Maloti Mountains

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Maluti snow.jpg
Peaks of the Maloti range in Lesotho
Highest point
Peak Thabana Ntlenyana
Elevation 3,482 m (11,424 ft)
Listing Mountain ranges of South Africa
Coordinates 29°0′0″S 28°25′0″E / 29.00000°S 28.41667°E / -29.00000; 28.41667Coordinates: 29°0′0″S 28°25′0″E / 29.00000°S 28.41667°E / -29.00000; 28.41667
Length 150 km (93 mi) NW/SE
Width 90 km (56 mi) NE/SW
Maloti is located in Lesotho
Countries Lesotho and South Africa
Region Southern Africa
Parent range Drakensberg
Orogeny Kaapvaal craton
Age of rock Neoarchean to early Paleoproterozoic
Type of rock Bushveld igneous complex, sandstone
Easiest route From Maseru or Phuthaditjhaba

The Maloti Mountains, also spelled Maluti (Afrikaans: Malutiberge), are a mountain range of the highlands of the Kingdom of Lesotho. They extend for about 100 km into the Free State. The Maloti Range is part of the Drakensberg system that includes ranges across large areas of South Africa.


An aerial view of a village located in the Maloti Mountain range.

The range forms a high alpine basalt plateau up to 3,400 m (11,200 ft) in height. It is located between Butha-Buthe District in Lesotho and the Free State Province of South Africa. The highest point, 3,482 m (11,424 ft) high Thabana Ntlenyana, is located in the north-east of the range. It is the highest peak of Southern Africa, and the highest in Africa south of the Kilimanjaro.[1] The 3,291 m (10,797 ft) high Namahadipiek, the highest mountain in the Free State, is also part of the Maloti Range. The mountains form a continuous upland area of rounded peaks with incised deep valleys on the flanks which drain into the Senqu River. Snow and frost may be found even in summer on the highest peaks.[2]

The sources of two of the principal rivers in South Africa, the Orange River, known as Senqu in Lesotho, and the Tugela River, are in these mountains. Tributaries of the Caledon River, known as Mohokare in Lesotho, which forms the country's western border, also rise here, and the Makhaleng River rises on the flanks of Machache (2,886 m (9,469 ft)).[3]

Protected areas[edit]

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park includes parts of the northeastern end of the Maloti Range. Other parks in this high mountain area are the Sehlabathebe National Park in Lesotho and the uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park spanning parts of both KwaZulu-Natal province and Lesotho. These parks are part of the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thabana Ntlenyana (mountain, Lesotho) - Britannica Online
  2. ^ Graeme Worboys; Wendy L. Francis; Michael Lockwood (2010). Connectivity Conservation Management: A Global Guide. Earthscan. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-84407-603-1. 
  3. ^ J.-P. vanden Bossche; G. M. Bernacsek (1990). Source Book for the Inland Fishery Resources of Africa. Food & Agriculture Org. p. 93. ISBN 978-92-5-102983-1. 
  4. ^ Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area

External links[edit]