Katse Dam
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 29 20.211 E 028 30.375 | elevation 2,055 m/6,742 ft

Katse is a small town that was built as a base for the companies and employees involved in the construction of the massive Katse Dam. The former workers’ quarters have been converted into a lodge and guest cottages that today host visitors who come to see the dam.

Katse Dam

Katse Dam is a massive work of engineering. At 185 meters tall it is Africa's largest dam, holding back about 2 billion cubic meters of water. It is the first in a series of dams built as part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which will route fresh water into neighboring South Africa in exchange for tens of millions of dollars each year. The water from the Katse Dam flows 45 kilometers north in an underground tunnel to the Muela hydroelectric power station, and generates electricity for the entire country of Lesotho, before flowing across the border into South Africa.

Katse Botanical Garden

Katse Botanical Garden was established as an area to relocate and protect the endangered spiral aloes that would have been destroyed as a result of the Katse Dam. The garden is now home to numerous endangered and medicinal plants from the area, some of which are available for purchase.


Camping is available in a flat field beside the visitor information center. The setting is basic, with an ablutions facility but not much else.

Orion Katse Lodge

Orion Katse Lodge is a 40-room stone lodge at the edge of town with beautiful views overlooking the Katse Dam. This former workers' housing was taken over by the Orion Hotel chain and converted into a pleasant mid-range hotel with spacious rooms. There are also individual guest cottages nearby (M700-1,100). The hotel has a decent restaurant and bar and can organize fishing, boating and pony treks through the surrounding area.