Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Ts'ehlanyane National Park

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Ts'ehlanyane National Park wwwtravellesothocomimagesdestination135886297

Bokong Nature Reserve, Sehlabathebe National Park, Katse Dam, Maloti Mountains, Maletsunyane Falls

Discover lesotho ts ehlanyane national park

Ts'ehlanyane National Park is Lesotho's largest National Park and is located in the Maloti Mountains in Butha-Buthe District, Lesotho, and is part of the larger Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area. This Lesotho northern park protects a high-altitude, 5,600-metre (18,400 ft) patch of rugged wilderness, including one of Lesotho’s only stands of indigenous forest with a number of rare undergrowth plants that are unique to this woodland habitat.


Ts'ehlanyane National Park Tsehlanyane National Park Pictures Traveler Photos of Tsehlanyane

The name "Ts'ehlanyane" is the local common name for the berg bamboo (Thamnocalamus tesselatus), from which the river and park take their name. It is fitting that the park should bear the name of this Drakensberg endemic plant, as it may be the most important refuge for this plant in the entire Maloti-Drakensberg mountain range.

Ts'ehlanyane National Park Tsehlanyane National Park 2017 Best of Tsehlanyane National Park


Ts'ehlanyane National Park Tsehlanyane National Park Lesotho Accommodation Bookings African

This proclaimed protected pristine area lies at the junction of the Ts'ehlanyane and the Holomo rivers. It owes its origin to the access road to the "Mamohale tunnel" (May 1991), which was the first adit drive for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. This adit covers 22 km (14 mi) from the source at Katse Dam to the As River outfall near Clarens, Free State.


Ts'ehlanyane National Park Tsehlanyane National Park Lesotho Accommodation Bookings African

This Lesotho northern park protects a high-altitude, 2,600-metre (8,500 ft) patch of rugged wilderness, including one of Lesotho's few stands of indigenous forest with a number of rare undergrowth plants that are unique to this woodland habitat. Here indigenous "ouhout" (Leucosidea) trees of significant size are preserved.

Ts'ehlanyane National Park Maliba Mountain Lodge Tsehlanyane National Park Lesotho

The park has an altitude ranging from 1,940 to 3,112 metres (6,365 to 10,210 ft) and is considered mostly sub-alpine. The diversity of habitat types is exceptionally wide and derived from the large altitudinal range that the park has.


  • Avifauna: Species of interest include theThere are also the alpine endemics, such as the
  • Fauna: Indigenous mammals includeSnakes include the Berg adder.
  • Flora: On the banks of the rivers and streams are stands of berg bamboo which are of significant cultural significance to the Basotho people. Berg bamboo is the host plant for an endangered butterfly species, the bamboo sylph Metisella syrinx. The reserve also encompasses a reasonable proportion of very rare mountain "fynbos" that do not occur anywhere else in the world. Also recorded are in excess of 220 flowing plant species.
    Lesotho's national plant is the spiral aloe, among other varied and abundant alpine flora, including over 180 flowering species.
  • Bird species

    Bird species found in the park include:

    Wild flower and shrub varieties

    Wild flowers and shrubs recorded at Ts'ehlanyane National Park on the Matsa-Mararo route via Lets'a-le-ts'o and the lower bridle path (4 × 4 track) that leads to Holomo Pass
    (* = exotic)

    Indigenous Tree varieties in the Park

    Indigenous Trees as seen at the campsite, on the lower Lets'a-le-ts'o path en route to Matsa-Mararo falls and the lower bridle path (4 x 4 track) that leads to Holomo Pass

