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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
192 m
25 m

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.

WorldYellow Linked articles

Mountains in Lesotho
Mountains in Lesotho / Di Jones, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Wonders of Lesotho

Lesotho is a friendly country with gorgeous scenery. Highlights of this country are the impressive horseshoe waterfalls, including the world-class Maletsunyane Falls, as well as the amazing plateau – fortress Thaba-Bosiu and prehistoric rock art.

Virginia Falls, Canada
Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, Wikimedia Commons / public domain


Some of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.

Kalandula Falls, Angola
Kalandula Falls / Paulo César Santos, Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0

Wonders of Africa

Africa has many outstanding wonders and some of the most surprising ones are the heritage of Egyptian civilization, the vernacular architecture of the Sahel region, tropical ecosystems, and others.

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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