The 10 best places to visit in Lesotho

 

In the west of the country close to the capital, Maseru, hidden at the base of steep overhanging cliffs are a group of mud huts known as the Kome Caves. Built in the early 19th century they were created by the Basia Clan in order to hide from other tribes who had resorted to cannibalism. The Kome Caves are still inhabited by the descendants of the original builders.

10. Kome Caves

 

Completed in 1996 is the Katse Dam, Africa's second largest behind Ethiopia's less eye catching Tekeze Dam. This impressive piece of structural engineering cost a whopping 8 Billion US Dollars to construct.

9. Katse Dam

 

Just east of the capital, Maseru, at a height of 1,804 metres (5,918 ft) above sea level is the sandstone plateau of Thaba Bosiu, with a landscape that has been said to be more fitting to Northern Mexico / Southern USA than it is to the rest of the Kingdom of Lesotho. Having been the capital in the mid 1800's and a site important to the countries history, the mountain of Thaba Bosiu has been declared a national monument.

Pictured is a sandstone mound on the Thaba Bosiu plateau.

8. Thaba Bosiu

 

South of the capital, Maseru, between the towns of Malealea and Matelile is a dirt road mountain pass that reaches 2,001 metres (6,564 ft) above sea level. Visitors will be rewarded with an incredible sight of the Malealea Valley where the sign reads, 'Pause and look upon a Gateway of Paradise.' It's recommended that the journey only be undertaken by a vehicle with good ground clearance.

7. Gates Of Paradise Pass

 

Built in the 1990's to cross the Maloti Mountain Range between Pitseng and Lejone, with a peak elevation of 3,090 metres (10,137 ft) above sea level is the Mafika Lisiu Pass, one of the highest road passes in the Kingdom of Lesotho. In an area where potential heavy mist and dangerously low visibility conditions can hit within minutes, with slick road surface during rainfall that because of the elevation can turn to ice instantly, and with tight hairpin bends and sheer drops virtually the entire route the Mafika Lisiu Pass is seen as one of Africa's most dangerous roads.

6. Mafika Lisiu Pass

 

In the extreme east of the country, making up the southern part of South Africa's Maloti-Drakensberg Park as it crosses the border is the relatively small 70 square kilometre (27 square mile) Sehlabathebe National Park. Home to striking biological diversity and important cultural heritage, dominated by grassland and mountains it is the most remote area in the country. With an average elevation of 2,400 metres (7,874 ft) above sea level in an area that is rugged, remote and difficult to access, visitors will be met with an isolated landscape where regular tourists are seldom seen.​

Sehlabathebe translates to 'Shield Of The Plateau'.

5. Sehlabathebe National Park

 

In the far north of the country protecting high altitudes of the Maloti Mountains above 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) is the Ts'ehlanyane National Park, Lesotho's largest area of protected land. This rugged wilderness is home to one of the countries last remaining areas of indigenous forest, in yet more incredible mountain scenery.

4. Ts'ehlanyane National Park

 

Running for 150 kilometres (93 miles) through the Kingdom of Lesotho and into neighbouring South Africa are the high Maloti Mountains. The ranges highest point, the Thabana Ntlenyana, meaning 'Beautiful Little Mountain', has a peak elevation of 3,482 metres (11,424 ft) above sea level making it the highest mountain in Africa south of Kilimanjaro. These high snow covered peaks of high mountains and deep valleys are some of the most spectacular in a country whose landscape is peppered with similar incredible terrain.

3. Maloti Mountains

 

Close to the town of Semonkong in the centre of the country is the single drop 192 metre (630 ft) waterfall known as the Maletsunyane Falls. Pouring over a basalt cliff edge in exquisite natural surroundings it is the single most iconic location in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

2. Maletsunyane Falls

 

Meaning 'Mountain Of The Dragons', stretching over 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) through South Africa making up the natural south eastern and north eastern border with the Kingdom Of Lesotho, the Drakensberg is the eastern portion of Southern Africa's Great Escarpment, a major geological formation consisting of steep slopes from the high Southern African plateau. Though primarily in neighbouring South Africa, that which can be seen that falls inside and along the border of Lesotho is still some of the most spectacular mountain scenery anywhere on the continent.

1. Drakensberg

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