Malealea LodgeEthical Tourism in the Kingdom of Mountains
- Gives back
- Local staff
- Rainwater harvesting
- Renewable energy
- Smart Water Management
- Towel reuse
Holiable's review of Malealea Lodge
Malealea is accessible by car within a few hours of major south African cities; the closest airport is Maseru, the international airport of Lesotho.
If you’re willing to travel car-free in this area of the world, you’ll have to find someone to pick you up. The lodge can organize car transfers for you either from the Maseru airport or from Bloemfontein in South Africa (count three hours for this route)
Known as the kingdom of mountains, the lodge is in the middle of the malealea village surrounded by views of the magical maloti mountains facing its grounds
No sound of cars to wake you up, but only the nature noises.
Open in the 1980’s, Malealea Lodge has been transformed by it’s owners and managers into a solar powered lodge, deeply committed to the development of the community.
Sustainable tourism is at the heart of the concept, not only in terms of environmental protection and resource management, but above all in helping the community
The staff members from guides, to barmen are all from the surrounding village.
The lodge grounds consist of plenty different options for travellers. Campground with communal bathrooms, forest huts to Basotho rondavels. A choice for every budget
All the huts and buildings are built the traditional way, rondavel huts will keep you cool during the day and warm at night, and you’ll discover that air-conditioning is useless in such constructions
The lodge is fully solar powered, and electricity turns down at 10PM.
Resource management, and especially water, are very important in this arid area. Visitors are invited to make efforts throughout their stay and think twice before they open the tap or flush.
Malealea is famous for hikes in the surrounding mountains. From 1 hour village tours to full day hikes to the waterfalls or to admire the bushmen’s paintings.
The lodge has also made its reputation for its pony trekking experiences. These experiences range from a 2 hours tour to overnight treks sleeping in a Basotho village
Mountain bikes are available for rent at the lodge, for the more adventurous.
All the activities and treks are recommended to be done with a guide. All the guides are from the surrounding villages and know the area like their pocket.
Not only will they help you find your way in the area, but share their knowledge on what you see and the surrounding fauna and flora.
What makes it different – anchored in the community
Malealea’s vision is to empower the community it is anchored in and ensure that tourism has a positive impact on the habitants of the surrounding villages
That’s why they founded a development trust in 2002.
The trust’s staff, all from the area are involved in implementing sustainable solutions to the problems the community has to face.
The region of Malealea is an area where HIV is highly prevalent, eduction is expensive and difficult to access and most families live on subsistence levels
The trust is in involved in :
- Refurbishing surrounding schools
- Organizing computer trainngs
- Providing nutritional support to those who are HIV positive
- Funding scholarship for orphaned childrens
- Organizing farming technique training to increase yields
Visitors willing to help can bring donations at the lodge through school supplies or secondary clothing. It’s always good to ask what’s needed if you decide to do so, before you go.
Discovering the kingdom of mountains in a lodge with such a commitment to the development of it’s community was the highlight of our stay.
Malealea is a solid example that travelling can have a positive impact on people and places we visit around the world.
Recommended for: nature lovers, walking holidaysHoliable Review Based on our visit in: march 2019