Must see attractions in Lesotho

  • Sights in Northeastern Highlands

    Liphofung Cave Cultural & 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. Accommodation is available, but when we last visited the place had been without water for more than six months, and the neglected property was falling into disrepair.

  • Sights in Central Highlands

    Bokong Nature Reserve

    Bokong has perhaps the more dramatic setting of the two northern parks, 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.

  • Sights in Northwestern Lesotho

    Ts'ehlanyane 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.

  • Sights in Lesotho

    Ha Baroana

    Ha Baroana is one of Lesotho’s more important and publicised rock-art sites. It’s worth a visit if you have extra time, although neglect and vandalism have taken their toll.

  • Sights in Southern Lesotho

    Sehlabathebe National Park

    This far-flung, lesser-visited park offers stunning rock formations, rolling grasslands, wildflowers and a feeling of isolation, though there's 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. Roads are rough, meaning the best ways to arrive are via hiking or horse riding from Sani Top or the Drakensberg.

  • Sights in Northwestern Lesotho

    Ha Kome Cave Houses

    The Ha Kome cave houses are an anomaly in this area, 21km from Teyateyaneng (TY) 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.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Qacha’s Nek

    Qacha's Nek Snake Park

    This site is unique in Lesotho, not only because it is the country's only snake park, but because you can also get your car washed while you visit the anacondas, endemic puff adders and spitting cobras. Oh, and the eccentric, local herpetologist who owns the place also keeps bees. And the first chief of Qacha's Nek used to live in a cave above where the snakes are kept.

  • Sights in Leribe

    Subeng River Dinosaur Footprints

    Dinosaur footprints abound near Leribe. About 7km north of town (en route to Butha-Buthe) are the Subeng River footprints. At the signpost, just before the road crosses the river, walk down about 500m to a concrete causeway. The worn footprints of at least three species of dinosaur are about 15m downstream on the right bank.

  • Sights in Leribe

    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 footprints, in a series of caves, and a guide can be helpful here. The prints are clearly visible on the rock ceiling.

  • Sights in Morija

    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.

  • Sights in Quthing

    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.

  • Sights in Morija

    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 5km return walk.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Thaba-Bosiu

    Cultural Village

    Revamped in 2016, the well-maintained cultural village is a highly worthwhile stop. Excellent guided tours of the complex explain traditional Basotho culture and history, and end with a visit to a statue of the much-revered Moshoeshoe I. There's a restaurant (mains M60 to M160) with a wraparound veranda – a great place for an afternoon drink.

  • Sights in Quthing

    Lake Letsie

    A little-visited but incredibly picturesque lake that makes for gorgeous day trips from Quthing (a two-hour, bumpy ride each way). Intrepid travellers may even opt to camp here. One guide who can arrange the outings is Mamalephane, who works in conjunction with the Hillsview Guest House.

  • Sights in Katse Dam

    Katse Botanical Garden

    Katse Botanical Garden was originally established to protect the spiral aloes displaced from the Katse 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.

  • Sights in Mohale Dam

    Mohale Dam Visitors Centre

    The visitors centre is 15km from the main road, signposted west of Mohale village. It offers dam views, a guided tour (M10) and boat cruises (per person from M120; book ahead). Tours go at 9am and 2pm on weekdays, and at 11am on weekends.

  • Sights in Quthing

    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 arrive in Lesotho. There’s a cast of a dinosaur footprint in the ceiling, a museum with displays on local culture and history, and fading San rock art nearby.

  • Sights in Morija

    Maeder House Gallery

    This art centre and gallery is near the Morija Museum & Archives in a missionary house dating back to 1843. Various local artists work and exhibit their art here.

  • Sights in Katse Dam

    Katse Dam Visitors Centre

    On the main road in Katse village is the 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 (M30, one hour) depart at 9am and 2pm (weekdays) and 9am, 11am and 2pm (weekends and holidays).

  • Sights in Leribe

    Major Bell’s Tower

    Leribe's main sight is this crumbling gun tower near the market. It was built for the Gun War in the late 1800s, but spent most of its career as a storehouse for government records. The tower is not open to visitors.