Roof of Africa

Roof of Africa

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These tours around central and northern Lesotho have a taste of all the attractions which make Lesotho the perfect destination for the adventurous traveller. We recommend doing this circuit as a 5 day tour, but it is possible to do it in 4. We aim to explore the highlands, do some pony trekking, hiking, cross six 3000m+ spectacular road passes, see Bushman Rock Art, wonder through an enchanted indigenous forest, enjoy Lesotho’s only botanical garden, swim in crystal clear mountain pools (in summer!!), explore the three nature and cultural reserves in the north of the country and return via the route known as “The Roof of Africa” after the famous motor rally which used to take place there. We spend time with a Basotho family getting to know more about the way of life of this tough and hospitable mountain people. A highlight is a visit to Katse Dam, centrepiece of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project which takes the water of the Lesotho Highlands via an incredible series of dams and tunnels through the mountains eventually coming out on the plains of South Africa’s Free State province where it gravity feeds to supply Johannesburg and Pretoria with water. It was touted as the biggest engineering project in the southern hemisphere in the 1990’s when it was under construction, and the sight of the massive dam wall and the deep still lake it has created in the mountains is well worth beholding!!

Ts’ehlanyane National Park is a little known gem, with pristine indigenous forest, special grassland flowers and stupendous scenery the reward for visiting. Add in the sumptuous Maliba Lodge (on the 5 day option) and Ts’ehlanyane is a MUST!

Depart Sani Lodge around 9am in 4×4 vehicle up the Sani Pass. Cross into Lesotho and carry on via Kotisepola Pass (3240m) and down the scenic Sehonghong Valley. Picnic lunch by the river. Continue on to arrive at Matsoaing village, the home of our hosts the Nkune family at the quaintly named No. 10 Riverside. They will show us around the area, visit a traditional healer, experience traditional dancing and eat traditional meals with the family. Overnight in a traditional rondavel.
NOTE: There is no electricity or running water at No. 10. Clean water for drinking and washing are fetched and provided. The toilet is a “long drop” (pit latrine).

Depart after breakfast and travel west, over another 3000m+ road pass, the Menoaneng. Beautiful scenery, then drop down, down, down to the major river draining the Lesotho Highlands, the Senqu (becomes the Orange River). Cross the river at the low level Koma Koma crossing, then climb out of the valley, via the town of Thaba Tseka to arrive early afternoon at Katse Dam. We join the dam tour and get inside the dam wall!! Visit the lovely Katse Botanical gardens to experience some of Lesotho’s beautiful plants and flowers in a magnificent setting. Overnight at Katse Cottages. Dinner at Katse Lodge restaurant.

After breakfast, we depart Katse and follow the lake north, up towards its headwaters. The road crosses the dam over the spectacular Malibamatso Bridge, then climbs another 3000m+ pass, Mafika Lisiu at the top of which is Bokong Nature Reserve. Lunch here and a short hike to view the Lepaqoa Waterfall. Continue on down the other side of the pass, to the town of Hlotse. Here we visit the excellent Leribe Craft Centre, a sheltered workshop producing beautiful mohair crafts such as tapestries, rugs, runners, scarves  and bags. We continue from Hlotse to Ts’ehlanyane National Park. We arrive at the spectacular Maliba Lodge, a 5 star concession within the National Park, our home for the next couple of days. The main lodge and 5 star accommodation is on a mountainside, high above the valley. We stay in the more modest Riverside Huts some distance away, but still part of the Maliba set-up. The huts sleep 2 each (in one double bed) and are en suite. Maliba’s restaurant produces superb meals and our stay is on a full board basis!

Full day to enjoy the wonders of Ts’ehlanyane, either on a guided hike or horse-ride. Soaring mountain scenery, an enchanted indigenous forest, pools, waterfalls and a sense of serenity make this a special place. Second night in the Riverside Huts.

Depart after breakfast to the cultural reserve at Liphofung. The guide will interpret a very good panel of Bushman Rock Art, tell of the significance of the cave in Basotho history and then show us around the cultural village which has been set up there. We continue on over the Moteng Pass, past Oxbow Lodge, climbing Mahlasela Pass on to the „Roof of Africa” route to the town of  Mokhotlong, known in the 1950’s as the most isolated outpost of the British Empire. Time permitting, we stop for a drink at the highest pub in Africa, arriving back at Sani Lodge around 5-5.30 pm.

As for 5 day tour, but leave out day 4, the full day at Tsehlanyane. The third night is spent at Mamohase Homestay near Butha Buthe.

REQUIRED: VALID PASSPORT(Please click here for Lesotho visa requirements)

YOU BRING download the kit list here

Please have a look at our tour map.


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