Butha-Buthe is the capital city of the Butha-Buthe District in Lesotho. It has a population of approximately 10,000 (2004). It is named after Butha-Buthe Mountain to the north of the town, which King Moshoeshoe I reportedly used as his fortification and headquarters from 1821 to 1823, during his war with the Zulu king Shaka. The name Butha Buthe means “place of deposits.”
Butha-Buthe was founded in 1884 in order to provide the local ruler with a place where he could pay taxes, rather than forcing him to the more distant town of Hlotse. Butha-Buthe as a district has an area of 1,767 km² and a population in 2006 of approximately 109,529. In the north, Butha-Buthe borders on the Free State Province of South Africa, while domestically, it borders on the Mokhotlong and Leribe District – southeast and south respectively. Butha Buthe is traversed by the northwesterly line of equal latitude and longitude.
Maluti Mountains Viewpoint is a must see in the area. Usually advertised as an approx. 2 hours drive from Maseru district, however an extra two hours should be added to the equation as the mountain is very steep, narrow and reaches the highest point in Southern Africa! But once up there, it is worth it. Take in the view of the luscious but intimidating mountain cascading all the way from the eastern Free State Province of South Africa round across most parts of Lesotho! Lesotho isn’t called the mountain kingdom for nothing! Everything about this district is the mountain and all activities circulate on and around it. Such as the The Clarens – which is a Golf Estate set among the majestic mountains, river, willow and lombardi poplar trees in the South African Free state town of Clarens bordering the mountain. Another must see is the Clarens Craft Brewery which is set in the foothills of the mountain. Whilst there, enjoy a craft brew beer as you relax and take on the sights and sounds of the area. Rhebok Hiking Trail covers a total of 31 km of spectacular mountainous terrain that takes about two days to cover. Unfortunately it is advised to be embarked on by only very fit hikers. Afriski Mountain Resort is the most popular attraction in the entire Butha Buthe district. Another 35 minutes’ drive from the Maluti Mountain viewpoint, it is located at 3000 metres above sea level! The resort is located in the highest and coldest point in the country and is a definite must see especially in the winter months of May to late August.
Lesotho cuisine features African traditions and Western influence. Lesotho is surrounded by South Africa and they share many culinary practices. Many Basotho meals feature potato in mash form, seafood, rice as well as many vegetables such as beetroot and butternut. Corn based dishes such as mealie meal pap is prominent and is consumed at almost every mealtime. Soft Mealie or maize porridge is a favourite breakfast meal. There are also stews made with peanuts. Western influence desserts as well as sauces feature plenty too. For drinks try the local brew - Ting which is basically fermented mealie porridge, you can also try the ginger beer or non-alcoholic beverages.