Sehlabathebe National Park
Sehlabathebe National Park is the only official National Park in Lesotho.
Half the fun of Sehlabathebe
National Park is getting there, since it is rather remote. You need
a 4X4 vehicle but even then you could be stuck going in or out waiting
for a river to go down after heavy rains. The average elevation of the
park is some 2,400 metres which means you can get altitude sickness.
If you do arrive in Sehlabathebe National Park then the best thing to do
is go on a hike or a pony trek to fully enjoy the scenery. It maybe a good
idea to take a guide with you on your excursions (there is always someone
willing to take you for a minimal fee) as it is easy to get lost if a thick
Birding at Sehlabathebe National Park
include Yellowbreasted Pipit and high altitude birds such as Drakensberg
Siskin, Mountain Pipit, Orangebreasted Rockjumper and Bearded Vulture. Karoo
species such as Sicklewinged Chat may be found juxtaposed with eastern
species. Sehlabathebe is not all that far from where there have been recent
sightings of Egyptian Vulture, and perhaps Rudd's Lark will be found in the
vicinity. Experts can weight the pro’s and cons of the Karoo Prinia and
Spotted Prinia, and of Wailing Cisticola and Greybacked Cisticola; and
provide records which may extend further eastward than the recorded
distribution of karoo birds, by reporting to the the "Birds in Reserves
Project" through David Ambrose, National University of Lesotho, Roma,
Lesotho. (Tel: 09266-340300).
Hiking Trails at Sehlabetebe
- Sani Top
to Seblabathebe This is a 3 day hike. From Sani Top, head south
up the valley behind the border post, taking the right hand fork near
the head of the valley. This brings you to the top of Masubasuba Pass.
Head over the saddle directly south, and from here, it is possible to
ascend the south peak of Hodgson's Peaks, 3256m, from the south side.
Superb 360 degree views are to be had from here on a clear day. From
the saddle, descend, cross the Pitsaneng valley and follow the edge
of the escarpment south as far as the headwaters of the Mashai River.
Here, one must head west for about 5km until a well- trodden bridle
path is met. Follow this path south. After two long, high passes, the
path descends into the Thamatu valley. From the village of Ha Motsekinyane
there is a choice to either follow the road south to Sehlabathebe village,
or head over the pass between Baroa-ba-baroa and Thaba Ntso down to
Jonathan's Lodge in the National Park.
to Sehlabathebe This is 2 - 3 day hike. The road out of Sehoughong
is shocking, and it's one option to follow it to the Matabeng River.
Another alternative is to descend from Sehonghong to the Senqu River,
and follow the remains of the old road south along the banks of the
river until reaching the Matabeng River. Continue several kilometres
up the valley, and where the road climbs up out of the valley on the
right, a major tributary, the Patiseng river, comes in from the left.
Follow this valley up, past numerous villages. The last one before Makoaneng
Pass (over 3000m) is Ha Ramaepho, and from the pass are superb views
all around. There is a long descent, eventually reaching the Leqooa
river. Follow it downstream to Sehlabathebe village.