Ha Kome Cave Dwellings – Lesotho - Atlas Obscura

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Ha Kome Cave Dwellings

An 18th-century hideout became a permanent and ongoing residence for one Lesotho tribe. 


The cliff overhangs of Ha Kome are a series of cave dwellings an hour’s drive from Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. While their exact history is unknown, the current inhabitants are descended from Basia tribesmen and women who first made the overhang home in the late 1800s. 

The Mefcane (“the Crushing”) was a period of intense socio-political unrest during the 1820s and 30s throughout southern Africa, defined by widespread drought, forced migration, and inter-tribal warfare. To flee the ongoing violence, the Basia began using the overhang as a hideout at some point in the late 1800s, though trademark cave paintings indicate San Bushmen dwelt here even earlier. 

In time, the Basia came to build homes out of mud, which have been continuously occupied since then. Today, several families who live in these dwellings welcome visitors into their homes.

Know Before You Go

Ha Kome is easy enough to find using Google Maps, but you'll need a vehicle with a high clearance to make it down the dirt road.  Stop in at the Visitor's Center, and a friendly guide will hop in to show you the way.

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