Activities in Lesotho
Outdoor There are good walking trails in Maseru, along with many craft markets, but without doubt the biggest attraction in Lesotho is hiking. However, make sure before you set out that you use either a guide or compass and map, obtainable at the Department of Land, Surveys and Physical Planning on Lerotholi Road Maseru.
For birdwatching enthusiast, Lesotho is renowned for its large raptor population, including the Cape Vulture, the rare Bearded Vulture, the Steppe Buzzard and the Black Eagle.
Basotho Pony trekking is recommended, with the main centres the Basotho Trekking Centre on God Help Me Pass, and Malealea Lodge near the Gates of Paradise. Other options include Frasers Lodge in Semonkong, the Trading Post Lodge in Roma and Ha Poli Valley near Thaba-Tseka.
The Sani Pass lies on the border with South Africa and is the only viable road into Lesotho from the Kwazulu-Natal side.
You can start the arduous trek to Thabana-Ntlenyana, Southern Africa’s highest peak, on horseback. The road is suited to 4x4, but weather permitting, you could get up in a 4x2 vehicle. A friendly bar at the top will crown your sense of achievement at having scaled the dramatic pass. You’ll feel on top of the world! There are a few budget accommodation options here too.
Himeville and Underberg are the closest towns on the South African side.
Tourism in Lesotho
The tourism sector is one industry which stands to benefit from the LHWP. The tourism industry is being actively promoted by LNDC and a number of hotels, mountain lodges and a national park have been developed in recent years. It is marketed as a haven for those who enjoy back-to-nature adventures with a wide range of activities offered. The majestic beauty of its rugged mountains and the simple way of life are a major drawcard.
Tourist accommodation is being continually developed. Maseru has a number of international hotels and a variety of restaurants, while other areas offer smaller hotel and alpine lodge accommodation. For the growing backpacker demand, there are inns and youth hostels as well as traditional Basotho-thatched rondavels.
The Lesotho Tourist Board operates overland adventure tours from Maseru which take in the scenic and historical highlights as well as offering visits to craft centres, pony trekking, skiing at Oxbow and swimming in bilharzia-free mountain streams.
Pony trekking has become a popular tourist activity in Lesotho. The famous hardy and sure-footed Basotho ponies can take visitors into areas not accessible by road. The Lesotho Highlands are considered the main tourist attraction. The traditional lifestyle of the Basotho can still be seen and most of the customs are fully intact.
The development of the Katse Dam, a 45-kilometre long water feature will become a further attraction in the region offering water-based recreational facilities, bird watching and trout fishing. In the winter, short range skiing at Oxbow is a growing attraction.
The new Tourism Development and Incentives Bill provides for an improved institutional framework for tourism. The bill also ensures that there is proper tourism regulation in the country and that there is an appropriate system for the manufacture and retail of handicrafts and souvenirs in the country.
This year will also see two new programmes implemented by the Ministry of Tourism. A feasibility study on the establishment of a High Altitude Training Centre at Mohale has already started. It is expected that the Centre will offer training facilities to the various sport disciplines to all sportspeople worldwide. The second programme is the development of Ski Resorts. The Kotisephola Skiing site at Sani in the Mokhotlong district has been declared a Special Development Area for Tourism. An investor has been identified and agreement has been reached for the development of the site. Mahlasela has also been identified for the establishment of a skiing resort.
Lesotho is a Unique Tourism Experience
Popular descriptions of this rugged country, with is majestic beauty and serene simplicity, are "Mountain Kingdom" and "Kingdom in the Sky". Lesotho Offers a very different tourism experience, with the potential of the tourism sector lying in its natural beauty, rich flora and fauna, and absorbing prehistoric and cultural heritage. The appeal of this extraordinary country is rarely found in more commercialized destinations.
Mountains, valleys, and rivers provide memorable scenery for tourists. This is where Lesotho gets its crystal clear water as well as green pastures for livestock. Minerals such as diamond are found in the mountains. Indeed, Lesotho is the Kingdom in the Sky.
Mountains of Lesotho
Most tourist travel many kilometers from their countries just to come and patch in the rocks of Lesotho. They also enjoy playing around the clean water of Lesotho' s mountains. This is one of the biggest source of income to the country.
In the Villages of Lesotho
Basotho are a nation that has solid traditions, beliefs and customs. The annual Morija arts festival portrays at the best level the rich culture and celebrations that Lesotho is truly proud of. If you want to be part of these celebrations you will be welcomed with smiling faces. And in the villages, you will be offered the traditional porridge -- Motoho. Come and experience a wealth of savory food, natural attractions, and reserves.
The Maluti Mountains, spurs of the Drakensberg range, extend north and south. They form a high plateau from 9,000 to 10,000 ft in height. The highest point is Thabana Ntlenyana (11,425ft) in the east. The rich volcanic soils of the foothills and mountains are some of the best in the country.
The sources of two of the principal rivers in South Africa, the Orange and the Tugeld, are in these mountains. Tributaries of the Caledon River, which forms the country's western border, also rise here.
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