You could be forgiven for thinking that you’d been transported to the hoodoo-spiked lands of Arizona or Mexico when you first behold this vast and flat stretch of desert-like sandstone that dominates the landscape between the Orange and Caledon Rivers.
But no, this is still Lesotho, and the two square kilometers of elevated space offered by the Thaba Bosiu plateau represents the historic natural fortress of the Basotho tribe, while the spot also served as a stronghold during the Basuto Wars and against the Boers during the Basotho conflicts with the Orange Free State in the 1850s.
History of Thaba-Bosiu National Monument
Thaba-Bosiu National Monument is a plateau situated in the Phuthiatsana Valley, about 23km south-east of Maseru, the capital city. It was named Thaba-Bosiu (mountain at night) during the occupation of Moshoeshoe 1, founder of the Basotho nation in 1824. It got its name because as one gets nearer the impressive and formidable it gets mainly for the enemies at night. It covers an area of about 3km (north-south) by 2km (east-west). It has steep vertical cliffs along the ridge and is accessible only along with foot passes. Several water springs on the plateau sustained the occupants and some have been named after the historical figures such as the one used by ‘Mamohato the first wife to Moshoeshoe 1, and Makhabane, Moshoeshoe’s brother. There is a graveyard where Moshoeshoe 1 and Iîis family members were buried. The most recent one is the grave of Moshoeshoe I l who was buried on January 15, 1996. The plateau hosts remnants of Moshoeshoe’s 1 village. The walls of a two-roomed European house, several houses occupied by his relatives and villagers are still standing. There is testimony bearing interaction between Moshoeshoe and other nations with the inscriptions on a rock. There are rock paintings and other forms of archaeological materials/deposits.
Location of Thaba-Bosiu National Monument Lesotho
Located 24km outside of the city of Maseru, Thaba Bosiu is a National Monument and Lesotho’s foremost tourist destination holding great historical significance as the birthplace of the Basotho People.
Where to stay in Thaba Bosiu plateau
Thaba Bosiu village accommodation
For any tourist to Lesotho, the Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village is a “must-see” destination for a contemporary, yet uniquely Lesotho experience. All our chalets come standard with double or twin beds, Shower, Fridge, and Cable TV.