Lesotho offers natural beauty, rugged terrain, and rich local culture and traditions and a scarcity of civilization's trappings, such as landlords and fences, provides a permit-free playground for the more intrepid adventurers.

With all its land lying at altitudes in excess of 1500m above sea-level; Lesotho is a land of heights and extremes. Lesotho offers breathtaking mountain vistas and adventure activities such as skiing, pony trekking, hiking and abseiling for the intrepid traveller. More leisurely pursuits for those seeking a relaxing and revitalising break include birdwatching, boating and fishing.

Accommodation can be found in all the regions of Lesotho, some calmly situated on river banks, some on mountain sides, and some at the highest altitude in Southern Africa. A visitor to Lesotho can choose to stay in a bed and breakfast or hotel in a town or the capital, Maseru, or choose to be spoiled by nature and find chalet or self-catering accommodation deep in the highlands of Lesotho, totally surrounded by beautiful mountains and a peaceful environment.

Lesotho's history can be explored at leisure with visits to San rock art, dinosaur footprints and cultural villages where the rich local culture of the Basotho people can be experienced.

Lesotho is a democratic, sovereign and independent country which has the unusual distinction of being completely surrounded by another country. Lesotho's strength as an investment destination lies in her investment security, incentives, scenic beauty and rich cultural traditions.

A variety of unique investment opportunities are available in Lesotho and a range of useful services are offered by the LTDC to potential investors wishing to set up tourism enterprises in Lesotho. Investment opportunities include:

  • Accommodation facilities and resort developments
  • Tour operating and tour guiding
  • Boating excursions on dams, canoeing and other water-related recreational activities
  • High altitude sports training facilities

The LTDC provides professional services to investors both before and after investment, assists the foreign investor to obtain clearances (residence permits, work permits, licences etc) and provides investment advice.

Lesotho is situated centrally within Southern Africa and with good access to some of the fastest growing industrial and economic areas in the region such as Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein in neighbouring South Africa. This, combined with the efforts of the Government of Lesotho to create a good enabling environment for business, make the country an attractive destination for foreign investment.

Lesotho (pronounced li-soo-too), is officially the Kingdom of Lesotho,(formerly Basutoland). It was constituted as a native state under British protection by a treaty signed with the native chief Moshoeshoe in 1843. It was annexed to Cape Colony in 1871, but in 1884 it was restored to direct control by the Crown. The colony of Basutoland became the independent nation of Lesotho on Oct. 4, 1966, with King Moshoeshoe II as sovereign.

Lesotho is a land locked country (being completely surrounded by South Africa) and is commonly known as the Kingdom in the Sky because of its mountainous terrain and height above sea level - Lesotho has the highest "low point" of any country in the world. The country itself is about the size of Belgium and has a population of around 1.8 million people.

Lesotho's capital city is called Maseru, it is located on its Western border with South Africa. It is also the only country in Africa where people live above the snow line.
Lesotho is also famous for suffering the largest number of lightening strikes in the world!

The Basotho people (the local inhabitants of Lesotho) are renowned for their crafts, and their traditional products have a reputation for quality, individuality and variety. For many years ponies were their only means of transport through the mountainous terrain, resulting in a strong tradition of horse-riding and breeding.

The traditional Basotho Hat, or mokorotlo, is the best known of a fine range of grass-works made in Lesotho. It's conical shape is seen everywhere in the kingdom, and is the recognized symbol of the country. The hat’s shape is believed to have been inspired by the Qiloane mountain near the mountain fortress of Moshoeshoe I - Thaba-Bosiu.
Bokong Nature Reserve
Bokong has perhaps the most dramatic setting of the three Lesotho Northern Parks reserves, with stunning vistas over the Lepaqoa Valley from the visitors centre, various short walks and a good, rugged two- to three-day hike to Ts’ehlanyane National Park. Bearded vultures, rock shelters and valleyhead fens (wetland areas) are features here.

