This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Mokhotlong. To help you make friends with Mokhotlong before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
The name Mokhotlong means “place of the bald ibis” in Sesotho. It is the camptown of Mokhotlong district, the most northwest district in Lesotho. It is located in the highlands of Lesotho in the Drakensberg mountains that straddle the border between Lesotho and South Africa. The town itself doesn’t have much to offer, but it can be a good starting point for other activities in the district. If you’re staying in town, there are several small hostels and guest houses available. Some of them are run by local NGOs and might be a bit difficult to locate, so feel free to ask around.
One of the most famous places in Lesotho is Sani Pass, which is about 50 kilometers southeast of Mokhotlong town and accessible via public taxi. It attracts many South African visitors every day as well as a few Lesotho travelers. There is a several-kilometer-long stretch of steep road with hairpin turns between the Lesotho and South Africa border that attracts off-roaders. Even walking along the actual road allows for stunning views of the plunging landscape. The Sani Pass lodge, located just before the border gate, advertises itself as the highest pub in Africa. The lodge can arrange guided hikes to Thabana Ntlenyana, which means “beautiful little mountain” although it is the highest peak in South Africa.
If you are planning to book a stay in a Mokhotlong hostel, then the Sani Pass area is the right place for you. A few hostels are located around there. The hostels’ prices may be a bit steep considering the lack of included amenities, but there is not a lot of competition around. Just be sure to bring warm clothes since it can snow even in the summer at such a high elevation.
Other things to do in Mokhotlong include taking a drive west toward the town of Butha Buthe. Admire the amazing landscape and take a peek at the enormous Letseng diamond mine, which also offers tours. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking in the beautiful mountains, fishing, horse riding, and animal and bird spotting.
In addition, a couple of unique events happen in Mokhotlong annually: the high-elevation Mokhotlong marathon happens in the summer around the same time as the famed Roof of Africa motorcycle rally passes through town.
Written by local enthusiast for Mokhotlong hostelsJulie Sushii