Advantages You really feel like you are in Africa
Disadvantages A tricky dirt road to get there
|Value for Money|
|Quality of Rooms|
|Standard of Service|
|Quality of Food & Drink|
|Quality of Facilities|
Malealea Mountain Lodge -- Lesotho,Lesotho is a land-locked country completely surrounded by South Africa. We entered through the Van Rooyen’s Gate and drove to our home for the night in Malealea Lodge mostly on tarred rounds but the last 7 km were a pretty rough ride on mud roads with large holes and a lot of water damage but we made it after a 5 hour drive from Colesberg in South Africa.
Malealea was originally established as a trading station in 1905 by a British adventurer Mervyn Bosworth. He is responsible for the sign on the gateway as you reach a crest of a hill before entering the final stretch of the journey to the lodge. The inscription reads “Wayfarer pause, and look upon the gateway to paradise”. Indeed it is a most magnificent view the like of which is hard to compare to many places in the world.
Tourists are entertained in the evening by a local choir and band from the nearby village. They are not paid by the lodge but by donations from the tourists-the amount suggested is about 10R or 15R per person for the choir and band respectively. The entertainment lasted an hour and was so natural and obviously just local villagers as they were not dressed up at all so we felt it was great entertainment for the price. Most of the members of the band and choir are students and this donation helps them to pay their school fees. The instruments of the band were all home made out of scraps of tin and wood but they sounded amazing.
We stayed in the more luxurious accommodation which was in rondavels or round thatched huts with ensuite shower and toilet. These cost 250 R per person per night (At the time we were there it was 11R to the £1). Other accommodation ranged from Basotho huts using shared bathroom facilities down to basic tents sharing bathing and toilet facilities.
As we only booked this as an overnight stop in Lesotho to go and revisit my husband’s former haunts from when he lived her for 6 years with his previous wife, we didn’t really have time to take up any of the activities bar the singing and band session, the scenery and the food before collapsing exhausted into our very comfortable beds.
The electricity is only on in the huts and compound from 5pm till 10pm and after that it is torches or candles or sleep. It does make for an excellent chance to view the southern night sky free of light pollution. Careful use of water is encouraged and the products used and supplied for washing are biodegradable and not harmful to the environment.
Although we were only there for one night we had a thoroughly wonderful experience and were able to appreciate the fantastic mountain scenery as well as enjoy local people singing and dancing and an excellent local meal in the evening and a satisfying breakfast of cereal, fruit juice, tea/coffee and cooked eggs, bacon and tomatoes for those who wanted it. The staff are all local people and so once again the Lodge owners are supporting the local community. Everyone was very friendly and helpful and we also noticed that the prices of drinks were reasonable too despite the fact that we were in the middle of nowhere.
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