Thaba-Bosiu National Monument

Thaba-Bosiu National Monument

Thaba-Bosiu National Monument
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Historic Sites
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The area
Address
Mafeteng Road, Maseru 100 Lesotho
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
58 reviews
Excellent
20
Very good
25
Average
12
Poor
1
Terrible
0

CCC_wanderlust
Oxon Hill, MD2,446 contributions
Solo
A local Lesotho man I met through connections with an NGO drove me to Thaba-Bosiu from Teyateyaneng. At the visitor information center at the base of and across the street from Thaba-Bosiu, I paid the requisite M10 “admission” fee. From the woman who collected the fee, I received an overview of the recently-built but still non-operational Cultural and Heritage Center. I also heard the story of King Moshoeshoe I and how Thaba-Bosiu is a significant historical monument for the Basotho nation. Afterward, the woman told me a list of things to see on Thaba-Bosiu and sent me off with a guide. The “guide” crossed the street with the us and advised that we could either take the steep and faster way up, or the slower, switchback to the side of the hill. Then he left. As the road was very rocky, I decided on the slower switchback. There is now signage at the base of the hill giving a bit of information about Thaba-Bosiu being a national monument. A few paces up the hill, we saw a shepherd watching over a herd of cows grazing on the hillside, and a few more feet up the hill, we encountered a young man who would prove to be our able and welcomed local guide. His name was Thabiso (sp?) and he was on the hill setting up snares for rabbits as his food source. He said he was an orphan and had learned to speak English from the missionaries. I thought he was more fluent in English than he let on, although I had to make adjustments to my American English when posing questions. He accompanied us on the walk up to the top of the hill and as we explored Thaba-Bosiu. I welcomed his presence because of the insight he provided into each marked historical site. At the thapelong (cairn), he taught me the Sesotho phrase to say before I added a stone to the pile. Although the important historical sites on Thaba-Bosiu are clearly marked, there are no further explanations or information about them, so having a local guide there made my visit valuable. If I’d been left to my own devices (my driver had visited Thaba-Bosiu when he was in primary school but could not remember much of the details), I would have missed several of the historic sites, including the spring that supplied water to the valley, the royal cemetery, and King Moshoeshoe I’s chair. Having a local guide there made the difference for me and made the visit to Thaba-Bosiu more meaningful.

Tips for fellow travelers:
- Wear sturdy shoes for the walk up Thaba-Bosiu. The road is rocky with plenty of lose stones. A walking stick might also be helpful. Bring water.
- I saw toilet facilities on Thaba-Bosiu, but did not use them, so I can’t speak for their state. If possible use the toilet facilities at the cultural/heritage center before you go up the hill.
- Unless the cultural/heritage center is already operational by the time you visit, I would skip going there. I would just park on the side of the road and take the short walk up the hill to Thaba-Bosiu, stopping to read the national monument information at the base of the hill. Other than “soon,” I did not get a more definitive opening date for the cultural/heritage center at the bottom of Thaba-Bosiu. If you are lucky, you will meet someone on the walk up who will prove to be a valuable local guide.
- If the cultural/heritage center is open, request a map of the historic sites on Thaba-Bosiu, if they don’t provide you with one upon paying the admission fee and/or if they don’t provide an official guide that will go up the hill with you
Written December 2, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Familytravel
Kaohsiung, Taiwan71 contributions
Mountain at Night is the "English" translation, as the Basothos believe the mountain grew during the night, once was a natural fortress. This was once Lesotho Capital, it is close to Maseru the Capital, very easy access via road- good condition road to get there. One can hike or mountain bike to the top, the hike was easy, and it is absolutely beautiful view of Lesotho, with mountain range, one can image that Free State was part of Lesotho. Easy to visit without a tour guild.
Written August 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

busisiwek2016
Vanderbijlpark, South Africa16 contributions
Couples
Great place to visit, the tour guides was well informed about the place and history, all question were answered and very interactive. Cultural village has a good set up and nice place to relax.
Written October 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tsholo M
Kraaifontein, South Africa80 contributions
The Basotho Cultural Village at Thaba Bosiu is rich with culture and history. You are taken through a tour of the different Basotho tribes to learn how they lived.

You can also take a guided hike up Thaba Bosiu - the mountain which was known as Moshoeshoe safest home - the views from up there are amazing, by the way.

Historical and beautiful!
Written March 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Razzel
30 contributions
Friends
Well worth the visit while in Lesotho. There is a great tour of the Mountain and Royal village from the Cultural Village information centre that is informative and nicely carried out. Prepare for a short hike up the mountain.
Written February 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

majnun
Tirana, Albania17 contributions
Friends
My Mosotho friend took me to Thaba-Bosiu for a lovely little hike up a very historical "mountain" (hill). It was great to hear the stories of the Basotho fighting off the Boers who simply could not conquer that hill, and some of the more mystical aspects related to the area. I also enjoyed walking down the hill the back way and eating the berries along the way (not recommended if you don't know what you're eating).
Written May 1, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GOM99
Wherever282 contributions
Friends
We did not attempt the climb up to the plateau but I am sure - if you can make it – it would be well worth the effort! We had the history of the site before visiting the Cultural Centre.

This was an enjoyable visit with a guided tour of the site – including examples of the different types of traditional buildings of the country and a small museum. There is also a restaurant there but it was rather too early to sample their food.
Written July 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anton v
London, UK128 contributions
Couples
Not really a Maseru sight, as it would take 2 or 3 days to walk to from there, but as visiting Lesotho without your own vehicle would be madness, I suppose it counts.....
This IS Lesotho.....Africa's very own "Masada", this hill top stronghold is where Mosheshe the Great great made a nation out of the refugees fleeing from Shaka Zulu's aggressive wars.
Thaba-Bosiu means "Mountain of the Night" as legend has it that the hill grows into a mountain after dark....while little evidence supports that theory, it is easy to see how perfect it is to defend, steep to get up, and once there with enough flat space for a community to survive indefinately, with some helpful natural water-springs too.
The top is sacred space to the Basotho, with their Kings are buried in modest plots.
The other top-sight is the famous Qilaone hill, visible from here, and best seen from here instead of actually going there.
It is the inspiration for Lesotho's most iconic image, their Vietnamese looking conical hats, as the hats take their shape from it.
The walk up.....not hard in an mountaneering sense, but no steps, and loose stones are the order of the day, so don't attempt without sensible shoes, and don't try if you are in any way mobility impaired, or otherwise special in your needs.
Someone will usually get to your car before it comes to a complete halt to offer guide service. It's not dear, not intrusive, and ours wore the proper hat (the level of guide service pretty much consists of "....follow me", which you can do at a distance) and without one you will not only appear very cheap, but the elders who hang about at the Kings burial sight will frown upon you wandering round without one, as they are the guarantors of respectful behaviour from tourists.
Our car wasn't broken into or anything upon our return.
Written December 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PinkieM
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom12 contributions
Business
If you want to understand the history of the Basotho you need to visit this place. Guide very knowledgeable but spoke too quickly
Written November 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Knut Jostein B
Oslo, Norway36 contributions
This place is definitely worth a two hours visit. Try to get the dedicated and friendly guide, Pusetso, or one of her colleagues, to join you and explain the history behind the formation of Leshoto 170 years ago. Great views from the top will reward your efforts should you find the ascent strenous. Afterwards, you can visit the cultural village and the museum for further insight into the not too distant past of this charming and beautiful country.
Written August 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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