Lesotho is a world without fences. Breathtaking scenery abounds and every season has unique attractions. Malealea is situated in a remote part of Western Lesotho. Here you get a chance to experience traditional Basotho life. Various Basotho Children's choirs and a Basotho Band, using their home-made instruments, entertain the guests in the evenings around a campfire. We offer pony trekking and hiking trails ranging from 1 hour to 6 days and there are excellent 4 x4 and mountain biking routes. Malealea has a wide variety of accommodation catering for various needs and various budgets.
Social Involvement We encourage clients to interact with local people in a number of different ways: By purchasing local crafts. Tourists learn about local people through their crafts and the stories behind those crafts. For example, the little cloth dolls made at the Handicraft Center each tell a story about one of the women in the project. The labels explain this, and tourists are encouraged to ask further questions about the life of women in Lesotho. Visiting of local communities, homes, schools and local interest points. The village walk includes not only a walk through the village, but also a visit to a home in the community, as well as the village primary school and the pre-school. Tourists can also opt to visit a reclaimed donga, where a guide explains the problem of soil erosion, and what can be done to prevent and combat it. Another walk includes a visit to bushman paintings where tourists can learn about the history of the area. Local guides lead all excursions. Visiting the cultural museum. The museum offers tourists a chance to learn more about local culture, food, plants and herbal medicines. Tourists also sample an herbal tea and local bread as they listen to stories of local life and local ways.
Consulting the local traditional healer. Tourists have an opportunity to learn more about local paradigms of healing on both a physical and psychological level. The traditional doctor throws the bones for tourists seeking answers to any questions regarding their past, present or future. Supporting local choirs and bands. Tourists have the opportunity to listen to local music in the evenings when local choirs and bands perform. The host explains what the songs mean and why they are sung. Music provides an excellent way into the life and culture of the local people, and it is not uncommon for the performance to end with tourists dancing around the fire with the band. Ponies trekking and hiking enable tourists to visit remote mountain areas and sample really rural life. Guests stay in traditional huts and are hosted by families in the villages they pass through. A local guide is also on hand to interpret the experience and answer questions.
Involvement in local development projects. Because of the osmotic relationship between the Lodge and the community, tourists are often moved to want to contribute towards the development of the area. Tourists often want to find out more about the needs in the area and what they can do to help meet these needs.
To date, projects that tourists have contributed towards include:
-the construction of 3 primary school classrooms
-donation of books and stationery to schools and a community library
-the construction of a pre-school
-the purchase and erection of a wind -turbine powering solar panels for lighting and a computer at the high school.
-the purchase of trees for communities and schools -two community gardens -the construction of a community sports facility (soccer, netball and volleyball fields and equipment)
-the construction of a sales room for the craft co-operative
-the establishment of a social care project (caring for orphans and HIV positive people)
-wetlands conservation area -contribution of clothes to the community.
Some tourists contribute more than money. A group of British students spent about ten days in the community working on different community projects, ranging from tree planting, to installing a wind turbine, to helping excavate a dam. The picture insert shows some of the tourists digging the dam with community members.
Skills development and training in the community In addition to the contributions described above, other tourists have also been moved to work on a longer term with people in the community to Much work has been done to develop a wide range of skills in the communities surrounding the Lodge, from business skills training to community development training.
Social investments Social investments have been made to improve education, health and infrastructure for local residents Social investments have been made through donations to the Malealea Development Trust.