Wonder

Maletsunyane Falls

Maletsunyane Falls, Lesotho
Maletsunyane Falls / BagelBelt, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

WorldBlue  In short

The best known natural landmark in Lesotho is Maletsunyane Falls. It belongs to top-league waterfalls of the world due to its impressive height (192 m), magnificent setting, rather wide stream and "clean", uninterrupted fall.

4.6 out of 10 stars 46.3%

GPS coordinates
29.8684 S 28.0511 E
Location, address
Africa, Lesotho, Maseru district, some 80 km south-east from Maseru (direct line), near Semonkong
Alternate names
Le Bihan Falls, Lebihan Falls, Semonkong Falls
Height
192 m
Width
25 m
Stream
Maletsunyane

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Waterfall has formed on Maletsunyane – a tributary of Orange Rive, which falls over the ledge of Triassic – Jurassic basalt.

Often it is erroneously stated that this beautiful waterfall is the tallest (or second tallest) free-falling waterfall in this part of Africa. This is not true: for example, the longest drop of Tugela Falls (South Africa) is 411 m tall, Kalambo Falls (Zambia) are 221 – 235 m tall.

Nevertheless Maletsunyane Falls have special qualities – the natural setting of falls among tall cliff walls is very impressive, there opens a fine view of waterfall.

Maletsunyane Falls, Lesotho
Maletsunyane Falls / Fiver Löcker, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0.

In winter the waterfall often is adorned with enormous icicles. Sun does not shine at the foot of a waterfall – thus the ice stays there up to the early summer.

The first European to see these falls was French missionary François Le Bihan (1833 – 1916) in 1881. Falls have given a name to the nearby town of Semonkong – "Site of smoke".

It is possible to abseil next to the falls – this is the tallest commercial abseil in the world, 200 m high.

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WorldYellow Recommended books

The Rough Guide to South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland


Whether you want to explore the country’s big sights — from the wilds of Kruger National Park and the best spots for whale watching to Cape Town’s vibrant dining scene — or to uncover its many hidden gems, such as the dramatic desert scenery of the Richtersveld, The Rough Guide to South Africa is your indispensable traveling companion.


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