This National Park is as underrated as it is underused. This is the largest park in Lesotho and no other place is about as far away from it all as Ts’ehlanyane. Lying further north in the district of Leribe, it is reachable by tar roads. This Lesotho Northern Park protects a beautiful high-altitude, 5600-hectare patch of rugged wilderness, including one of Lesotho’s only stands of indigenous forest with a number of rare undergrowth plants that are unique to this woodland habitat. Here indigenous “Ouhout” (Leaucosidea) trees of significant size are preserved.
On the banks of the rivers and streams are stands of berg bamboo which are of significant cultural significance to the Basotho people. Berg bamboo is the host plant for an endangered butterfly species, the Bamboo Sylph (Metisella syrinx). The reserve also encompasses a reasonable proportion of very rare mountain “fynbos” that do not occur anywhere else in the world. Also recorded are in excess of 220 flowing plant species.
Ts’ehlanyane National Park has an altitude ranging from 1940 to 3112 metres and is considered mostly sub-alpine. The diversity of habitat types is exceptionally high and derived from the large altitudinal range that the park has.
This proclaimed protected pristine area lies at the junction of the Ts’ehlanyane and the Holomo rivers. It owes its origin to the access road to the “Mamohale tunnel” (May 1991), which was the first adit drive for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. This audit covers 22km from the source at Katse Dam to the Ash River outfall near Clarens, Free State.
- Numerous hiking and bridle paths have already been established with the park, one of which is a spectacular 39km trail linking the Ts’ehlanyane National Park with the Bokong Nature Reserve.
- Photographic opportunities. Not only is the scenery spectacular, but the fauna and flora offer a boundless variety of photographic subjects.
- Basotho horse rides offer an Ideal way to explore nature from a higher vantage point.
- Swimming in the pristine streams and rock pools
- Small to medium sized game viewing with about 24 species present
How to get there:
GPS Co-Ordinates: S 28º 55′ 38.9 E 28º 25′ 37.8
The park is located deep in the front range of the Maloti Mountains at the foot of the Holomo Pass and only about 45 minutes from the South African border post of Caledonspoort (Caledonspoort is 15 minutes drive from the popular Freestate town of Clarens and about 4 hours from O.R Thambo International Airport).
The park is reached by a good 32km-access road that leaves the main Lesotho A1 route, 5 km south west of Butha Buthe. The route passes through the village of Khabo and parallels the Hlotse River along a very picturesque valley until it reaches the park entrance.