About the Lodge
Rustler's Valley sits at the confluence of numerous historical inflections. Here, in the 1800s, the Basotho fell back in their long war against the Zulus, and travelled over the Maluti Mountains in order to form the Kingdom of Lesotho. Around the same period, the Boer Voortrekkers made their way through the valley in order to settle in the farthest reaches of South African territory. Before that, eons of history carved out a claim on the rocks and the grassland. Then in the 1980s, a colony of "anti-establishment" hippies began to hold regular parties and festivals at Rustler's, adding a touch of the alternative to the valley's make-up.
The Naledi Village
The Naledi Village is the heart of Rustler’s Valley. It has seen many changes over the years. Built in the 1970s to serve the surrounding farms with labour, the village has recently undergone an incredible transformation. Its community members have become the the proud owners in their own right to the 40 hectares of land housing EarthRise Mountain Lodge and the surrounding farm, and have partnered with the non-profit EarthRise Trust to co-create a vision and strategy to develop community-driven livelihoods, from the ground up. Both Japie Lephatsi and Anton Chaka are community elders and have watched thousands of people come and go through the valley over the years. Together with their fellow committee members, their wisdom and cosmopolitan outlook have shaped how the village is governed, and how it works hand-in-hand with the lodge. Now, with exciting farming initiatives being developed and the lodge reconstruction complete, Naledi is entering a new phase of growth and development.