You can gush about the impressive waterfall, near both the visitors centre and where you can camp. You can also stay overnight in a very basic, four-person hut – bring your own food, sleeping bag, mattress and stove. Guides are available, and pony trekking can be arranged. The reserve sits at just over 3000m and gets cold at night, so come prepared. Bookings must be made through Lesotho Northern Parks.

Bokong lies roughly midway between Katse and Leribe at the top of Mafika-Lisiu Pass (3090m). Minibus taxis from Leribe will drop you at the visitors centre (M32, 1½ hours); when leaving, you may need to wait a while before one with space passes by.


Ts'ehlanyane National Park
This Lesotho Northern Parks–administered national park protects a beautiful, 5600-hectare patch of rugged wilderness, including one of Lesotho’s only stands of indigenous forest, at a high altitude of 2000m to 3000m. This underrated and underused place is about as far away from it all as you can get and is perfect for hiking.

In addition to day walks, there’s a 39km day hike or pony trek to/from Bokong Nature Reserve, covering some of Lesotho’s most dramatic terrain. Heading north from Bokong to Ts’ehlanyane is easier, as Bokong is higher; the challenging route is also better tackled by pony or horse. Hiking guides can be arranged at Ts’ehlanyane gate (M30 within the park, M400 to Bokong) or Maliba Mountain Lodge.

Community-run pony trekking and horse riding can be arranged through Maliba or the park gate. Book at least 24 hours ahead.

Maliba also offers community-run tours of the villages bordering Ts’ehlanyane.

Sehlabathebe National Park
Lesotho’s most under-visited national park is remote, rugged and beautiful. The rolling grasslands, wildflowers and silence provide complete isolation, with only the prolific bird life (including the bearded vulture) and the odd rhebok for company. Hiking (and horse riding from Sani Top or the Drakensbergs) is the main way to explore, and angling is possible in the dams and rivers.

Come well prepared for the changing elements: this is a summer-rainfall area, and thick mist, potentially hazardous to hikers, is common. The winters are clear, but it gets cold at night, with occasional light snowfalls.

Sehlabathebe is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture.

Liphofung Cave Cultural & Historical Site
Just beyond the village of Muela is the signposted turn-off for this small Lesotho Northern Parks–administered site, which includes a cave with some San paintings and Stone Age artefacts. King Moshoeshoe the Great is rumoured to have stopped here on his travels around Lesotho.

There is a cultural centre and a small shop selling local crafts. Day walks are possible and with notice you can arrange guided hikes and and pony treks.

Accommodation is available in simple, but comfortable, stone, four-person rondavels with kitchen facilities and sweeping views. It is also possible to camp in the cave – a novel and atmospheric experience. Either way, you’ll need to bring your own food.

Masitise Cave House Museum
Five kilometres west of Quthing is this intriguing section of an old mission, built directly into a San rock shelter in 1866 by Reverend David-Frédéric Ellenberger, a Swiss missionary who was among the first to Lesotho. There’s a cast of a dinosaur footprint in the ceiling, a museum with displays on local culture and history, and San paintings nearby.

To get here, take the signposted turn-off near the Masitise Primary School and follow the road about 1km back past the small red church. At the neighbouring house you can ask for the key from the caretaker, the church pastor. From here, the museum is five minutes further on foot.

Thaba-Bosiu is the evocative mountain stronghold of Moshoeshoe the Great, who first occupied the place in 1824. Good views from here include those of the Qiloane pinnacle (inspiration for the Basotho hat), along with the remains of fortifications, Moshoeshoe's grave, and parts of the original settlement.

Thaba-Bosiu means Mountain at Night, perhaps a memory of when the sight was first occupied. Another legend suggests that Thaba-Bosiu is a hill in daylight, but transformed into a mountain after dark. There's an information centre at the base of Thaba-Bosiu; an official guide will take you to the summit.

