For those of us who clearly remember the past twenty years, it is astounding to think that so many iconic events happened during 1998.
In the beginning:
Major Adventures was started by Charlie and Gardi in the heart of Underberg.
Charlie was born with the sights and sounds of the Sani Pass running through his veins. He is the eldest son of the renowned Arthur Major, who in 1955 as part of David Alexander’s crew had the courage to drive the first tour up the Pass.
His mother, Anne was the first woman to take on the treacherous switch-backs and head to through the pass. This is no mean feat for the feint hearted today let alone doing this 60 years ago.
From a young age Charlie was let loose on Underberg to play in the mountains and ride his bicycle through Himeville with many who went on to become well respected farmers. A bride was a difficult challenge for him, as she had to be dextrous and deft to hop from rock to rock on the mountain. She had to have the courage to embrace a life of camping and driving over boulders through rivers and into the remote plains of Lesotho. She had to be fun loving and appreciate a dry sense of humour but be business minded and simultaneously she had to be a good cook and outstanding homemaker!
The start of the new venture:
Charlie and Gardi returned to Underberg and started Major Adventures. In October 1998, with one vehicle, an office at the Underberg Inn and a legacy from his Dad, they opened their doors to customers wanting to tour up the Sani Pass and into Lesotho.
Their children, Wade and Robert, grew up crawling across the office floor whilst Charlie guided tours up the pass and Gardi crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s, became a mother, organiser, operations fundi, purchaser of spares and a really good cook. They learned to handle the snow and summer of life with all its challenges and joys.
From these small humble beginnings the Majors have grown a business synonymous with Underberg and the Sani Pass. From one vehicle to owning a substantial fleet complete with 10 seater Land cruisers and a full team of guides, the business has become well recognised in international touring markets.
Both the Majors boys have stopped crawling across the wooden office floors and are now at University and home is on the property where Charlie was raised.
20 years later, Arthur Major is 90 years old and his legacy bequeathed to his son and family is firmly rooted and still growing strongly having expanded across Lesotho and into other areas. The Majors attribute their success to the unwavering local support in the area and the loyalty shown of many of their international customers who have been part of the business for the past 20 years.
In addition Gardi now provides meals for the cultural and heritage day tours and some of the Lesotho overnight tours.
Charlie chose well, she is still a good cook!