Attractions around Lesotho
AfriSki is the only skiing resort in South Africa, located 3050m above sea-level ( just below Mahlasela Pass, 3222m ) in the Maluti Mountains, operating in Southern Africa near the northern border of Lesotho and South Africa. The resort is 4.5 hours' drive from Johannesburg, or Pretoria South Africa via the steep tarred Moteng pass and the Mahlasela pass; it sits along Highway A1. The resort sleeps about 250 people, and offers a 1km ski slope, beginners slope and operates during the winter months of June - August. The mountain adventure sport activities take place during Summer months of October - April.
The Katse Dam, a concrete arch dam on the Malibamat'so River in Lesotho, is Africa's second largest dam. (The Tekezé Dam, completed in early 2009, is now Africa's largest double curvature dam). The dam is part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which will eventually include five large dams in remote rural areas.
The potential of the project was identified by the South African civil engineer Ninham Shand (now Aurecon) as a possible means to supplement the water supply to South Africa. The World Bank arranged for a treaty between the governments of South Africa and Lesotho, allowing execution of the project to proceed.
Thaba Bosiu is a sandstone plateau with an area of approximately 2 km2 and a height of 1,804 meters above sea level. It is located between the Orange and Caledon Rivers in the Maseru District of Lesotho, 24 km east of the country's capital Maseru. The word Thaba means mountain in the Sesotho language and Bosiu means 'at night'. The name mountain of the night echoed the local belief that the mountain grew during the night and shrunk during day, leaving enemies who tried scaling it during the night still stranded on the cliffs and vulnerable for attack next morning.
The Maletsunyane Falls is the highest waterfall in Southern Africa, falling 196 metres in a single drop. Its nearly twice as high as Victoria Falls, though a fraction of the width. The village of Semonkong is nestled on the banks of the Maletsunyane river, upstream from the Maletsunyane Falls. It is called ‘The Place of Smoke’ after the characteristic haze created by the waterfall plummeting into the gorge.
Sehlabathebe National Park
The Sehlabathebe National Park is located in the Maloti Mountains in Qacha's Nek District, Lesotho, and is part of the larger Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site. Home to both striking biological diversity as well as important cultural heritage, the park was first established on May 8, 1969. The landscape is dominated by grassland of various types. The larger ecosystem as a whole performs invaluable functions including providing freshwater to Lesotho, South Africa and Namibia.
Thabana Ntlenyana, which literally means "Beautiful little mountain" in Sesotho, is the highest point in Lesotho and the highest mountain in southern Africa. It is situated on the Mohlesi ridge of the Drakensberg/Maloti mountains, north of Sani Pass. It stands at 3482 m high.
The peak is usually climbed by groups completing a Grand Traverse of the Drakensberg - even though the peak is technically in the Maloti Mountains.
The peak is often also climbed from Sani Top Chalet or from Vergelegen Nature Reserve.
Ts'ehlanyane National Park
The Ts'ehlanyane National Park is Lesotho's Largest National Park and is located in the Maloti Mountains in Butha-Buthe District, Lesotho, and is part of the larger Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area.
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.
Maseru is an ideal base from which to explore the western region of Lesotho with its magnificent scenery, rich history, culture and crafts. A made-made phenomenon in this area is the Mohale Dam, which was completed in 2003, situated 91km from Maseru. It is southwest of Katse Dam and almost doubles the water supply to South Africa through an inter-connecting tunnel into the Katse reservoir.
Things to do around Lesotho
Fishing in Lesotho is a heavenly experience offering plenty of excitement for the angler. A number of dams and rivers in Lesotho have made fishing one of the most enjoyable leisure activities in the country. September to May is the best time for fishing in Lesotho.
Pony trekking in Lesotho is honestly the most popular activity among the different adventure sports in Lesotho. Pony trekking is one of the best ways to experience the varied landscapes of Lesotho without the limitations of a car, in complete peace and solitude.
It has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment among the young adventure loving tourists who visit the country from different corners of the world. Lesotho mountain biking takes riders through zigzagging routes amidst the high and beautiful mountain ranges of the country.
With water otherwise known as “white Gold” in Lesotho, water sport activities on larger rivers and the Mohale and Katse Dams should not be ignored. Kayak the Senqu River as it flows westwards towards the Atlantic Ocean and you will find it is filled with tremendous scenery.
Birding in Lesotho is one of the most sought after tourist attractions and will come as a fascinating and surprising entertainment for all the bird lovers, the best months for bird watching seem to be October to March.
The Lesotho 4x4 trail starts in Himeville (in KwaZulu-Natal) and ends in Fouriesburg (in the Free State), having crossed the daunting Sani Pass and much of Lesotho en route. This 400 km journey can be done in two days, but it deserves longer.