Sani Lodge Backpackers

Roof of Africa Tour

Explore the Lesotho highlands, cross six 3000m+ spectacular road passes, see Bushman Rock Art, go pony trekking, hiking, and wander through an enchanted indigenous forest.

Great Views 4/5 Days Meals Included Passports Essential


These tours around central and northern Lesotho have a taste of all the attractions which make Lesotho the perfect destination for the adventurous traveller. We recommend doing this circuit as a 5-day tour, but it is possible to do it in 4 days. We spend time with a Basotho family getting to know more about the way of life of this tough and hospitable mountain people. A highlight is a visit to Katse Dam, centrepiece of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The high altitude and lack of pollution has meant Lesotho’s main export is fresh water. An incredible series of dams and tunnels through the mountains supplies Johannesburg and Pretoria with pristine drinking water. On the 5-day trip we visit Ts’ehlanyane National Park. This little-known region with a pristine indigenous forest and stupendous scenery reward those intrepid visitors This tour takes its name from the route we return on known as "The Roof of Africa" after the famous motor rally which used to take place there.


Experience Fair Trade in Tourism in action. Your tour price includes a contribution to the Sani Top Basotho community. Our ground-breaking approach to grass-roots tourism means that your tour price directly benefits a wide segment of the local community, preserving cultural dignity and ensuring fair remuneration for services rendered. “Sani Lodge is the Silver Award Winner of African Responsible Tourism Award for Poverty Reduction 2018. Sani Lodge and Drakensberg Adventures in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa has made a major contribution to local livelihoods and poverty reduction over many years. By involving Basotho stakeholders, they have created opportunities for communities to proudly showcase their unique cultural practices, engaging with guests in an authentic manner, thereby earning their respect. They are the future of tourism in Africa". ~ Judges


Day 1:

Departure from Sani Lodge (9.00 am)
We travel by 4×4 vehicle up the Sani Pass. Cross into Lesotho and carry on via Kotisepola Pass (3240m) and down the scenic Sehonghong Valley. Picnic lunch along the way. Continue on to arrive at a remote village, accessible only on foot for the last 500 metres, the home of hosts Ntate Retumetsi and his family. Experiences may include visiting a healer and the school, traditional dancing, farming, storytelling and folklore all on foot. Sample meals from homegrown organic produce. Overnight in a traditional rondavel.

Day 2:

Travel through stunning mountain scenery
Spend the morning exploring village life. Then travel west, over another 3000m+ road pass, the Menoaneng. Beautiful scenery, then drop down, down, down to the major river draining the Lesotho Highlands, the Senqu (becomes the Orange River). Cross the river at the low level Koma Koma crossing, then climb out of the valley, to the town of Thaba Tseka.
Katse Cottages
Overnight at The Clan Lodge in Thaba Tseka which includes all meals.

Day 3:

The summit
Depart early for Katse Dam. We join the dam tour and get inside the dam wall! Visit the lovely Katse Botanical gardens to experience some of Lesotho’s beautiful plants and flowers in a magnificent setting. Departing Katse, we follow the lake north, up towards its headwaters. The road crosses the dam over the spectacular Malibamatso Bridge, then climbs another 3000m+ pass, Mafika Lisiu at the top of which is Bokong Nature Reserve. Lunch here and a short hike to view the Lepaqoa Waterfall. Continue on down the other side of the pass, to the town of Hlotse. Here we visit the excellent Leribe Craft Centre, a sheltered workshop producing beautiful mohair crafts. We continue from Hlotse to Ts’ehlanyane National Park. We arrive at the spectacular Maliba Lodge, a 5 star concession within the National Park, our home for the next couple of days.
Maliba Lodge
The main lodge and 5 star accommodation is on a mountainside, high above the valley. We stay in the Riverside Lodges some distance away, but still part of the Maliba set-up. They are 4 bedroomed cottages. Maliba’s restaurant produces superb meals and our stay is on a full board basis!

Day 4:

Enjoy the wonders of the Ts'ehlanyane National Park
Full day to enjoy the wonders of Ts’ehlanyane, either on a guided hike or horse-ride. Soaring mountain scenery, an enchanted indigenous forest, pools, waterfalls and a sense of serenity make this a special place.
Second night in the Riverside Lodges..

Day 5:

Final day
Depart after breakfast to the cultural reserve at Liphofung. Here the guide will interpret a very well preserved panel of Bushman Rock Art. We learn about the significance of this cave in Basotho history prior to exploring the cultural village which has been set up there. Following this we continue on over multiple mountain passes to the “Roof of Africa” route. This brings us to the town of Mokhotlong, known in the 1950’s as the most isolated outpost of the British Empire.
Return journey
We will then return via a stop at Sani Mountain Lodge for a drink in the highest pub in Africa. We aim to have you back at Sani Lodge Backpackers between 5 and 5:30 pm.

Four Day Option

The majority of our itinerary remains the same as for 5 day tour. However, we leave out the full day at Tsehlanyane (day 4 above). Instead the third night is spent enjoying warm hospitality at the Mamohase Homestay near Butha Buthe.


Take a look at the routes our tours take.



Please note that the price quoted above is for tours running with a minimum of four guests. If you wish to do this tour with a group of less than four, there will be additional charges due to the fixed nature of certain costs. Owing to the current fuel cost increase, there may be an additional fuel levy.



Whichever method you choose, we will respond to you as quickly and informatively as possible.

Give Us a Call

Call our reception on +27 83 987 3071. Someone will be available between 7am and 7pm everyday. South African time is GMT+2

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Drop By and Talk

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