The #SAfricansTravelToo crew recently got an opportunity to travel to the Basotho Kingdom, Lesotho and all I could think of leading up to the trip were beautiful mountains, horse riding and the Maletsunyane Falls, which I’ve always wanted to see.
Getting to Lesotho was fairly easy, if you don’t mind a whole lot of potholes on the way there, if you’re driving from Johannesburg. I wonder if there will ever be a time when Free State municipalities give a damn about fixing roads. I experience it when I go home to Welkom, and we kept having to dodge potholes all the way to Lesotho, driving through Free State towns.
… but thanks to our transport partner, ISUZU, we were able to navigate and comfortably drive through all those hurdles to reach Maseru safely.
I must say, the Maseru border was a breeze compared to the chaos we experienced getting into Maputo. Within a few minutes we were in the Kingdom and almost immediately regretted having picked such a cold weekend to visit. Temperatures were as low as 7 degrees when we arrived.
A short drive from the border gate and we were right outside our hotel, the 4 Star AVANI Lesotho Hotel and Casino, which is part of the Minor Hotel Group. If you are visiting Maseru, I would recommend that you explore this particular as one of your options. There is also Avani Maseru, which is a few meters away from this one, but it is currently going through an upgrade so maybe in a year, it will also be at this level.
The one thing that stood out for me at this hotel, besides comfort and class, was the hospitality from the staff. Having grew up in the Free State, I know that humility and respect are the two traits Basotho can absolutely be credited for but it was really amazing to be back there and be reminded of it.
The hotel boasts 150 rooms, a gym, swimming pool and of course the Casino and a few restaurants options.
My favorite was the Ying Tao restaurant where we enjoyed the most amazing Chinese meal I’d ever had! The only thing I order when I say I feel like having Chinese, is chow mein or Sushi and I got schooled and found out that Sushi isn’t even Chinese, it’s Japanese. Hehehe Am I the only one who did not know this??
A glimpse of the yummy food we had…
Enough about the logistics, let me tell you what we got up to!
Excited as I was about going to the Maletsunyane Falls, we unfortunately couldn’t go as snow had fallen and the mountain was a no go. Our next best option was to visit the Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village.
The cultural village is situated right opposite Thaba Bosiu mountain, which is an important historical site for Basotho as it was where King Moshoeshoe 1 and his people settled after migrating from Butha Buthe in the 1824. There is also a museum in the village where you can learn about Basotho and where they come from, it’s an inspiring story and you will fall in love with King Moshoeshoe when you realize what a peace loving man he was. His grave is also on this mountain.
For those who aren’t familiar with a typical village, you’ll also get see the huts Basotho chiefs and villagers lived in, as well as Lekhotla, the court.
It was also interesting to learn about the different Basotho clans and how they came about – I mean I know of Bakgatla, Bafokeng, Bakwena and so on, but all very interesting to trace their origins.
To be honest, I didn’t expect to learn anything going here as I thought it was more for “foreign” tourists but I am amazed at just how little we know of one another as Africans and South Africans. We have a rich and interesting history and we should try read up on it.
And is anyone going to King Moshoeshoe’s story? Make a film about it? I think it was especially interesting how he ended up with SO many wives, just because he wanted to keep peace!
And of course, the highlight of our trip for me was this one here!!
We may not have been able to go to the Falls but I got to ride a horse in the land of Majapere heheh.
Judging from this pic, I wasn’t the only one whose dream was coming true heheh.
All in all, I loved Lesotho and I will definitely go back again but that will be in Summer because I would love to experience the Maletsunyane Falls and the Kome Caves (Ha Kome). I am not bold enough to go Skiing but for those of you who are, there is Afriski Mountain Resort where you can ski, snowboard and do a whole range of other winter activities. Friends, you don’t need to travel overseas to see snow and ski!
Have you been Lesotho?