Photos from Lesotho

 

East of Maseru - Thaba Bosiu and the Mountain Road

Thaba Bosiu, 24 kilometres east of the country's capital Maseru, is a sandstone plateau with an area of approximately 2 km² and a height of 1804 meters above sea level. In the early 19th century, the Basotho chief Moshoeshoe I established a stronghold on the plateau to act as a refuge for his people during a war with the Ndebele people. At an elevation of nearly 120 metres above the surrounding area, the plateau formed a natural fortress to gather the Basotho people in times of danger. The plateau's large area meant it could hold enough livestock and provisions to support the people during a lengthy siege. Thaba Bosiu or Thaba Bosigo) in the Sesotho language means "Mountain of the Night" and refers to the local belief that the mountain grew during the night and shrunk during day, leaving enemies who tried scaling it during the night still stranded on the cliffs and vulnerable to attack the next morning.

Thaba Bosiu also acted as Moshoeshoe's headquarters during the various Basuto Wars. During the first Free State-Basotho War against the Orange Free State in 1858, the Free State's commandoes tried assaulting the stronghold, but met with little success. During the third war against the Free State in 1868, Thaba Bosiu was the only stronghold in Basutoland that wasn't stormed by the Free State forces: it was never taken by an enemy. When Moshoeshoe died in 1870, he was buried on Thaba Bosiu; now only ruins and the graves of various Basotho chiefs remain. Thaba Bosiu has become a national monument.

The Mountain Road leads right through the centre of the country to Thaba-Tseka and Mokhotlong. It is a very scenic route with beautiful views, crosses Bushmen's pass (or Lekhalo la Baroa); nearby are magnificent rock paintings at Ha Baroana, featuring hunting scenes. Near the village of Setibing Ha Sempe are the Qiloane Falls, that can be reached by wading through the Makhaleng river. Further east is the Blue Mountain Pass, with an altitude of 2580 metres.


Ha Kubutu village
Ha Kubutu village

View to Roma Valley
View to Roma Valley

Bushmen's Pass
Bushmen's Pass

Herd boy
Herd boy

Bushmen paintings
Bushmen paintings

Thaba Bosiu
Thaba Bosiu

Soil erosion
Soil erosion

Ha Rafutho village
Ha Rafutho village

Chief of Ha Rafutho
Chief of Ha Rafutho

Grave of Moshoeshoe I
Grave of Moshoeshoe I

View to Qiloane Hill
View to Qiloane Hill

View from Thaba Bosiu
View from Thaba Bosiu

In Setibing Ha Sempe
In Setibing Ha Sempe

Village girl
Village girl

Makhaleng river
Makhaleng river

Qiloane Falls
Qiloane Falls

Basotho children
Basotho children

At Qiloane Falls
At Qiloane Falls

Walking in the river
Walking in the river

The Makhaleng river
The Makhaleng river

Setibing Ha Sempe
Setibing Ha Sempe

Village women
Village women

View, Blue Mountain Pass
View, Blue Mountain Pass

At Blue Mountain Pass
At Blue Mountain Pass

The Mountain Road
The Mountain Road

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