Tag Archive for Ts’ehlanyane National Park

Bird Watching In Lesotho

Birding in Lesotho will come as a fascinating and surprising entertainment for all the bird lovers as well as ordinary tourists from all over the world, who will be able to view its astonishing variety and beauty first hand.

the Fairy flycatcher sitting on a branch

Fairy flycatcher - Photo Johann Grobbelaar

Lesotho is shelters an impressive number of species of birds. Over 300 varieties have been recorded in the country and vary from residents, that stay all year around, to breeding birds, that spend a good part of the growing season in Lesotho to raise their young, migrants who pass through Lesotho with the seasons, to wintering birds who like to spend a the winter in Lesotho to escape even colder conditions up north. However, many species of birds are relatively common as they are part of the ecosystems of the country.

The Lesotho Drakensberg and Maluti are among the most sought after by bird watchers who come for Birding in Lesotho. You will be bowled out by the sheer variety and number of these colorful birds, some of which are extremely rare. The birds can be seen in the natural parks in the region, with its well known avifauna, as well in isolated spots which host a variety of fauna of Lesotho. Read more

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. Read more

Maliba Lodge – Vulture Restaurant Project

www.ewt.org.za
Maliba Mountain Lodge, with the help of vulture specialists Sonja Kruger and Andre Botha from KZN Wildlife and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, have started a vulture feeding site in the Ts’ehlanyane National Park, with the aim to attract the rare Bearded and Cape vultures for protection and research. In the past vultures have been seen as vermin- spreading disease and killing livestock and have thus been killed, virtually driving them to the brink of extinction.KZN Wildlife Vulture Program

Vultures form an important ecological component of our natural environment, cleaning up dead carcasses and decreasing the spread of some diseases and therefore need to be protected. The main cause of the demise of this important raptor group is a declining food source, although other issues such as loss of foraging areas, electrocution by electricity pylons, and inadvertent poisoning also have a strong negative influence on their numbers. Read more

Lesotho a hiker’s paradise

Lesotho is without doubt a hiker’s paradise.

Lesotho mountain trekking with MalealeaAlthough very few dedicated hiking trails exist, the face that the entire country is a network of bridle and foot  paths. You will also not find a single fence in the mountains, meaning that you can hike pretty much anywhere you like.

A typical hike will include:
• Riverside walk, swim, caves, gorges and rock formations
• Bird and wildlife sightings
• Stunning views
• Bushman rock art sites
• Picnics and packed lunches can be provided on request

Some wonderful trails can be found in the various Lesotho national parks and nature reserves.

Sehlabathebe National Park is rough, rugged, yet incredibly scenic with rolling grasslands and wild flowers,  perfect for bird watching and hiking. Accommodation can be booked with Jonathan’s Lodge. Read more

Maliba Lodge 4×4 Trails with Roads to Roam Adventure Holidays

Through one of the off-road forums, I heard that Maliba Lodge wanted to investigate the 4×4 trails in their area and offered my assistance. All was set up and pretty soon I headed for Ts’ehlanyane National Park to boldly go where no vehicle has gone before. At the time I did not know how true those words would be!

The original plan was to explore the tracks in two vehicles, but due to an unfortunate mishap, the second vehicle had to be withdrawn. This meant taking extra care not to get into trouble on these trails, as there was no vehicle to assist should there be a recovery situation.  It has been an extra-ordinary wet season and rained almost every night during my stay at Maliba. It made for some interesting off-road driving the next few days, but the driving conditions were probably at its worse and should only improve in dryer conditions. Read more

Lesotho a photographers dream

Africa never ceases to amaze me. Over thirty years of living on this continent and there are still surprises to be had and many roads to be more travelled. And so it was when my husband and I travelled to Lesotho for the first time for a weekend at Maliba Mountain Lodge.

Sand Stone cliffs of Golden Gate NP

Sand Stone cliffs of Golden Gate NP (Photo by Sharon Bishop)

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The Roof of Africa Circular Route

The “Roof of Africa” circular route should not be confused with the endurance race of the same name, as it refers to a complete circuit/loop encompassing the towns of Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka, Katse Dam, Pitseng, Butha-Buthe and Oxbow.

The roof of Africa circuit map

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Lesotho’s Natural Heritage

The National parks and reserves of Lesotho are just as diverse that the country itself. Sehlabathebe boasts open grassland, lakes and striking rock formations. Ts’ehlanyane is awe-inspiring with its indigenous forests, wildlife and dominating mountain peaks. Bokong is perched high above Katse Dam and offers uninterrupted views of the Lepaqoa Valley, while Liphofung has unique cultural and historical significance.

All of Lesotho’s parks and reserves are part of The Maloti-Drakensberg Transfontier Conservation and Development Project (MDTP). This is a collaborative initiative between South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho to protect the exceptional biodiversity of the Drakensberg and Maloti mountains through conservation. This includes, Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Qwa Qwa Nature reserve, Sterkfontein Dam Nature reserve, Royal Natal National Park and the Malekgonyane (Ongeluksnek) Nature Reserve.

Maloti-Drakensburg Conservation Project Area

Ts’ehlanyane National Park

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.

Maliba Mountain Lodge - Tsehlanyane National Park

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Late snow fall at Maliba Lodge

Maliba Lodge Ts'ehlanyane National Park, Lesotho

Late snow fall at Maliba Lodge

I’ve always heard about the wonders of a Lesotho winter with the landscape blanketed in Snow. Snow is Africa is something that’s almost unheard of, so it was a surprise when we woke up to this special view.

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