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Lesotho is incredible vistas
July 2, 2018, 12:24 pm
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Adventure awaits you in the Mountain Kingdom with a range of activities on land, on the snow and in the water. Lesotho is famous for its spectacular scenic beauty branded by breathtaking mountain ranges, towering peaks, a rich variety of flora and fauna, crystal clear streams, surging waterfalls, diverse culture and a snow blanket seen high in the mountains across the country in winter.  Whether it is for relaxing, adventure or sporting activities that tourists may visit Lesotho, there is always something for everyone.

Ha Kome Cave Village: At Ha Kome there is a remarkable village where cave dwellings have been carved out under towering rocks. The families still living there today are descendants of the original people who ‘built’ the caves in the 19th century and the site is now a National Heritage Site.
Gruesomely, this area was once home to cannibals and past generations of Basotho fled to the caves to hide from them. Parking at the top of the hill allows you to walk for about 20 minutes to reach the Ha Kome Visitors Centre where you will be given a guided tour of the caves and told something of the history and culture of the people.

Liphofung Cave Cultural and Historical Site: This small but historically significant sandstone overhang is adorned in San rock art and served as a temporary hideaway home for King Moshoeshoe the Great back in the early 1800s, before he became the nation's founder. The government-run site offers guided walks through the cave, along with a cultural centre and shop selling local crafts.

Thaba Bosiu: A national monument, Thaba-Bosiu or ‘mountain of the night’ was the mountain stronghold of ‘Moshoeshoe the Great’ and is considered the birthplace of the Basotho nation. It is by far one of the most important historical sites in Lesotho and invokes a sense of identity for the proud nation Basotho.

The name mountain of the night echoed the local belief that the mountain grows by night into an impossibly tall, unconquerable mountain fortress. Good views for the surrounding countryside include those of the Qiloane pinnacle, along with the remains of fortifications, Moshoeshoe’s grave, and parts of the original settlement.

Maletsunyane Falls: This stunning 200m-plus waterfall is the site of the longest single-drop commercial abseil in the world. Book the abseil at the activity centre at Semonkong Lodge, and realize that you will actually need to train the day before on a shorter drop, just to get the hang of it. You can rappel down the waterfall at your own pace, taking in the lovely plant life growing from between rocks and choosing how close you get to the thundering wall of water. Close to the bottom though, the wind can carry some spray in your direction; dress accordingly, with waterproof, warm clothing, and be ready to shed some layers during the gorgeous hike out of the valley.
 
 
Katse Dam: This engineering marvel stores 1950 million cubic meters of water bound for thirsty Gauteng, South Africa's most populated province. The high-altitude, 35.8-sq-km body of blue also generates hydroelectric power for Lesotho. Ringed by steep, green hillsides, the dam is a serene if surreal spot; even if you are not impressed by engineering feats, the area makes for a relaxing pause.

Tse'hlanyane National Park: The country's top park features a beautiful, 56-sq-km 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, horse riding and spotting elands.

 
Sehlabathebe National Park: This far-flung, lesser-visited park offers stunning rock formations, rolling grasslands, wildflowers and a feeling of isolation, though there is also a shiny new headquarters and a few rondavels at the entrance. Bearded vultures and rheboks can be viewed here, along with some of the country's most well-preserved San cave paintings, and in the summer angling is possible in the dams and rivers.

Sani Mountain Lodge: At 2874m, this lodge atop the Sani Pass stakes a claim to 'Africa's highest pub'. Bar trivia aside, cosy rondavels (round huts with a conical roof) and excellent meals reward those who make the steep ascent from KwaZulu-Natal.  In winter, the snow is sometimes deep enough for skiing; pony trekking and village visits can be arranged with notice.

 
Malealea Lodge: Offering 'Lesotho in a nutshell', Malealea is a deserving poster child for the mountain kingdom. Every sunset, village choirs and bands perform at the mountaintop lodge. Many of the activities are run in partnership with the community, and a proportion of tourist revenue and donations goes directly to supporting local projects. The views, meanwhile, are stupendous. Accommodation ranges from campsites and twin ‘forest’ (backpacker) huts in a pretty wooded setting away from the lodge to simple, cosy en-suite rooms and rondavels (round huts with a conical roof).

Afriski: Afriski Mountain Resort in the Kingdom of Lesotho is an all year mountain adventure destination with a multitude of winter and summer activities. As only ski resort in Lesotho, it offers a unique winter experience that is not usually found in Africa. A wide variety of accommodation options and a stunning restaurant that is open all year. Afriski is a venue ideally suited to families, corporates, schools and fun lovers of all ages.

 

 

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