Koali Mohali - Lodge Manager

If you ventured up into our mountain kingdom to pound the earth, to feel the crunching of gravel beneath your feet, the burning in your throat as you finish an ascent and the peaceful satisfaction of mingled accomplishment and awe along the way, then please meet Ntate Bob Koali M0hale.

Bob is the lodge manager. He has been with us for a long time (he was a builder, a painter, a member of the night’s watch, and the barman, to name a few), but he has been traversing this land on foot for much longer.  As a teenager, he would skip the bus and walk the three hours across the gorge to visit his cousins, and back, with a few curiosity-driven detours along the way. He knows these mountain passes better than anyone, and he certainly knows them better than you. We want you to have the most successful hike possible, so Bob is here to help you decide which hikes will be the best for you and arrange for you a guide.

Our most popular hike is the journey to the twin Botsoela Waterfalls. It takes about 4 hours  return and you will journey across the crushed red soil of the Malealea Highway, down pebbly grey switchbacks, and over a few small ravines and stream crossings.  Your destination is, naturally, the beautiful cascading waters of the Botsoela Waterfalls. Bob recommends this hike to almost everyone for their first trip out, explaining that you really feel as though you have done something.

Meet your Head Chef, Mme Manthomeng Mahao! She has been with us for the past 30 years, and her brother is the chief of Malealea, so you had better enjoy her cooking or else…

Of course, there is no “or else.” Mme Manthomeng directs her kitchen with as deft and fair a hand as Chief Qaba guides his village, and you will enjoy her cooking because it is as sumptuous as it is diverse. Each evening’s menu offers a blend of authentic Basotho flavors and Western favorites with a twist.

Mme’s favorite dishes are Samp and Coca Cola Chicken. Samp is a traditional food made from creamed white maize, while Coca Cola Chicken is a recipe the Jones family picked up from some American friends when they were living in Mt. Moorosi. About three decades later, it is still served to the delight of all of our guests each and every week.

Mme Manthomeng makes sure that the food is always delicious and the atmosphere delightful in her dining room, but if you are with us for an extended period of time and are looking for more budget alternatives, or simply crave a little variety, please check out our small daytime menu or make use of our communal kitchens!

This is Phoka Koatja, our youngest staff member. He wears many hats here: he is our  barman and braai master.  He was member of the Malealea Band, one of the two bands that performs here regularly at sunset. He is here to take care of you. Need a bottle of water in the morning? Phoka has it. Need to do your laundry? Phoka will hook you up. And, of course, if all you want after a long afternoon of cajoling your pony down and then back up the Makhaleng Gorge is an ice-cold Maluti Beer.

Our bar offers a place to relax and warm up when the evenings get cold, and outdoor seating with a fire pit when it is warm. We have satellite TV to broadcast sporting events or tune to your requests. We collect lost and found items here, and this is also where you will find our gift shop, selling postcards and memorabilia.

Our bar is also a wifi hotspot, and you can purchase 500 MB of data from Phoka at a time. You won’t be watching Netflix or live-tweeting anything while you are here, but we don’t think you’ll regret it.

Mme Sana

This is M’e Sanah Khomo and she manages the eight ladies who make sure all of our rooms are neat and tidy within a few hours every single day. They begin their rotation of rooms at 08:00AM. They will sweep and mop the floors, make the beds, make sure the rooms are equipped with towels, replace soaps, and clean the bathrooms, singing and laughing as they go along. Feel free to say “Lumelang!” when you see them. 

assistant receptionist  & master horseman

Meet assistant reception manager Ntate David Nkhbane Mokala. He may just be the most interesting man you’ll ever talk to – he is a passionate story-teller and historian who curated and owns Malealea’s cultural museum, and he spent nine months training in Germany for the Beijing Olympics as half of Lesotho’s first equestrian team.

Unfortunately, the sponsorship funding ran dry, but David’s passion for horses never will, and neither will Malealea’s. He has been in charge of our pony trekking program for years now, and he is in our reception office to help you organize the trek of a lifetime.

David and his wife, Me Manthabiseng Mokala (the office administrator for the Malealea Development Trust), have opened their home to our guests for two years now. You can have a meal with them and spend the night, discussing culture, politics, and any other facets of Basotho life. David can tell you about his experiences as half of Lesotho’s almost-Olympic equestrian team or regale you with historical tales about Zulu and Basotho prophets, while Manthabiseng is an expert on this community and the humanitarian work of the Trust. Basotho Home Stay

Ntate David Nkhabane also runs the Tack Room and can help you to arrange your rides. 

A journey on horseback is both exhilarating and peaceful. Along any hour on our trails, your pony will guide you up and down rocky switchbacks and across trickling ravines, all while you take in Malealea’s breathtaking scenery. You will form a relationship with the Basotho pony who carries you. They are gentle and trained creatures who will trust you as you put your trust in them.

David coordinates with the owners of the ponies who will be your guides. Your guides have been riding since they could walk, and they will teach you everything you need to know, from approaching the horse to mounting, to using the reins for guiding and your feet for encouragement.

If you are looking for an easy ride, David will point you towards Pitseng Gorge. It will take about two hours across terrain that is mostly flat, and will lead you to a beautiful overlook.  You can extend this pony trek to included the historic Bushman Paintings. The Bushman Paintings are relics from the first human civilisation here. Reaching the paintings requires some steep hiking, but the impact of seeing something left behind from 20,000 years ago is usually worth the effort. 

For other moderate trek options, you can take a pony to see the beautiful Botsoela Waterfalls. If you are quite keen, you can see both sites on a journey that will take between 6 and 7 hours.  Botsoela & Bushman Paintings Pony Trek

We also offer the Griffiths day ride. This is a 6-hour loop defined by stunning contrast and ever-changing views of our green mountains and red rocks.

Overnight pony treks can also be arranged. Our overnight excursions offer you a chance to take in the scenery and experience village life for a night. These, like all treks, can be arranged in the office.  

David and the other folks in reception grew up riding around this land. They know these paths intimately and will be able to advise you if you are uncertain. Prices are determined per person and depend upon how many people are in your party.