We’re driving along a one lane road that we share with an almost equal number of people and livestock. We’ve just entered the country from South Africa through the Caledonspoort border and after a surprisingly quick check, we now have a nifty Lesotho emblem stamped into our passports. The small landlocked Kingdom of Lesotho is bordered on every side by South Africa, and is a unique stop on our month long road trip.

While many international visitors in Lesotho head to capital city Maseru or to the world-renowned Sani Pass, we’re setting off in a different direction. Our destination is Maliba Lodge, tucked within the Ts’ehlanyane National Park in Lesotho’s northern region. This mountainous expanse is the largest natural space in the country.

Maliba Lodge is Lesotho’s only five star hotel. High quality expectations like superb service and ample amenities are exceeded, while the unbeatable natural setting makes a stay here truly an unforgettable experience.

Maliba Lodge Lesotho
Maliba Lodge Lesotho
Maliba Lodge Lesotho

Guest Rooms

A half-dozen thatched roof chalets have been outfitted with modern furniture and every amenity you could want. A king sized bed, a huge granite bathroom, a fireplace and a private deck with lounge chairs all ensure your stay is exquisite. Alternatively, there are less extravagant options at Maliba Lodge. Self-catering rondevals by the river are more bare-bones, but still lovely. Four double-story lodges are also available for guests, providing a more secluded experience a ways out from the main building.

Maliba Lodge Lesotho
Maliba Lodge Lesotho
Maliba Lodge Lesotho

Dining

I don’t know if there’s anything better than enjoying a fresh breakfast spread on Maliba’s outdoor terrace, overlooking the Maluti Mountains. Perhaps second only to sipping a cocktail in the afternoon after a hike (or massage). Dinner is served in an intimate dining room, proceeded over by a team of professionals. The food is absolutely delicious, with a weekly changing menu that incorporates local ingredients and the unique flavours of Lesotho.

Maliba Lodge Lesotho

Activities

There’s enough at Maliba Lodge to keep you busy for a week – but only if you want to be. Explore the national park through self-guided hikes where you’ll traverse the outstanding nature without coming across any other person. Horseback riding through the mountains is a popular excursion, while nature lovers will appreciate the diverse array of flora and fauna – particularly the wide range of bird species to be found in this untouched natural setting. For a truly relaxing experience, book a service or two at the resort’s spa, and if you’re interested in a more cultural experience, sign up for a private tour of the village to get a sense of daily life in Lesotho.

Maliba Lodge Lesotho
Maliba Lodge Lesotho
Maliba Lodge Lesotho

Getting Here

Travelers will need a rental car to reach Maliba Lodge. It’s located a 4.5 hours drive from Johannesburg or 1.5 hours from Clarens in the Free State. Pass through Caledonspoort border crossing and drive the 50 kilometres to the remote lodge.


Maliba Lodge photos by JP Bervoets

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Lauren Barth

Lauren Barth

Lauren Barth co-founded Departful in 2012 and is the Managing Director of Departful Media. Since then she has worked between North America and Europe and has published content in partnership with a variety of tourism boards and businesses based around the world. Lauren is currently based in Toronto, Canada.

Departful is a travel magazine that provides accessible, relevant, and thoughtful travel tips and ideas to inspire people to explore the world around them. We feature travel articles, travel tips, and photography based on our own experiences from over 100 countries covering all things adventure, culture, food and drink, technology, and gear. Made with ❤ in Toronto.

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