Masitise Cave House Museum

Useful Information

Location: Masitise, Lesotho.
5 kilometers west of Quthing.
(-30.404669, 27.643328)
Open: All year Mon-Fri 8:30-17, Sat, Sun 8:30-14.
Fee: Adults LSL 10, Children LSL 3, Tertiary Students LSL 5.
Classification: SubterraneaCave House
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: D. Fred. Ellenberger, V.D.M (1912): History Of The Basuto Ancient And Modern
Address: Masitise Cave House Museum, Masitise, Lesotho.
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.


1866-1867 cave house built by David Frederic Ellenberger.
1879 church built in front of the cave house.


The Masitise Cave House Museum is a private home built into a small cave in a rock face. Reverend David Frederic Ellenberger was forced by the second Basotho-Boar War to move his family south of the Orange River onto the lands of Chief Moorosi. The Chief allowed him to settle where he pleased. When he found the cave, which was used as a shelter by Chief Moorosi's shepherds, he stayed and built a house inside the cave. Ellenberger dedicated 55 years of his life to the people of Lesotho and became known as a paramount figure in the development of the religious community.

The house was built by a European, so it has walls made of bricks, and looks more like a Victorian mansion than an African cave shelter. After his death the Cave House was transformed into a small museum. It exhibits artifacts collected by the Morija Museum and Archives.

Rather weird detail of the museum are the dinosaur track in the ceiling, and the fact that Ellenberger’s son is entombed in the wall. The museum holds personal items of Ellenberger, including family photos, traditional clothing, and taxidermied animals.