Ha Kome Cave Houses
The Ha Kome cave houses are an anomaly in this area, 21km from Teyateyaneng and several kilometres from the village of Mateka. These extraordinary inhabited mud dwellings are nestled under a rock overhang, hidden within the pink-and-orange cliffs. There’s a small information centre with toilets and a few basic maps. In a 2WD, you should be able reach the caves from TY or from Maseru or Thaba-Bosiu via Sefikeng, but do check on road conditions. Shared taxis go there from TY and Maseru. A music and beer festival takes place here in November.

Royal Archives & Museum
Morija's unremarkable neighbouring village, Matsieng, is the unlikely site of a royal compound. A new palace was built in Maseru in the '60s, but the royals still weekend here. The adjoining archives and small museum display items from the royal collection and information and documents about the monarchy.

Staff can give you a tour (M40) of the village and point out notable elements of the compound.

Tsikoane Village Dinosaur Footprints
This set of footprints is a few kilometres south of Leribe at Tsikoane village. Immediately after the Tsikoane Primary School, take the small dirt road to the right towards some rocky outcrops. Follow it up to the church. Children will vie to lead you the 1km slog up the mountainside to the minwane, in a series of caves, and a guide can be helpful here. The prints are clearly visible on the rock ceiling.

Dinosaur Footprints
One of Quthing’s main claims to fame is the proliferation of dinosaur footprints in the surrounding area. The most easily accessible are signposted on the left as you leave town heading northeast towards Qacha's Nek. In this building are 230-million-year-old footprints and a craft shop. Children will offer to guide you to more footprints for a small tip.

Set in truly stunning scenery, the village of Malealea, with its mountains, valleys and ancient San paintings hidden in rock shelters, is one of the gems of Lesotho. The best way to experience the spectacular landscape is to take a pony trek or wander on foot through the hills and villages. Malealea is appropriately advertised as 'Lesotho in a nutshell'.

Mohale Dam
Built across the Senqunyane River, the impressive 145m-high, rock-fill Mohale Dam was completed in 2004 as the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. There are commanding views of the lake and massive mountains beyond. You can drive as far as the Mohale Tunnel through which water can flow for 32km between Mohale and Katse Dams.

Morija Museum & Archives
This small, considered museum contains ethnographical exhibits, archives from the early mission and scientific artefacts. There’s an excellent collection of books for sale, including those by curator Stephen Gill. Staff will guide you to dinosaur footprints (M50 per person) in the nearby Makhoarane Mountains, a 1½-hour return walk.

Katse Botanical Garden
Katse Botanical Garden was originally established to protect the spiral aloes displaced from the dam’s construction. It has flourished to include gravel, hillside trails passing via a rock garden, indigenous flowers, a medicinal section and a dam viewpoint. A plant-propagation project takes place in the greenhouse.

Katse Dam Visitors Centre
On the main road is Katse Dam's visitors centre, with information, displays and a dam-viewing deck. Look for the bright blue roof a few kilometres east of Katse village. Guided tours of the dam wall (M10, one hour) depart at 9am and 2pm (weekdays) and 9am and 11am (weekends).

Lesotho Mountain Craft Gallery and Cafe, Teyateyaneng
Lesotho Mountain Craft Gallery is Lesotho's premier craft gallery exhibiting the work of 15 companies from across the lowlands. During a visit to the gallery you will find a wide range of leather and sheepskin, wool and mohair and cow horn products together with jewellery, accessories and home decor items. Drawing on traditional and local raw materials the Lesotho Mountain Craft companies produce a beautiful range of contemporary, high quality crafts.They also sell Basotho literature and can tell you about many of the cultural and historical points of interest. You will be able to enjoy spinning and weaving demonstrations when you visit and longer courses can be arranged by prior booking. The cafe boasts beautiful views and you can enjoy their wide range of speciality teas and plunger coffee together with a selection of light meals and snacks.




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