Tsehlanyane National Park
Tsehlanyane National Park is in Lesotho making the remaining part of the famous Maloti/Drankensberg Transfrontier Park that stretches across the border of Lesotho and South Africa on the Drakensburg Mountains.
The rivers in the park such as Tsehlanyane and the Holomo flow graciously in the summer and spring months creating spectacular waterfalls over rocks and swimming pools but the entire river system freezes during the winter. The valley of the pools, a small village on the foothills of the mountain has more than 16 deep pools stretching 5km across. A spectacular waterfall known as Lesaloto is also only a 4 hour return hike from the lodge.
Tsehlanyane National Park has an altitude ranging from 1940 to 3112 metres with more than 560sq km of the rugged mountain peaks. Other parts of the park are indigenous woodlands such as Che-che woodland and berg bamboo which grows on the banks of the rivers. The Berg Bamboo is traditionally important to the Basotho people living in Lesotho. There are an estimated 220 exotic species in the high altitude zone some of them not seen anywhere in the world. The diversity of habitat types is exceptionally high as compared to other altitude parks and reserves in the world.
The park is located in the Maluti Mountains at the foot of the Holomo Pass and only about 45 minutes on a good road from the South African border post of Caledonspoort. The road is 32km on A1 road-5km south west if Butha Buthe. This route passes through the village of Khabo and over the Hlotse river bridge and finally reaching the park gate
By air, South Africa flights are available at Johannesburg airport to Clares, a town near Caledonspoort. A cab or private means can be hired for the drive from Clarens to Caledonspoort and then to the park. The flight from South Africa to Clarens is only 4 hours while the drive to Caledonspoort is 15 minutes.
More than 24 species of mammals are recorded in the park and they include grey rhebuck, African wild cat, black-backed jackal, porcupine, caracal, baboon, striped pole cat and rock hyrax, ice rat, the clawless otter and others. Since the park is on high altitude, it is home to fewer species of birds many visiting the park in the spring time.
Other attractions in the park include hiking to the rocks, caves, hanging cliffs and visiting the diamond mines of Kao near the park gate. The rivers are clear in the summer while the pristine pools give an amazing swimming experience
There is a lodge in the park near the park gate for overnight accommodation. Other options of overnight are found in the villages below such as Khabo.