3 Day Safari –
ZAR 8,950 p.p.s.
This short tour provides a wonderful insight into the culture, history and scenic landscapes of the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, known as the Kingdom of the Sky.
Roof of Africa Tours will take you on an exciting adventure into the mountain kingdom where you will integrate with the Sotho people, learn about their culture and enjoy the magnificent landscapes.
Starting your tour from Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg in South Africa, you will enter Lesotho after a dramatic drive up Sani Pass offering awesome views over the valleys below and the Drakensberg escarpment. Lesotho is a small landlocked country and is surrounded by the Drakensberg and Maluti mountains. The lowest point in the country is 1,388 metres above sea level, the highest low point of any country in the world, while the summit of Thaba Ntlenyana is 3,482 metres above sea level, the loftiest peak south of Kilimanjaro.
Lesotho is almost entirely mountainous and is known for its breathtaking highland vistas. Majestic landscapes include golden sandstone cliffs, basaltic peaks, undulating montane grasslands, spectacular waterfalls that plunge into deep canyons and myriads of streams and rivers. Midwinter months of June to August often bring heavy snowfalls and sub-zero temperatures that transform the waterfalls into beautiful icy sculptures.
Lesotho is home to the Basotho people who live in traditional stone and thatch huts. Villagers on horseback in multicoloured blankets and balaclavas are a common sight throughout the country and create a distinct impression. The country is mainly rural with an agricultural economy and very little industrialisation. Shepherds roam the countryside on foot or horseback, accompanied by flocks of sheep and Merino goats whose coats are used to produce the wool and mohair handicrafts for which Lesotho is known. Ancient traditions remain part of a living 21st-century culture that both enthrals and welcomes visitors.
The highlands and mountains of Lesotho offer many thrilling activities including hiking, Basotho pony trails, 4×4 trails, skiing, mountain biking, canoeing, fly-fishing and the world’s highest commercial abseil at Semonkong.
Archaeological and historic highlights include dinosaur footprints dating back more than 200 million years, rock shelters adorned with centuries-old Bushman rock paintings and a host of 19th-century landmarks associated with King Moshoeshoe I and various early missionaries.
- Awesome 4×4 drive up Sani Pass
- Dramatic montane landscapes of Lesotho
- Visit Basotho village
- Amazing views from the Roof of Africa route
- Bushman Rock Art
- Dinosaur footprints dating back millions of years
- Unique cave dwellings at Kome Caves
- Lesotho culture and history at Thaba Bosiu
- Africa’s highest single-drop waterfall at Maletsunyane
BIRDHAVEN LODGE, HLOTSE, LESOTHO
Ensuite Double/Twin Room – Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
This morning you will be collected by Roof of Africa Tours at 08:00 to start your 3 Day Guided Lesotho Highlights Tour. You will depart from Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg in a 4WD vehicle and proceed into Lesotho via the steeply snaking Sani Pass with amazing views of the Drakensberg escarpment and valleys below. The Sani Pass climbs from 1,500 m to 2,874 m Above Sea Level with the last 8 kms climbing nearly 1,000 m ASL. The famous switchbacks overlooking the South African valleys are spectacular. You then climb further to the top of Black Mountain Pass at 3,240 m ASL.
The remote villages of the Sani Top and Mokhotlong areas are some of the most remote villages in Lesotho. You will get an inside look at the people living in this tough environment with a visit to a village.
Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking a beautiful vista of the Senqu River which becomes the Orange River in South Africa, an important river for several Southern African countries.
The route from Sani Top to Thaba Bosiu is often called the Roof of Africa route. You have already conquiered the Sani Pass as well as Black Mountain Pass. After lunch you tackle Taeeng Pass at 3,225 m and Motebong Pass at 2,820 m. Along the way you will see Letseng Diamond Mine (the world’s highest diamond mine), as well as Afriski Moutain Resort and countless villages and other picturesque scenes.
You then descend into the lowlands of the Thaba Bosiu area and visit the Bushman Paintings at Liphofung around 16:00.
This area of Lesotho is more built up than the remote highlands where you started. Now head to your overnight accommodation in Hlotse. You will check in at Bird Haven at approx. 18:00.
Bird Haven Guesthouse is set in a beautiful garden in the small town of Hlotse in the Leribe region.
You are booked in a Double Room with Dinner and Breakfast included. Room facilities include an ensuite bathroom, television, mini-bar fridge, coffee/tea station and free wifi.
Lesotho, known as the Kingdom in the Sky, holds a wealth of different experiences in store for those who visit there. Mountains, valleys and rivers present unforgettable panoramas for tourists. The mountains are the source of Lesotho’s crystal-clear water which also feeds the pastures for livestock. Diamonds are amongst the minerals found in the mountains.
This is essentially an alpine country, where villagers on horseback in multicoloured balaclavas and blankets greet you round precipitous bends. The hiking and trekking offer undulating expanses of pastoral charm, traditional rondavels (round huts with a conical roof) and innumerable grazing sheep.
The 1,000 m-high ‘lowlands’ offer craft shopping and sightseeing. In the southern, central and northeastern highlands, streams traverse an ancient dinosaur playground. This is genuine adventure travel.
Included : Dinner, Bed and Breakfast
SEMONKONG LODGE, LESOTHO
Ensuite Double/Twin Room – Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
This morning you will have breakfast at 07:00 and depart between 08:00 and 08:30. You will backtrack slightly to visit a riverbed close to your overnight accommodation where there is evidence of prehistoric life forms. If the river is in flood these ancient footprints are hidden to the world but usually the water levels are low enough to see the Dinosaur Footprints Now leave on the main road to Maseru and travel to the Kome Caves, home to modern cave-dwellers. These caves were originally inhabited by clans escaping the Lifqane wars and cannabilism.
You make your way to Thaba Bosiu along the back roads which go through many rural villages. Thaba Bosiu is a cultural centre of utmost importance in Lesotho history. From Thaba Bosiu you drive into the capital city Maseru for lunch at approx. 13:00. This gives one a good understanding of modern-day city life in Lesotho and its strong cultural mix.
Around 15:00 you head back into the highlands of Lesotho going through the Mantsa Pass to the highland town of Semonkong. Dependant on weather conditions and water levels, enjoy a lovely sunset is over the Maletsunayne Falls before checking into Semonkong Lodge around 17:30.
Semonkong Lodge, also known as the Place of Smoke, is located in the highlands of Lesotho and is set on the banks of the Maletsunyane River. Just down the river from the lodge, the mighty Maletsunyane Falls is one of the highest single dropping waterfalls in Africa, creating a haze of smokey mist as the water plummets 186 m down into a spectacular gorge. This is how Semonkong got its name.
The well-known Duck and Donkey Tavern and Restaurant provides a popular meeting place for both locals and guests and boasts affordable, delicious homemade meals and cold Maluti beers.
You are booked in an ensuite Double Room with Dinner and Breakfast included.
Included : Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
END OF TOUR
This morning you will have an early breakfast and then hike or drive to the Maletsunyane Falls to view this spectacular natural site (if you didn’t see it the evening before). Then depart the Lesotho highlands via passes that enter South Africa at Qacha’s Nek. Snake your way through the last remote villages of Lesotho and cross the Senqu River again. Meander along the river valleys toward the border town of Qachas Nek.
Once back in South Africa you will reach Matatiele around 13:00 where you will have lunch. From Matatiele you skirt the Drakensberg Mountains and return to Underberg along scenic back roads, arriving between 15:00 and 16:00.
This is the end of your tour.
- Jan – Dec 2020 – ZAR 8,950 per person sharing
- Accommodation & meals as per itinerary
- Activities as per itinerary