Hlotse or Leribe is a market town in the north of Lesotho. Established in the 19th century by a British missionary, this town on the banks of the Hlotse river was one of the main centres in colonial days. Today it's home to some 25,000 people and is a good place for travellers to find whatever last supplies they need to head out into Lesotho's gorgeous highlands.
Buses/minibuses are available from the Maseru transit station for around 35 ZAR/LSL (Apr 2014). Takes around 1.5-4 hours, depending on route (may detour to Maputsoe before heading to Leribe). From the North, frequent minibuses can be found plying the route between Butha-Buthe and Hlotse for around 30 ZAR/LSL (Apr 2014). The road is in fairly good condition between Maseru and Butha-Buthe.
Hlotse/Leribe is a fairly small town, and relatively easy to get around by foot. There are some taxis and minibuses available as well.
The oldest building in the city is the 1877 Anglican Church. Near the market place, you'll see the Gun Tower, a relic of the 1866 Gun War. Also notice the old English statue -another relic from colonial days- in the centre of town.
When entering the city you'll see the Leribe Craft Center along the road, which is a nice place for souvenirs. For sale are many different mohair products, made by physically disabled and deaf women from the region. You'll find anything from dolls and handbags to clothing, all in local designs. The centre is a long-running project of the Anglican church.
There are several small restaurants and bars to choose from. Alternatively, many Chinese 'supermarkets' and a Shoprite are also available for groceries.
- Bird Haven B&B. Appears to be a recently opened B&B in Hlotse, not too far from the town center but a bit away from the main road. Rooms and self-contained rondavels available, though the place still seemed to be under construction/renovation in April 2014. from 150 LSL (Apr 2014).