Lesotho — Attractions
The major attractions in this tiny African country at the top of the continent are its areas of supreme natural beauty and unspoiled wilderness. A vacation in Lesotho offers visitors a journey back in time to a far less complicated era, in which the universal bond with the land was still the norm. Lesotho is still off the beaten path and under the radar so now is the perfect time to go if you want a refreshingly intimate experience.
Thaba Bosiu, the mountain stronghold of the country’s first king, Moshoeshoe the Great, is Lesotho’s most revered site and a national monument. The sandstone plateau lies just 15 miles from the capital, and holds Moshoeshoe’s grave and the graves of subsequent rulers, as well as remnants of the original settlement. The steep cliffs and flat eroded plateau are reminiscent of Table Mountain, and the views across the land from the heights are spectacular.
Address: near Maserun. Lesotho
The little township of Semonkong lies 75 miles from the capital and is a gateway to the 600 foot single-drop Maletsunyane Falls and the 400 foot Ketane Falls. Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, they're not to be missed. Just a three-mile hike from town, the falls are at their most spectacular as a frozen wall of water in winter. Ketane Falls are day hike, 4x4 trip or pony trek away, set in the Thaba Putsoa Mountains.
Address: central Lesotho
Kome Cave Dwellings
This remarkable settlement was carved out of rock in the 19th century by lowland villagers fleeing from a cannibal tribe. Today, the cave dwellings hold the descendants of the original Basotho, living as they did almost 200 years ago with ancient traditions and culture. There’s a visitors’ center with English-speaking guides who will show you around and answer questions.
Address: near Teya-Teyaneng, Lesotho
Sehlabathebe National Park
Set in the southeastern region of the country, the park’s stunning natural wilderness, accessible only by 4x4, is a hidden gem containing rock formations, massive overhangs, arches, charming lakes, rock art, and a totally unique ecosystem of indigenous flora and wildlife. The park was the first established in Lesotho, but receives few visitors due to its remoteness.
Address: southeastern Lesotho
Tsehlanyane National Park
This rugged mountain wilderness lies at the confluence of two rivers, the Holomo and Tsehlanyane, and holds Lesotho’s last remaining indigenous woodland. The landscape is sub-alpine, at heights between 6,000 and 10,000 feet, and is famed for undergrowth vegetation. Animals seen here include the African wild cat, otters, black-backed jackals, and porcupines, and the region is home to the Berg bamboo species, revered for its cultural usage.
Address: Tsehlanyane region, Lesotho
Major Bell’s Tower and Fort
One of the few colonial remnants in Lesotho, the fortress at Hlotse was built by the British in the late 1870's and played its part during the wars of 1880-1881, besieged but never captured. The tower itself is well-preserved, and there is a primitive statue of a European set in the township itself.
Address: Hlotse, Lesotho
Lipfohung Cultural Center
For a comprehensive briefing on Lesotho’s ancient San Bushman rock art galleries, the Lipfohung Cultural Center is the place to be, adjacent to one of the most famous cave sites. The early nomads literally left hundreds of thousands of paintings of African wildlife and the clan lifestyle on overhanging cliffs, caverns, sheltered mountain hideaways, and religious sites. Another famous site is Ha Baraoana to the east of Maseru.
Address: Quting, Lesotho
Located in the Maseru district, this fascinating cultural museum displays traditional Basotho and prehistoric artifacts, memorabilia from the Boer War and other regional conflicts, as well as extensive documentation covering the 200 or so years since the country was first united.
Address: Morija, Maseru, Lesotho