GPS: S 28 55.610 E 028 25.683 | elevation 1,934 m/6,345 ft
Ts’ehlanyane National Park (S 28 55.610 E 028 25.683, 2246-0723 or 2246-0813, www.lhwp.org.ls, M25/person, M10/vehicle) is a 56-square-kilometer park with grassy mountains and valleys that bring together the Ts’ehlanyane and the Holomo rivers. The park is a great place for backcountry camping and serves as a protected area for Lesotho’s indigenous forest, particularly the Leucosidea sericea, (also known as Ouhout), a large evergreen shrub that flourishes in high elevations.
Hiking is the main activity within the reserve and there are a number of trails in the valleys that weave alongside the river. The granddaddy of all hikes in this area is the two to three-day, 40-kilometer hike over mountain passes to the Bokong Nature Reserve. Local guides are recommended for all hikes. Pony trekking can also be arranged with advanced notice.
Camping areas are enclosed by bush on three sides and have a water tap and braai stand. They are located near the river beside the Riverside Lodges and are managed by the Maliba Lodge.
Backpacker Accommodation is located just past the main entrance gate in a dated conference center building run by the national park. The rooms, bathrooms and kitchen are basic, and it is self-catering only.
Riverside Lodge is a set of recently built two-story stone and thatched roof chalets with balconies overlooking the river. The chalets have four bedrooms, can accommodate up to eight people and are fully equipped for self-catering. The chalets are managed by the nearby Maliba Lodge.
Maliba Lodge is one of the top places to stay in the country. This recently built South Africa-owned, 5-star lodge offers impeccable service with a beautiful main building overlooking the five luxury thatched roof villas below. Each villa has an airy bedroom facing double patio doors that open onto a private mountain-facing deck. There is no cell phone coverage or Internet access in this area, which feels entirely appropriate here.