Meet skirt girl hiker Lerato Monyatsi: Don’t let anything hold you back from doing what you love

“It turns out one can remain modest while being adventurous”

I am Lerato Monyatsi – a beautiful name that epitomizes who I’d like to believe I am. Encapsulated in my name and character is a loving, kind, happy, God-fearing, strong and free-spirited soul that loves to smile. Though many may not agree with this but I am a very shy person too, so ambivert describes me pretty well.  A self-proclaimed skirt girl hiker in South Africa and a double shot Americano kind’a girl that lives in her head and loves words.

Because of the path I’ve chosen in my Christian life I only wear skirts. Call it modesty if you may and I love adventure. So in an attempt to fuse the two together and remaining true to who I am, I did a bit of research on the olden days and how things were back then. It turns out one can remain modest while being adventurous and from there #SkirtGirlHikes was born. In essence, this is my encouragement to many people to never let anything or circumstance hold them back from wanting to do what they love. Enjoy being yourself and people will appreciate you in your own skin.

I’m an amateur photographer that enjoys writing a word or two on some of the photos I capture. Professionally I am Group Skills Development Facilitator for a Private Healthcare Organisation which is where I spend most of my time focusing on my other passion being people development which I somewhat believe is a calling.

“Outdoors and hiking has always been part of me.”

South Africa is rich in tourism, culture, history, arts, sports with so much to offer that I love nothing more than exploring its corners. When I decided to go out and experience the rich vibes whether it be shotleft, hikes, attending different events or even paying a visit to local theatres, I knew I was in for an emotional rollercoaster of a journey but I was ready. Travelling South Africa, meeting amazing people and making friends along the way has moulded my character and contributed much of who I am today.

I grew up in Kagiso, West of Johannesburg but running young wild and free in Rustenburg was part of growing up during school holidays. Some days however we’d find ourselves travelling with my dad and uncle to lakes and dams on their fishing adventures. I’d be that odd tomboy child who would disappear out in the nearby bushes to explore the area. At some point back then I was a girl guide and an active youth member in our church where we spent most of our morning devotion time up on the hills at 6am.

So, the outdoors and more specifically, hiking has always been part of me. I must slip it in that there’s something about being out on the mountains that makes you feel so much in tune with your thoughts and feel like you have a direct line to a higher power than yourself. It will help you clear your thoughts of all the hustle and bustle of the city and I can guarantee you come back a renewed person every single time. You see the world and its people in a different light.

“Muddy routes in the plantation got the better of me and the car.”

The Royal Natal Drakensberg Mountains is my favourite hiking destination in South Africa. Without revealing too much nor scaring away new and prospective hikers I’ll say this – I think any hiker that has been to the Drakensberg will agree with me, Royal Natal National Park is addictive and has some of the most amazingly breathtaking, yet dangerous trails. But I’ll be honest, that’s the thrill of it all!

A little addicted to driving off on my own to meet people on the far-off hiking trails, this time I was invited to Magoebaskloof Woodbush Plantation by an amazing group from Pretoria. Somehow, I found myself having to sleep alone after attempting to get to the Waterfall hut on my own where I was to meet the group for my first night with them. It had rained badly and muddy routes in the plantation got the better of me and the car. In the dark among the tall trees, I was left with no option but to calm myself down, trust that no harm will come my way and eventually slept in the car – read more about it on my blog.

“Hiking is not only about climbing mountains but meeting the locals as well.”

When you’re out in nature your mind wonders a lot and sometimes answers may be found in an inquisitive mind that decides to follow dry rocks for about 3.5km alone in search of a spring where the rivers start flowing, LOL!

Hiking is not only about climbing mountains but meeting the locals as well. This in particular is close to my heart because Drakensberg is often described as an amazing place but often heard some locals are dangerous. Sure, there may be a few but I say we may change this by this Quote – “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” – Nelson Mandela

Meet the locals, the #Basotho Squad.. Though I’ve often heard the dangers lurking on the Berg at the hands of Basothos, I met these guys up on the Amphitheatre and they were just amazing… Quiet yet engaging when you talk to them… I’ll tell you what *may help or save some situations.. I quote #NelsonMandela “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” . . . #ThisIsAfrica . . #Culture#HikersDoTourism#SkirtgirlHikes#HikingTrail#offroad#adventure#likeamountaingirl#womenwhoexplore#photography#Thisissouthafrica#WeDoTourism#gypsy#HikingSouthAfrica#TravelChatSA#wonderLust#hikingwomen#HikingInASkirt#AdventureThirsty#Womenwhohike #mountaingirl #hikingCulture #thatHikerGirl sharetodaysadventure #adventuregirl#ItsMySouthAfrica#SkirtGirl#Mountains#Backpacker

A post shared by Lerato #SkirtGirlHikes (@leera_1) on

Look after nature like you would your home, because it is home away from home for some of us.

“These are my top 3 hiking tips:”

  1. Find a local hiking group/club as a start. Take a few short trails with them before you venture out. Remember hiking is about both fitness and enjoying yourself. Do not try out-hike other hikers, otherwise you won’t enjoy it. Understanding your own pace is key.
  2. Take lots of pictures and make memories. Make friends on trails and have a sportsmanship attitude. Be helpful and kind to others.
  3. Don’t tamper with nature’s peace, do not provoke or feed animals and mostly do no litter!!!!! I cannot stress this one enough.

See you on the trails! 🌞


You can follow more of Lerato Monyatsi #SkirtGirlHikes adventures on her social media pages!

Blog, SkirtGirlHikes

Instagram, @leera_1

Twitter, @Lermon

Facebook, Lerato Monyatsi

LinkedIn, Lerato Monyatsi


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