Located on the banks of the Katse Dam, and some 50 Kilometres from Katse Village, lies this quiet, simple yet relaxing resort. Lesotho Lodge offers self-catering accommodation for groups, individuals and families who really want to get away from the “Rat Race” and unwind. The village comprises 46 self contained chalets each 1-4 bedrooms, sleeping 2-7 guests. At an altitude of approximately 2.600 metres above sea level, Lesotho is an ideal spot for those wishing to experience the clean air in the mountains, crisp, clear water and outstanding views. It is also located close to the village of Ha Lejone, where guests will get introduced to the culture of the Basotho, interact with its people and discover Lesotho, the Mountain Kingdom!. The Village is located in a valley surrounded by the beautiful Maluti Mountains of Lesotho. It is however on the north-facing side of these ensuring an abundance of Sunshine, even during what can be a bitterly cold winter time. Although, snow is rare in the village, the surrounding mountains tops are covered between May and August of every year. On occasions, the roads into the valley and the village are impassable and visitors and local community members can be stranded in for a day or two. This is however a pleasant experience and there tend to be adequate supplies for all in both Lesotho Village and Ha Lejone.
All the units have lounges/dining rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and toilets and gardens with rudimentary braai (barbeque) stands. There is ample parking for all visitors’ vehicles, most being under cover. The Standard lounges have 1, 2 and 3 seater couches, with coffee tables and Anthracite coal stoves (for those long cold winter days and nights). The dining rooms are equipped with dining tables and chairs to accommodate the number of guests that each Chalet can accommodate. They also include sideboards for additional storage space. The kitchens are clean and equipped with Stoves with Ovens and Microwave ovens, Fridges, Toasters and Electric Kettles. They also have sufficient cutlery and crockery for the occupants. The 4-bedroom units have 2 bathrooms with baths and showers, the Master bedroom having an en-suite bathroom. The village has a perimeter fence for its security and utilises the services of a local security company to provide 24-hour security.
Lesotho Village also has accomodation for groups on Conferences, workshops and Team-building sessions an it is the ideal getaway for these events. The village has a hall that will accomodate up to 50 delegates with several breakaway rooms, which in turn can be used for similar functions for smaller groups. The usual conferencing facilities and equipment (e.g. overhead projectors and screens, flipcharts and videoconferencing) can be provided, with an advanced request made for some of these. In time, desktop computers will be provided per delegate if that is so required. Through its extensive database, Lesotho Lodge is also able to source both local and international Facilitators, Team-builders, etc for its visitors should these be required.
Although Lesotho Lodge is mainly a self-catering village with all the chalets having their own fully equipped kitchens, it has recently opened its restaurant. The village has a small shop for those visitors who may have forgotten cooking and other essentials, but the supplies here are limited in range and quantity. Visitors are urged not to rely on this. The village also has a bar and an entertainment area with a television and access to most major international TV stations via its Multichoice Decoder. The bar is stocked with local and international beers, some wine and spirits and a collection of soft drinks. This bar and restaurant is also open to day-visitors and those passing through the town of Ha Lejone.
Being located on the banks of the Katse Dam, Lesotho Lodge has a jetty to assist boating enthusiasts. A Lapa has also been built next to the dam for those wishing to hold their braais (barbeques) and parties. Here too, Lesotho Lodge is able to prepare private braais and parties, sourcing the necessary food and beverages, equipment and entertainment that may be requested, at separate costs (quoted for separately). Of course, there are areas along the Malibamatso river, near the Malibamatso bridge along the Dam and on the Matsoku river, that are also suitable for picnics.
The Lesotho Highlands and Lesotho Village offer a host of activities both within the camp and in the surrounding highlands. Although a place for rest and relaxation, those looking for some excitement, fun and games have also come to the right place. Notwithstanding this, one gets tempted to sit back, relax and do absolutely nothing. If one must get active then perhaps falling asleep while waiting for one’s fishing line to catch may be the best idea, but even then these waters that are full of fish will not permit! There are a whole host of other activities that guests can engage in and come away still feeling rested and relaxed. Guaranteed. After a couple of days at Motebong, one will be back for more of this tranquility.
Katse Village and the site of the Katse dam's wall is located some 50 kilometres (1 hour's drive in these highlands) from Ha Lejone and Lesotho Village. The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) provides daily Katse dam wall tours, including an interesting tour of the interior of the dam wall.
Â· Alpine Botanical Gardens. Katse Village is also home to Katse Alpine Botanical Gardens with a wide variety of floraÂ indigenous to the LHWP area, some rescued as the dam water filled-up, along with others species from other parts of the country. The nursery also keeps a wide variety of seedlings for sale.
Â· Basotho Arts and Crafts. Ha Lejone has a group of ladies who have come together to form the Phahamang Hand Crafts Association. These ladies produce various items of traditional Arts and crafts, comprising mainly Lesotho's traditional hat (the Mokorotlo), table mats, various types of baskets, wall decoration, floor mats, etc.
Â· Off-road activities. The surrounding roads and tracks offer the off-road enthusiasts the opportunity to try their skills at varying degrees of difficulty, whether this be for 45 minutes or longer half-day and day-long trips. Those interested in 4x4 or 4-wheel drive excursions, or those interested in scramblers, Quad biking or indeed in mountain biking will find themselves incredibly busy in the highlands surrounding Lesotho Lodge.
Â· Boating excursions. Lesotho Village can organize boat excursions on the dam. These vary from 45 min Sundowner cruises, to 3-4 hour trips to Katse Dam ( 40 km) with stops at the Malibamatso Bridge and the Matsoku Intake tunnel, and the two islands with their abundant birdlife and flora.
