The Bokong Valley – A Journey Through Lesotho’s Highlands

The Bokong Valley

The Bokong Valley

After spending several summers nestled in the Bokong Valley deep within the Lesotho highlands, with its rolling grass hills and vertigo-inducing cliffs where the faint, flat clangs of cowbells echo through the valleys, this place exudes an endearing quality – a simple, slow-paced life with farmers toiling in the land and talkative villagers carrying on with their day-to-day activities, often seen wearing smiles.

Conquering the Mafika-Lisu Pass and Embracing Lesotho’s Highlands

A journey I have undertaken what feels like countless times felt notably distinct this time. The imposing and perpetually breathtaking Mafika-Lisu Pass loomed, its presence daunting and intensified by a shroud of dark clouds. The ascent wound leisurely upward, bending and doubling back on itself, gradually ascending closer to the dark cloud layer, piercing through mist and snow, and reaching towards the gray skies above. Upon eventual descent, the clouds receded, revealing striking vistas of the snow-enveloped Katse Dam, illuminated by diluted sunlight that had persevered through the freezing storm. “Awestruck” seemed an inadequate descriptor. Over the ensuing two hours, the vehicle navigated the valleys hugging Katse, passing through small villages, traversing herds of livestock, and traversing the vast landscape.

Mafika Pass

Katse Dam

Retreat to Rosehip Cottage

Upon arriving at the inviting warmth of Rosehip Cottage and among old friends, it wasn’t long before the kettle’s whistle harmonized with the crackling fireplace. My mind surrendered to the scenery, losing track of time as my eyes feasted upon the panorama. Encircled by beauty, I was consumed by the valley. Subsequent days melted away gradually, akin to snow. Chilly mornings succumbed to the warming sun, only for temperatures to plummet alongside the setting sun, casting the valley into silence behind the steep valley walls.

A Farewell Painted in Snow

On the eve of departure, another, smaller cold front journeyed up the valley, gracing the still icy, southern-facing mountain summits with a fresh dusting of snow. This yielded yet another slow, breathtaking drive. Mafika-Lisu basked in the sun, crowned by new snowfall. The summit’s viewpoint granted a final glimpse of the highlands, accompanied by a cup of coffee, before the descent and re-entry into South Africa.

Anticipation for the next visit is building; I eagerly await my return.

Greg Maxwell

Rosehip Cottage: A Tranquil Haven for Authentic Lesotho Mountain Escapes

Tailored exclusively for couples and families in search of an authentic, remote, rural, and comfortable Lesotho mountain experience, the Rosehip Cottage has been meticulously crafted to address these very desires.

Capitalizing on the triumph of the Makhangoa Community Camp and the escalating demand for a family-friendly and non-fishing alternative, we take great delight in announcing the realization of this vision. We are eager to introduce you and your loved ones to the captivating realm of the Makhangoa Experience. Drawing inspiration from traditional Basotho homesteads, the Rosehip Cottage has been meticulously designed and constructed to harmonize with its mountainous surroundings. The cottage comprises two en-suite rooms adjoined by an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living space adorned with a welcoming fireplace. Additionally, the cottage boasts a verandah, a deck, and a braai (BBQ) area that overlook the Bokong River, affording northward vistas up the picturesque Bokong valley. With its north-facing orientation, every room offers expansive views.

Constructed from local stone, the cottage stands as a commendable testament to traditional masonry. The construction was executed by skilled artisans hailing from Makhangoa Village, many of whom embarked on their journey with us in 2012 and have since honed their craft through the MCC employment and skills development initiatives. Each bedroom offers a choice between twin or king-size bed configurations, supplemented by two additional single beds in the form of bunk beds, catering to youngsters or young adults. Every room features an en-suite bathroom complete with a shower, flush toilet, and basins.

The fully equipped kitchen encompasses a gas stove and oven, refrigerator, deep freeze, and an extensive selection of crockery, cutlery, and cookware.

Every detail of the cottage, furnished with top-tier fittings and furniture, has been thoughtfully curated to ensure your indoor experience rivals the splendor of the outdoors. The camp’s lighting relies on a 220v battery, inverter, and solar system. Charging outlets are accessible in the living area for cameras and phones. Bedding, towels, and gas provisions are provided. Energy-efficient gas geysers facilitate hot water availability.

If you would like to book your stay at the Rosehip Cottage, please click here!

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