Maseru has always been one of Africa's quieter cities, but the capital of Lesotho has rapidly expanded in recent years. Today, the city is home to a decent selection of accommodations and restaurants, well-stocked shops, friendly people and a host of other modern amenities. Although there are very few traditional tourist attractions, the city is a great place to recharge and stock up before venturing further into Lesotho.
One of the most monumental buildings in the country stands near central Maseru. Called the Mokorotlo, the site is a traditional hut redesigned in a more modern and sophisticated style. The revamped hut houses a museum where visitors can learn more about the nation's history, culture and traditions.
Just south of Maseru is the village of Thetsane, where a cluster of factories produce clothing like jeans and tee-shirts for American chain stores. While downtown Maseru has a slow, easy-going pace, Thetsane's industrial atmosphere creates a chaotic hustle and bustle.
There are many opportunities for outdoor adventures in and around Maseru. The city is home to some excellent gyms, tennis courts and golf courses, and canoeing down the Caledon river is a great way to explore the area's flora and fauna. Visitors can also ride horses in more off-the-beaten-trail parts of the capital and hike up the city's largest hill to catch great views of the capital.
Shopping is another popular activity in Maseru, and visitors can likely find everything they need before venturing further into the country, where Western-style shops are nearly nonexistent. In the capital, visitors can find shopping centers similar to European supermarkets, but there are also a number of cellphone and electronics stores. For local crafts, head to the Basotho Hat, a small shop run by the government. There, visitors can purchase beautiful hand-made items like ceramics, jewelry, toys and clothing.
Maseru is home to a number of outstanding restaurants, and it is easy to get a good meal within the city on any budget. Visitors can feast on a variety of cuisines, including Mediterranean, American, Chinese, Ethiopian, Italian and Indian.
At night, the city comes alive as locals get off work and want to relax. There are many popular bars and clubs in the area, most of which are filled with young expats or government workers. It is not too hard to find decent live music, and the drinks are cold and reasonably priced.
One of Lesotho's most remarkable sights is only about three hours away from the capital by car. The Semonkong Falls drop over 200 meters, and visitors can swim in the pond below during the summer months. In the winter, the pond freezes and the falls become trapped in ice.
Thirty-five kilometers south of Maseru is the town of Morija. There, visitors can see well-preserved footprints of dinosaurs that once lived in Mozambique. Visitors to the town can also explore the Lesotho Evangelical Church and the Maeder House and Arts Center. There are also many opportunities for mountain climbing, hiking and pony-trekking in the town.
Maseru Geographical Location
Maseru is located on the west central border between Lesotho and South Africa on the Caledon River.
The approximate population of Maseru is 230,000.
Sesotho and English are the official languages of Lesotho.
Maseru Predominant Religion
20% Indigenous Beliefs
The Lesotho constitution provides freedom of religion and there is a strong missionary presence in the country.
The Loti is the official currency of Lesotho.
Maseru experiences warm summers and mild, chilly winters. Rainfall is more common during the hotter months although it does rain throughout the year.
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