Â· Sports Facilities. For those who do not wish to venture too far from the compound or for those who are keen on their sports, Lesotho Lodge has 2 tennis courts, a squash court and a swimming pool available for its guests. Use of the tennis and squash courts requires guests to book at reception. The environment is also ideal for those who pursue other outdoor sporting codes, either on land or in the dam.
Â· Basotho Cultural Activities. There are special cultural evenings/afternoons, depending on the time of the year and weather conditions and temperatures. However, at Lesotho Village you can and often do experience different seasons/weather conditions in one day!
Â· Fishing. The Lesotho Village Resort is in close proximity (5 to 10 km) of three popular fly fishing rivers in Lesotho, the Matsuku, Pelaneng and Malibamatso. The rivers have Small Mouth Yellow fish and Rainbow trout in abundance. The dam also yields good catches catches, from the bank or boat.
How to get there One gets to Lesotho Lodge by land (car, bus, etc) and can do so from various directions. Visitors from South Africa can drive to Maseru, and then drive north on the Main North 1 (past Teyateyaneng, Peka and Maputsoe to Hlotse. At Hlotse, one then turns right towards Katse passing through the town of Pitseng and travelling over the stunning Mafika Lisiu pass and on to Ha Lejone. The distance from Hlotse to Ha Lejone is approximately 70 kilometres with about 40 of these being steep and winding inclines or descents. In the village of Ha Lejone, there is a right turn down a gravel road and the lodge is about 2 kilometres from this turn off. Alternatively, one can drive to Ficksburg in the Free State province of South Africa and then travel across the border to Maputsoe. From there, one drives approximately 8 kilometres until one reaches the T-Junction at the Main North 1. Here one turns left and drives approximately 15 kilometres to Hlotse, where a right turn then takes one on to the road to Katse Dam and Ha Lejone village. The directions are then as above. Visitors can also drive from the South African town of Bethlehem to Fouriesburg, across the border and on to the town of Butha Buthe. From there, a right turn will take visitors to the Leribe town of Hlotse, where the road is then followed as above to the town of Ha Lejone. The travel time from Bethlehem is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. In winter, from Mafika Lisiu to Ha Lejone, visitors are advised to be careful when driving through sections carved through the mountains or on the side of mountains because of occasional rockfalls.
travelling distances and driving times
Â· Bethlehem to the Village (170km), driving time approx 2hr 45min
Â· Caledonspoort border post to the Village (110km), driving time approx 1hr 55min
Â· Hlotse to the Village (72km), driving time approx 1hr 30min
Â· Police control post (below the Mafika a Lisiu pass) to the Village (27km), driving time approx 45min (it is 10.5km to the top of the pass from this point)
Â· Bokong Visitors centre to the Village (14km), driving distance about 20min
Â· Maseru to the Village Resort (150km), driving time approx 2hr 45min
Â· Johannesburg (via Bethlehem) to the Village Resort (460km), driving distance approx 4hr 45min
RoutesFor the 4x4 enthusiasts, the following routes can be used to get to Ha Lejone and Lesotho Lodge: Â· Sani Pass - An alternative route from Sani Pass is via Mokhotlong on the A1 and turning left onto the B804 towards Kao mine. The turn-off is just before the Tlaeeng pass (rated as the highest driveable pass in Africa). From the turn-off it is approximately 60 Kilometres to Ha Lejone. With the current improved road conditions, this could take 2.5 with photo stops. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended here though. Â· Sani Pass, Thaba Tseka, Katse to Ha Lejone - this is a moderate road accept during times of heavy rain fall when the crossing at Koma Koma could be flooded or during heavy snow falls. Although possible, visitors are not encouraged to try and ascent Sani Pass and try to get to Ha Lejone in one day. It is recommended that the ascent up Sani Pass to Mokhotlong be treated as a day's outing and slowly enjoyed, with the trip from Mokhotlong to Ha Lejone via Thaba Tseka treated as another. Â· Caledonspoort - From Caledonspoort an alternative 4x4 route is to turn left at Butha Buthe onto the A1 towards Mokhotlong turning right towards Kao just after Tlaeeng Pass and about 1 Kilometre past Afri Ski. The Kao route is improved from what was before but still takes one through very unique terrain, allowing a 4x4 driver to take different routes in coming and going from Caledonspoort. There traffic is limited traffic on this route, mainly to the Kao mine and there is cell phone coverage for most of the route.
Prices per chalet
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Â· valuta exchange (approx): 1 Lesotho Maloti (M1.00) = 1 RSA Rand (ZAR1.00), both currencies accepted at the Lodge and throughout Lesotho
Â· the above rates include VAT and are valid until March 31, 2012 Â· Lesotho Village is primarily a self-catering establishment
Â· the above rates do not include any meals, guests are therefore reminded to supply their own food and beverages (the village of Ha Lejone only has a few basics); should there, however be larger groups or guests coming to attend workshops and conferences, arrangements can be made to provide meals, but at a separate rate
Â· allÂ chalets have the necessary kitchen utensils for the village's guests; there are a small Bar and a restaurant on the premises, should guests prefer to make use of these (guests are requested to give the Lodge an indication of whether they will make use of the restaurant to ensure that it has sufficient food)
Â· all the chalets have sufficient blankets and linen for their guests
Â· separate rates apply for the accommodation of groups and conferences/workshop participants, and for any facilitators or consultants that may be requested and will be quoted for separately
Â· there is a 10% discount for groups booking min 3 chalets
Â· prices may be subject to change at the owner's discretion
Â· useful link: http://www.destinationlesotho.com