Get Lost in Lesotho – Maliba Road Trip

Get Lost in Lesotho..

‘We need to promote Lesotho as a whole – as its own destination.’ These were the words of my wife who is the marketing manager for Maliba Mountain Lodge, a 5 star lodge in the mountains of Lesotho. She was referring to the fact that Lesotho is one of the lesser known destinations on the tourism map – even for us South Africans. It is generally seen as a country which is hard to get to – as a place more suited to those looking for a hard core adventure with their rugged off road vehicles.

We therefore decided to set out on a road trip ourselves, to see the highlights of the country, and to determine the accessibility of this small, mountainous kingdom. To gain first-hand experience – as a group of young South Africans, with little time between work days for travelling– of the people and their cultures, the landscape and perhaps to learn a bit about the country and its history. At the same time, to film the entire adventure to try and capture some of the spirit and culture of the country and its people.

Our goal, as a group of five friends, was to travel over four days into the easily accessible parts of the country, without the need for serious back up and support. Continue reading

Liquid gold – Water sports in Lesotho

The Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is a land of vast treasures, ranging from picturesque views, diamonds, fauna and flora, the friendliness of its people and last but not least, water!

Indeed Lesotho has an abundance of water many countries in Africa could only dream of, which has made it not only famous but provided it with much needed revenue. Pristine mountain streams home to wild trout, tumble and gurgle their way into rivers and a number of man-made dams before flowing down into South Africa. Lesotho’s many beautiful rivers, dams and tourism infrastructure associated with the Lesotho Highlands Water Project present opportunities for water activities such as fresh-water fishing, white water rapids boating, kayaking, canoeing and small boat sailing which only adds to the variety of sports / activities available in Lesotho.

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Top 10 places to visit in Lesotho

Although a small country, Lesotho boasts an assortment of fantastic attractions that tourists can visit and discover the history and heritage of both the Basotho people and the Mountain Kingdom.

 

1. Sehlabathebe National Park

Rocks pools at Sehlabathebe National Park Lesotho

Rocks pools at Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho

The Sehlabathebe National Park in the south eastern region of Lesotho, although fairly inaccessible (a 4 wheel drive vehicle is required) is definitely well worth the effort. This was the first designated National park in Lesotho. This hidden gem is full of wonderful rock formations unique to this area, massive rock overhangs, small lakes, rock art, rock arches and a beautiful and unique ecosystem of plants, birds and animals.

The Prime Minister of Lesotho at the time, Chief Leabua Jonathan, loved trout fishing and, since the dams and rivers are a fisherman’s paradise, this may explain the park’s existence.

The Ts’ehlanyane National Park and Bokong Nature Reserves are both far more accessible and well worth a visit in their own right. Continue reading

Katse Dam Wall Tours

One of the many highlights of Lesotho is a visit to Katse Dam, centrepiece of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project which channels the water of the Lesotho Highlands via an incredible series of dams and tunnels through the mountains eventually coming out of the Ash River Outfall near the town of Clarens in South Africa’s Free State province where it gravity feeds to supply Johannesburg and Pretoria with water.

It was touted as the greatest engineering project in the southern hemisphere in the 1990′s when it was under construction. Nowadays the sight of the massive dam hemmed in by the mountain valley is well worth beholding!

Ash River Outfall monument

The Ash River Outfall monument

For visitors, there is an information centre, which features a model of the whole project, showing all the phases. You can also go on a tour of the dam wall which is arranged by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority Visitor Centre. The Katse Botanical Gardens is an added attraction. Continue reading