• Maliba Mountain Lodge
+27 31 266 1344 or +27 82 778 8558
The lodge is one of Tatler’s 101 best hotels in the world and features in the magazine’s 2010 travel guide.
Compiled by travel editor Melinda Stevens, the list of top destinations is divided into categories such as Beach Hideaway, Glorious Weekends, Happy Families, and Into the Wild – where Maliba shone.
“A place to explore, riding on hardy ponies, days peppered with picnics and cold beers,” wrote Stevens. “It’s a gorgeous, lost world – and for now it’s empty.”
The small Southern African kingdom, which boasts some of the most spectacular mountainous scenery in the world, is an enclave of
Not for nothing is the country known as the Kingdom in the Sky. Its lowest point, the junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers, stands at 1 400m above sea level, while the highest point, the mountain named Thabana Ntlenyana (Sesotho, meaning “beautiful little mountain”), soars 3 482m into the air.
Luxurious mountain retreat
Maliba Mountain Lodge took around five years to design and develop, and is situated in a reserved area within the
Maliba opened in September 2008 and offers six luxurious chalets built in the round, thatched Basotho style, but sumptuously decorated and featuring comforts such as open fireplaces, underfloor heating, electric blankets and heated towel rails.
“The bedrooms are like teapots with thatched lids and log fires, and the main building has a deck with wondrous views,” wrote Stevens.
There are also four self-catering thatched lodges that can sleep up to eight people each. The double-storey Maliba River lodges have the same creature comforts as the chalets but are fully self-contained.
There is no shortage of activities for adventure enthusiasts, with several bush trails and bridle paths skilfully navigated by the rugged local Basotho ponies, a number of natural rock pools for swimming, and a ski resort in the vicinity. The super energetic can tackle the 39km hiking trail that connects Tsehlanyane with the Bokong Nature Reserve.
Maliba is also ideal for those seeking a quiet break. Three nearby Basotho villages offer a chance to experience the lifestyle and everyday customs of the people, and visitors may also experience culturally significant sites such as the Liphofung rock art caves and
A high-altitude botanical garden is reportedly in development.
Tsehlanyane, an important indigenous woodland area, is one of
The 5 600ha Tsehlanyane stands at the point where the Tsehlanyane and
Animals spotted in the area include the black-backed jackal, porcupine, rhebuck, African wild cat, caracal and
Kingdom in the Sky
Formerly known as Basutoland, the country gained independence from the
The monarch is Letsie III, who succeeded his father King Moshoeshoe II when he was deposed in 1990. The royal palace and parliamentary building is situated in the capital city,