Katse Dam

Travel to Katse – Spectacular Panoramic Views

Katse is a tiny village in the Lesotho Highlands. It is near and gives its name to the Katse Dam, a huge manmade reservoir built to sell water to neighbouring South Africa.

The Katse Dam, part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project–Africa’s largest dam project, eventually to include 5 large dams in remote rural areas–is a concrete arch dam on the Malibamat’so River in Lesotho. The potential of the project was identified by the South African Civil Engineer Ninham Shand as a possible means to supplement the water supply to South Africa. The World Bank arranged for a treaty between the then-Apartheid government of South Africa and its much smaller neighbor, Lesotho, allowing execution of the project to proceed. The dam was completed in 1996 and the reservoir filled with water by 1997.

The main attraction here is the Katse Dam whose flooded valleys extend for 45km. The centrepiece of the whole project is the dam wall – at 185 metres, it is the highest in Africa. The dam’s surrounding scenery is also spectacular and not to be missed. The views of the dam are the best from Mafika Lisiu Pass when the water levels are at their highest.

Also in the area is the interpretative centre, which features a model of the whole project and all its phases, with a commentary in English and The Katse Botanical Gardens which is a new feature created to house Lesotho’s indigenous flora, especially those threatened by the flooding of the valleys to create the dam.

Visitors can go on a tour which is arranged by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority Visitor Centre. Also there are plans to create an area of the lake which will be devoted to water sports.

Get around the surrounding area by foot or take one of the boats which criss-cross the dam and ferry villagers from one side to the other.

  • Enjoy a tour of the dam and its surrounding area.
  • Marvel at magnificent panoramic views.
  • Visit the visitors centre and botanical gardens.


Africa Travel Information