The Roof of Africa had its humble beginnings in 1967 when Bob Phillips, a Roads Engineer working in Lesotho, approached the Sports Car Club in Johannesburg and asked them if they would like to run a race over the worst road in the world that he had just finished building. The Roof of Africa was born!
The Roof of Africa quickly gained in popularity and it had become sponsored by The Star newspaper further promoting what was fast becoming a legend. In 1969 motorcycles starting competing against the cars and the event was soon split into two categories.
The event continued to grow through the 70’s 80’s and 90’s and the legend continued to grow. Up until 1982 the event ran right across Lesotho with overnight stops in either Matatiele or Sani Pass. From 1982 the event has been contained within the borders of Lesotho. The Roof of Africa was also attracting overseas interest and regular participation from overseas competitors
By the year 2000 Off Road car racing had become a highly specialised sport with big Manufacturer involvement. Single vehicles were now costing multi million Maloti and the Roof became “too tough” for them and the controlling federation decided to drop cars from the calendar. Some forecast doom but this was in fact a second birth for the Roof of Africa with record motorcycle entries being received. The event is now so popular that a Qualifying event for the Bronze Category has to be held.
Worldwide, Hard Enduro or Extreme Enduro has become increasingly popular and the Roof became known as the mother of hard enduro.