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At the end of an easy 72 km drive from the border post at Ficksburg or 80 km from the Caledonspoort Border Post, you can shed the cares of city life and breathe in the crisp, clear mountain air of the Bokong Nature Reserve, where an impressive visitors’ centre is breathtakingly perched on the edge of a 100 m cliff overlooking the magnificent Lepaqoa Waterfall and Valley.

This nature reserve is situated high in the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho, a country which offers something to suit every taste — there is a veritable feast for nature lovers, with an amazing variety of flora and fauna; its geological and paleontological history is virtually unparalleled, offering boundless opportunities for ecotourism; and its cultural history fascinates those with a taste for the past. The visitors’ centre at the Bokong Nature Reserve was built with the aim of educating visitors to the kingdom about the ecology of the Lesotho Highlands.

The reserve is also a haven for hikers, with a hiking camp and network of trails and walks — a 45-minute interpretive trail, half-day and full-day walks, as well as a two- to three-day hike along the alpine plateau, down into the Ts’ehlanyane National Park.  There are extensive afro-alpine wetlands within the reserve, at the sources of the Bokong River and Lepaqoa Stream. In addition, there are small areas of heathland in the boulder beds. The Bokong Reserve calls loud and clear to birders, being an ideal place from which to see the Bearded Vulture, as well as the many bird species endemic to this afro-alpine zone.  In the heathland and on the grass on the plateau vaal rhebuck may still be seen. In addition, colonies of the ice rat abound here. This creature is heavily predated on by the small and medium mammalian carnivores and avian raptors in the area. 

The Bokong Visitors’ Centre is open between 08:00 and 17:00 daily.  There are two overnight huts for hikers, with a kitchenette and an ablution facility.  Visitors are encouraged to explore the surroundings by taking short walks along the valleys and into the mountains. Birders are in for a treat, with many species to be spotted here. For the more adventurous there are pony rides, with the locally bred Basotho ponies an ideal way of negotiating the mountains and valleys.  Rock shelters, consisting of overhangs as well as three stone buildings, all used as cattle shelters, are situated close to the visitors’ centre. The unique valleyhead fens — distinct wetland areas — which are of great biological interest because they are home to unique plant species associated with high altitudes and moist conditions, may be seen here. The spectacular Lepaqoa Waterfall, which in winter freezes into a pillar of ice, is a feature of the reserve. You may see cattle posts — “metebo” — which are the ruins of interconnected cattle shelters and kraals for stock that were built from stone.

GPS S29º20'05.1 E028º28'53.1

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