Ha Kome Cave Dwellings

Useful Information

Location: 50 km from Maseru.
(-29.244378, 27.866821)
Open: Mo-Fr 8-16:30, Sa 8-12.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyErosional Cave ArchaeologyRock Shelter
Light: bring torch
Dimension: A=1,800 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Tšepang ‘Mabasia Shano (2014): Developing heritage and cultural tourism in Lesotho : the case of Ha Kome cave village, University Of Pretoriafaculty Of Humanities. academia.edu
Address: Ha Kome Cave Dwellings, Mateka, Lesotho, Tel: +266-5854-7673. Tel: +266-5846-1253.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


declared a National Heritage site by the Lesotho government.


The Ha Kome Cave Dwellings or Ha Kome (Kome Caves) are a huge erosional overhang. The site was obviously a shelter for millennia, cave paintings indicate San Bushmen dwelt here, and it was used as a hideout. During the 1820s and 30s there was a period of unrest throughout southern Africa which is called Mefcane (the Crushing). There were multiple problems, like widespread drought, forced migration, and intertribal warfare. The Basia tribe used the overhang as a hideout, and in the late 19th century they build homes out of mud into the overhang.

The current settlement are the descendants of those Basia tribe refugees, a handful of families still live in their mud houses. The rock shelter provides shelter from rain, but the place is quite remote and there is neither water nor electricity. There are obviously no jobs to be found, so they live off subsistence farming, like most inhabitants of Lesotho. They grow corn, sorghum and beans and raise chickens and cattle. The biggest problem is obviously to bring sick people to a doctor, because there is only a footpath. Some show their houses to tourists, and believe an increase in tourism will save the village. The main problem is currently the poor road, if the government would build a better road this could bring much more tourists.