Camping in Lesotho

 

The mountain kingdom of Lesotho offers some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes anywhere in Southern Africa. Lesotho is a fascinating country to travel around by vehicle, with the mountainous terrain offering 4×4 enthusiasts hundreds of exciting rugged routes through the countryside.

Katse Dam

Image: Johan Lötter - 4x4 Community - Katse Dam

There are no fences in Lesotho and the wildlife have the freedom to roam about where they wish, the most common are mountain reedbuck, rhebok, eland, baboon, jackals, meerkat and mongooses.Lesotho is definitely a place to let go and feel free, breathe in the pure air and enjoy the local people and their culture.

You “should” have no problem sleeping outdoors in designated camping areas or remote places (bush camping) along the way, but get into the habit of locking things away before you go to sleep. Tourists may camp or caravan almost anywhere in Lesotho, provided they first obtain permission from the local chief. It is often possible also to overnight in a spare village rondavel/hut, again with the permission of the village chief.

sunrise at Sehlabathebe NP

Image: Andre Karrim- 4x4 Community - Sehlabathebe National Park

Although most people have very little problems, it still pays to take precautions. When in towns and villages not to leave your vehicle open and unattended, this goes for your campsites as well.

Being Prepared!

There are no big-brand supermarkets along most of the camping routes, but you can usually get basic supplies in the towns/villages along the way. Meat is not always available in the more remote areas so bring substitutes. Most village shops will sell onions, tomatoes, potatoes, bread, sugar, salt and oil. Most travellers from South Africa tend to buy everything before they arrive in Lesotho but you can buy just about anything you need for your journey in the Captial Maseru or some of the larger towns.

Lesotho Village shops

Image: Vagabond Adventures

Take lots of drinking water. Always have at least twenty litres of drinking water in the vehicle at all times as well as spare jerry cans of petrol. It is best to boil all water before drinking it.

Be fully equipped for spending the night with no facilities at all except perhaps a nearby river. Have a bucket for washing pots and clothes, all cooking gear and all the food you need for the whole journey.

Take a good cooler box or 12V fridge. (You can buy cold beers along the way at almost any village tavern.)

Don’t forget good torches and lanterns, plus batteries.

Wood is scarce, so bring your own and be aware of the environment when making campfires.

Weather!

Pack gear for all weather conditions, including snow. Lesotho is well known for being able to throw four seasons at travellers in a single day. If travelling in winter (June/July), snow chains would be invaluable. January/February are arguably the best months to go as the summer rains have past and the weather is calmer.

Camping sites in Lesotho!

Bob Phillips Camp – Matebeng River – S29°48’32.22″, E28°49’35.61″

Ha Liphapang Camp – Quthing – S30°27’50.50″, E28°00’01.16″

Katse dam Campsite (hot showers and toilets) – S29°20’41.58″ E28°30’39.24″

Letseng-la-Latsie Lake wild campsite – Ongeluks Nek – S30°18’38.87″, E28°09’23.12″

Liphofung Caves and Cultural site – Butha-Buthe –  S 28º 45′ 16.1  E 028º 29′ 43.1

Malealea Lodge – Mafeteng – S29°49’42.17″, E27°36’02.99″

Marakabei Lodge – S29°33’09.50″, E28°08’53.13″

Mashai Lodge – Thaba-Tseka – S29°40’43.04″, E28°48’34.13″

Maseru Backpackers and Campsite – Maseru

Maloraneng Chalets – Khubelu Valley – Mokhotlong – S29°00’42.5” E28°56’37.5”

Mantsonyane – R50/vehicle with permission – S29°31’22.29” E28°17’15.76”

Mapoks camp site– Mokhotlong – Khubelu River – S28°58’50.1” E28°55’29.5”

Menyaneng Community Campsite – Leribe – S29°04’56.31″, E28°08’42.93″

Molino Caravan Park – S29°24’15.45″, E27°48’18.12″

Molumong – Mokhotlong – S29°21’26.2” E 29°00’23.7”

Morija Guest Houses – Morija – S29°37’57.80″, E27°30’47.66″

Sani Top Camp – Sani Top – S29°35’03.55″, E29°17’18.71″

Sehlabathebe National Park – Qacha’s Nek – S29º 52′ 38.3”, E29º 04′ 32.3”

Semongkong Lodge – Semonkong – S29°50’35.62” E28°02’36.71”

Trading post – Ramabanta – S29°26’33.34″, E27°42’14.97″

Most if not all lodges around Lesotho will be able to accommodate campers but it’s always best to phone first just to make sure.

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