Welcome to Mafeteng, a vibrant city in Lesotho that is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Located just 76 kilometers south of the capital city, Maseru, Mafeteng is the Camptown and commercial hub of the district. With a population of approximately 61,000, this lively city offers a unique blend of traditional Basotho heritage and modern developments. Join us as we explore the wonders of Mafeteng and discover why it should be your next travel destination.
Mafeteng, which translates to English as ‘The place of the passers-by,’ derives its name from an early visitor, Emile Roland, also known as Lefeta. The city holds a significant place in history, as it was a site of intense fighting during the Gun War of 1880/81. Today, visitors can pay their respects at the cemetery near Mafeteng’s Bantu Stadium, where an obelisk stands in memory of the fallen Cape forces.
One of the must-visit attractions in Mafeteng is the Diphiring Mill. Established in 1912 by Mr. William S. Scott and currently operated by the Osborne Family, this fully working roller mill showcases the ingenuity of its time. Powered by a single engine through an intricate pulley system, the mill processes maize, wheat, millet, and other grains, providing an insight into the traditional milling practices of the Basotho people.
As a city with industrial developments, Mafeteng is not only known for its cultural heritage but also for its economic contributions. The Gap/Old Navy clothing factory and the Lesotho Pharmaceutical Company (LPC) are prominent industries in the area. LPC exports pharmaceutical products to several countries in the region, showcasing Lesotho’s capabilities in the healthcare sector.
When it comes to accommodation, Mafeteng offers two hotels for visitors. The Golden Hotel, located on the road to Maseru, and the Mafeteng Hotel, situated on Hospital Road. These hotels serve as the center of the town’s limited nightlife, each hosting a public and private bar. While Mafeteng may not be widely known as a tourist destination, travelers passing through often stop at the Buy N Take on their way to the Van Rooyens Gate border crossing or the popular Malealea Lodge, located in the Mafeteng District.
Mafeteng is not only a city of history and industry but also a place of cultural significance. It is the birthplace of the renowned Famo musician, Mosotho Chakela, who has made a lasting impact on Lesotho’s music scene. Additionally, Mafeteng is home to Bantu Stadium, which has hosted various district tournaments in sports such as track and field, volleyball, netball, and soccer. Winners from these tournaments go on to represent the district in national competitions held in Maseru.
In conclusion, Mafeteng offers a unique travel experience that combines history, culture, and natural beauty. From paying homage to the fallen soldiers to witnessing the traditional milling process at Diphiring Mill, this city has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or an adventure seeker, Mafeteng welcomes you with open arms. Plan your visit to this hidden gem in Lesotho and unlock the wonders of Mafeteng.