    1. *Rosa eglanteria (rosehip): thorny tree, pink flowers followed by orange–red fruit, in scrub forest near river and cheche forest
    2. Buddleja loricata (lelora; mountain sage; bergsaliehout) very similar to B. salviifolia but leaves are leathery, lanceolate, whilst B. salviifolia leaves are softer and oval/heart-shaped at base. B.loricata usually at higher altitudes than B. salviifolia, but their habitats do overlap(1,800–2,450 m (5,910–8,040 ft)). Inflorescences of B.loricata, smaller, only white, sweetly scented. B. loricata common in the vicinity of Lets'a-le-ts'o.
    3. Buddleja salviifolia (lelothoane; quilted sage; saliehout) Very similar to B. loricata but leaves and inflorescence differ: see B. loricata (supra). Flowers: fragrant, white to mauve in spring.
    4. Diospyros austro-africana subsp africana (liperekisi-tsa-makhoaba, senokonoko; firesticks star-apple; kritikom; vuurmaakbossie; jakkalsbessie) usually a shrub, sometimes small tree, grey appearance. Flowers: pink to red, highly fragrant during springtime. Fruit conspicuous: grey-green, red to black when ripe up to 20 mm (0.79 in) in diameter.
    5. Heteromorpha trifoliata (monkhoane; parsley tree; pietersieliebos) small tree with conspicuous bark peeling off in papery flakes, on steep slopes and cliffs where protection from veld fires esp. vicinity of the Matsa-mararo falls. Flowers and seeds resemble parsley.
    6. Leucosidea sericea (cheche; oldwood: ouhout), according to an entomological study made on the cheche of the Golden Gate area (EFS), these trees are the habitat of 117 species of beetles
    7. Myrsine africana (semapo; Cape myrtle; mirting) evergreen shrub with very small leaves, toothed in upper half, rarely a tree
    8. Rhamnus prinoides (mofifi; dogwood; blinkblaar) small tree, often in shade of cheche forest. Glossy-green leaves, small red–black berries
    9. Rhus divaricata (kolitsane; rusty-leaved current; roesblaartaaibos) shrub or small tree with trifoliate leaves, slightly leathery, dark olive green above, grey-green–rusty-brown hairs beneath, large numbers of small yellow to brown berries 3 mm (0.12 in) in diameter.

    Other Tree Varieties

    Other trees expected to occur in the area include:

    1. Bowkeria verticillata (isiduli; umbaba; southern shell-flower)
    2. Euclea crispa (mohlakola; blue guarri)
    3. Halleria lucida (lebetsa; tree fuschia; notsung)
    4. Passerina montana (lekhapu; mountain gonna)
    5. Rhus dentata (lebelebele; nana-berry)
    6. Rhus pyroides (kolitsane; common taaibos)

    Fern Varieties

    Ferns and fern allies

    Underneath shade of cheche forest, an abundance of ferns occur: Polystichum spp. and Cheilanthes quadripinnata. Pteris cretica in damp places often near boulders. In exposed areas on rocky mountain slopes, typical poikylohydrous species evident like the resurrection fern and Cheilanthes eckloniana. Selaginella spp. expected on exposed rock surfaces.


    The park is located deep in the northern range of the Maloti Mountains at the foot of the Holomo Pass and only about 45 minutes on tarred road from the South African border post of Caledonspoort, 15 minutes drive from the popular Free State town of Clarens and about 4 hours from O. R. Tambo International Airport).


  • Maliba Lodge accommodation is located within the park
  • Numerous hiking and bridle paths have already been established with the park, one of which is a spectacular 39 km trail linking the Ts'ehlanyane National Park with the Bokong Nature Reserve.
  • Photographic opportunities. Not only is the scenery spectacular, but the fauna and flora offer a boundless variety of photographic subjects.
  • Basuto pony rides offer an ideal way to explore nature from a higher vantage point.
  • Swimming in the pristine streams and rock pools
  • Small to medium-sized game viewing with about 24 species present
  • Massage treatments at Maliba Lodge Spa
  • Restaurant meals and viewing/photography deck at Maliba Lodge
  • How to get there

    A 32-kilometre (20 mi) tarred access road leaves the main A1 route 8 km (5.0 mi) south of Butha Buthe. The route passes through the village of Khabo and parallels the Hlotse river along the Holomo valley until it reaches the park entrance gate.


    Ts'ehlanyane National Park Wikipedia