Exploring Tourism in Lesotho
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Ha Kome Caves

Teyateyaneng, Lesotho

The Kome Caves are a group of cave dwellings made out of mud in the district of Berea, Lesotho 25 km east of Teyateyaneng. The caves are still inhabited by the descendants of the original people who built the caves The site has been classified as a National Heritage Site.Ha Kome Cave Dwellings,originated back from the King I Of Lesotho -clan!

The Kome Cave Dwellings were built and protected by Chief Teleka of The Basia (cat) Clan in the early 19th century. The main purpose for the cave dwellings was to serve as a hideout from adversaries during the drought in the late 18th century. The name of Ha Kome comes from the Kome family in the Basia tribe, the first inhabitants of the cave.

Ha Kome Cave Dwellings are located in the Berea District about a half an hours drive from Teyateyaneng, the capital of the Berea District, and an hours drive from Maseru, the capital of the Maseru District and Lesotho.

The Ha Kome Caves are one of the most curious places you can visit in Lesotho and have been classified as a World Heritage Site. These caves consist of five cave houses made of mud built inside a large cavern. Kome Caves are also known as the great caves.

There are different versions about the origin of these caves, but what is clear is that they served as a refuge for different tribal groups escaping from the battles that originated in the 19th century and from the cannibal population who is said to have lived in this area and to have terrified everyone who passed by. In addition, this area was also historically inhabited by the San population.

Today, in these five cave houses that are the descendants of the ancient inhabitants who lived there, there is still a family like Mamutunusi, an old woman whom we were able to meet and who invited us to enter her house which is built in the cave. There, you will be able to see the ancient hideout of at least 3 different tribal groups that established their refuge there.

On the topic of animal fauna, it is interesting to observe the bats that live in the Kome caves, as they lay upside down, which is unusual for these animals. The explanation for this position is that the roofs of the caves are covered by a thick layer of guano, which serves as a natural soil for bats. Guano also provides a food source for these animals, as well as spiders and rodents that can also be found in Ha Kome Caves.

You can drive to the Ha Kome Information Centre, which is located about 500 meters above the caves, where you will also find local handicrafts. You will park your vehicle there (you can also camp although there are no showers), and to walk to the caves you will have to pay the entrance fee per person. You will be accompanied by a guide and it is highly recommended to wear good footwear to make the descent to discover these dwellings that are hidden under the gorge of the Pulane mountain range.

The visit to the Ha Kome caves will not take you long, and you can combine this activity in the same day while visiting the interesting mountain of Thaba Bosiu (about 45 minutes by car from the Ha Kome caves. Here you can find more information of this very special place), as we did. A day where you will retrace the history of Lesotho and learn how a culture and a group have remained so rooted in these highlands of the African continent.

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