6 hotels in this place
Maseru is the capital of and largest city in Lesotho and is very close to the north western border with South Africa. Although there isn't a huge deal to see in Maseru, it is well worth stopping here upon entry into Lesotho to stock up before venturing further in (where there are very, very few Western shops).
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Points of Interest in Maseru
There is not a huge deal to see in Maseru, as the city is essentially a base for expeditions and travels deeper into Lesotho.
- The Mokorotlo. One of the country's most monumental buildings, the Mokorotlo is the traditional hut built in a modern sophisticated style, it is a virtual museum where you can learn more about the cultures and tradition of the friendly Basotho nation.
- Thetsane is worth having a wander around on a weekday - two kilometres south of Maseru on Pioneer Road (past the Pope's Podium) are a cluster of factories that churn out t-shirts and jeans for numerous US chain stores, including Kmart, Children's Place and GAP (if you've ever bought an Old Navy top chances are it was stitched together here). The chaotic hustle and bustle of Thetsane contrasts sharply with the slow pace of life elsewhere in Lesotho, and its a fascinating place to see what African 'industrialisation' looks like.
Popular events in Maseru in the near future
- The Lehakoe Club and Gym, Moshoeshoe Road (next to the Central Bank, near the Houses of Parliament) Excellent gym by any standards, with 2 swimming pools, tennis & squash courts, steam rooms and sauna. M215 per month membership, also daily and weekly membership available.
- Lesotho National Tennis Courts Kingsway bypass, functional and cheap tennis courts, tuition available.
- Maseru Golf Course, play a round with some alcoholic expats.
- Moeshoeshoe Day is celebrated in Maseru in early March with colourful processions through the city centre.
- Go canoeing on the Caledon river. The Lesotho-Durham Link offer canoeing trips (phone in advance to see what they can offer, +266 223 25166). Around LSL200 for an afternoon.
- Join the Hash The Maseru Hash House Harriers are a good way of meeting expats, getting some exercise, and seeing some more off-the-beaten-path parts of Maseru. They're quite tame, with the traditional drinking games kept to a minimum.
- Hike up the Hill behind the Lesotho Sun. Behind the hotel is a rocky hill (where they are now building the new Chinese funded parliament building - Lesotho supports the One China policy). Should take about 30 minutes to climb but is well worth the effort - go before sunset and take your camera!
- Trips from Maseru. If you are living and working in Maseru there are numerous options for day trips and weekend getaways. This is a few years old now but have a look here.
- White Box Food, not a restaurant, but a good budget eating option - on Kingsway at lunchtime lots of food vendors are cooking up chicken, pork, rice and papa and serving it to the office workers in town for around LSL12-15 a box - very tasty and very filling
- M'editerranea Pizza, (just off Pioneer Rd, near OK supermarket) - good fresh pizza, by far the best coffee in town, great atmospheric music.
- Mimmo's Italian Deli, United Nations Rd - nice decor, variable food, including very garlicy pizzas and pasta dishes. Service is pretty bad but this is Lesotho.
- Nando's, Moeshoeshoe Rd - good chicken, Portuguese style
- KFC, Kingsway - chicken
- New Asia, Kingsway (behind Victoria Hotel) - good chinese restaurant - access from the carpark behind Victoria Hotel
- Peace Restaurant, Moeshoeshoe Rd (just down from Nando's) - at the back of a Chinese grocery shop the Peace Restaurant offers an authentic chinese eating experience - good food, plastic chairs, chinese karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights! You can almost believe you are in China
- Good Times Cafe, LNDC Centre, Kingsway (above the Vodacom shop) - the only nightspot in Maseru also serves up adequate South African fare - OK for lunch if you have 1,5 hours or more. Tends to be empty in the evenings except for a few expats. Big screen for live football.
- Solomon's Ground, below the post office at the corner of Constitution Road, this restaurant offers decent Italian food and on Thursdays offers an Ethiopian buffet.
- Lancer's Inn, Kingsway - good food but slow service.
- Lesotho Sun, Nightingale Rd - a Chinese restaurant, and a grill restaurant, both quite average for the price (expensive) but if you are after a nice steak then it's more convenient than a trip to Ladybrand. There's a gluttonous all you can eat buffet on Sundays at lunchtime with loads of food. Doors open at 12.30 but it soon packs out as post-church middle-class Basotho families stuff themselves. Get there early if you want to get your nose in the trough! LSL120 per person.
- Maseru Sun Cabanas, runs the same Sunday lunch buffet food-fest as the Lesotho Sun. I disagree with this post - Cabanas "buffet" grill is much better than at the Lesotho Sun (even though they are both part of the Sun International Group) and has a much wider choice. Top tip - there is usually bread and butter pudding on the desert table which is better than your mum OR Gran ever made. Weird eh?
- Regal Restaurant, Kingsway (part of the Basotho Hat complex) - the only non-hotel, non-Chinese restaurant that offers a pleasant dining experience - good (British-style) Indian food, appealing interior and good service. Expensive though and service is average at best.
- Ocean Basket, South African chain serving seafood and sushi.
- Good Times Cafe LNDC Centre, Kingsway (above the Vodacom shop) - the only non-hotel bar in Maseru likely to appeal to the tourist - can be very lively at weekends especially after pay-day (at end of the month) with live music and many of Lesotho's young and rich in attendance - but can be quiet on week nights.
- Lesotho Sun - Pool bar - Great for sundowners. Buy-1-get-1-free on Fridays 5pm-7pm (very popular)
- UN Club - the opening times are a little unpredictable, but worth a try for the more adventurous - its next to the Sparrows bar / gas station behind Lancers Inn (GPS / Google Earth coordinates 29°18'57.63"S 27°28'48.57"E)
- Local bar in the suburbs - want to get off the tourist trail and see some suburban Maseru life? try this bar - safe and friendly (and cheap), with a pleasant beer garden out back used for hosting the occasional wedding reception. About 2 km southeast of the cathedral traffic circle, just off main south (GPS / Google Earth coordinates 29°19'40.17"S 27°30'24.83"E)
Supermarkets and food
- Pick'n'Pay, Pioneer Shopping Centre, Pioneer Road - Very well-stocked South African supermarket and liquor store.
- OK Shoprite, Kingsway (LNDC Centre, behind the Vodacom shop) - Good stocking up place before you head to the mountains
- OK Shoprite, Moeshoeshoe Rd - again a good stock up place.
- Fruit & Veg City, Kingsway (Cathedral end) better fruit and veg than shoprite, also has a very random 'Italian deli' section selling very expensive pasta and italian wine.
- Bensons Quality Fresh Meats, Main North road - very good (South African run) butchers. Original owners have sold this business to run Pick'n'Pay. They deliver too. +266 22321479
- Basotho Hat, Kingsway - a government run craft store which stocks locally made crafts. Large variety of beautiful hand-made jewelry of copper and ceramics, dresses, wire push toys. Worth poking your head in just to enjoy the unusual architecture.
- Chinese tailors, Kingsway, opposite Fruit & Veg - good tailors who can duplicate a suit for LSL1,000-ish (they take the measurements from an existing suit rather than measure you)
- Lesotho Cellphone Services, 10 Lioli Rd. Industrial Area - a cheaper place to purchase white goods and electrical items than the furniture shops along Kingsway
- For electronics On Kingsways, also just opposite Fruit & Veg there is a large and surprisingly well-furnished shop selling computers and accessories, mobile phones and accessories, cables, etc., at decent prices.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Maseru on Wikivoyage.