This for me, is my tiny ‘kingdom in the sky’. The beautiful kingdom that has all the seven wonders of the ancient world in one tiny country. A sight to behold!” – Our Beautiful Motherland, Lesotho Times
I came across this passage when doing a little research on what to expect from our trip to Lesotho. I skimmed through the article but highlighted a few points and it’s only now, that I sit and reflect on our journey that it all seems to makes sense. Lesotho: my tiny kingdom in the sky. That’s it. There’s no other way to truly describe the atmosphere and deep beauty of this beloved country.
We joked as we crossed the border from Free State, South Africa into Lesotho that once we crossed that border it would look ‘totally different’ on the other side and yet, it really did. Totally different from South Africa and completely different from any country I had visited before. Young boys in blankets rode by on donkeys; it was rural and the views were amazing.
Maliba Lodge is about 1.5 hours drive from the Lesotho/South Africa border and once we had driven through Butha-Buthe (after a quick shop in the market), there lay an open valley of rural villages. The houses are made unique, in a traditional style known as mokhoro. This is essentially baked mud, often combined with concrete blocks with thatched roofs usually in the shape of a cylinder. Lesotho is a warm and inviting country, exemplified by the staff at Maliba who were some of the most friendly and accommodating people I have met, making sure all their guests had a trip to remember. Maliba is located in Ts’ehlanyane National Park and is surrounded in luscious, green foliage with 6 large thatched lodges standing proud with balconies overlooking the river that runs through the valley. Each lodge is gracefully laid out, with a private patio and an open fireplace.
We had the best time exploring Lesotho. From 4×4 tracks up mountains for sunset to morning horse rides ending at rock pools. There is something so special about Lesotho and I think that’s partly because there’s no distractions here. Life is very simple: we make coffee, we explore the landscape, we hike and we ride. We eat and we make fires; We have everything we need and nothing we don’t. Driving through Lesotho I saw people with the greatest smiles I have seen. Lesotho is an untouched, unexplored beauty and Maliba lodge was the perfect place to start our adventure.
From Lesotho we will travel north as we re-enter South Africa, stopping in Clarens before making our way into the Golden Gate Highlands National Park on route to the Drakensberg.
I was sad to be leaving Lesotho. There was so much left unexplored and as we left I assured myself that this would not be my last time in Lesotho but my first. That is for sure.