ride the Velosolutions pump track alongside locals or hike your bike up the nearest mountain, and you'll be amongst herder boys and local school kids. Go into town for a braai and some Chicken and Pap ( Tandoori BBQ with corn). Rene, Darol and the gang take great care of everyone, and it's a relaxed, fun racing atmosphere. The experience as a whole is one I will never forget -- it was an amazing way to see Africa, and we will be back again!"

Far out under Bushman's Pass

Whether you've got an appetite for adventure or just want to race some incredible, hand-built enduro stages at a well organised race in a crazy location, Kingdom's got your back. Flights to South Africa are easily found from anywhere in the world and it's a great time of year to visit. Come and race truly blind, raw trails and footpaths with us in magical country where you're guaranteed to feel welcome yet also more like a foreigner than anywhere else you've visited.


Next year's race will offer the best trails yet as well as an opportunity to witness and visit a place still largely untouched by commercialism, tourism and commerce, and in today's world that's a pretty compelling reason to visit if you're looking for a proper adventure on your mountain bike.

Kids everywhere cheering riders on

You can find all the entry details and read more about Kingdom Enduro and the race's origins as well as its growing role in the local community in Lesotho over at the Kingdom Enduro website.http://kingdomenduro.com Come and join the mighty Kingdom Enduro story!


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15 Comments

  • 6 0
 Good-hearted fun is kinda what this sport was built on. People going to places on bikes that were off the bike path and in the wilderness. I met Rene in 2015 here in SoCal and if his race is anything like him then it is RAD! Cheers mate!
  • 1 0
 Bring the O.C riders.
  • 3 0
 I did the 2018 version - genuinely one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. If you've any desire at all for a bit of adventure, then seriously, get involved. It's awesome.
  • 2 0
 This looks so good. I've seen plenty more pics and vids from last years race and it did look epic so I was gutted to not be able to make it for 2019. Lets hope my excuse book has run out of pages for 2020 and get some flights booked. Doesn't get much better than this!!
  • 2 0
 This was THE event of the year & it was a privilege to have been there this year The experience you get at Kingdom is unlike anything else you will experience anywhere else. Rural Africa is amazing and completely different to most places you would normally see, full of culture. life and to top it all off these trails are phenomenal, some of the best I have ever ridden. I'm really looking for 2020 because it's going to be a riot.
  • 3 0
 I would love to go, but since it's a race I am sure I would injure myself badly on the first day and then miss the next two (at best). Maybe I can start last on every stage?
  • 1 0
 start last and finish first.
  • 1 0
 @f387d: By not doing the climbing stages and ride straight to the finish line.
  • 5 0
 Glasses and goggles? I don't think anyone can go any more enduro.
  • 1 0
 Wow what for a good time there!! I realy love to be there and enjoy the rad trails and landshap. Gread locals and riders to have a good time. The Kingdom enduro crew made and make a so good job. im sure you'll have your best time on your bike in Lesotho. I realy hope to be back again. Thanks everone who make it posible!!!
  • 2 0
 2018 was good 2019 was rad 2020 is going to be wild.
  • 2 0
 YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Rad times
  • 2 0
 Is this going to be Amazing! Rad rides!
  • 2 0
 Sweet!
  • 2 0
 This is SICK!

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