Lesotho — Overview
Unique in that it’s entirely surrounded by South Africa, the mountainous country of Lesotho is known as the Kingdom in the Sky. Populated by the friendly Basotho, one of Africa’s few mountain tribes, the land lies three thousand feet above sea level and is a fabulous adventure destination. Maseru is its capital and the rich culture of the region can be explored on the isolated, traditional villages. The tourism experience is centered on natural beauty, historical heritage and the region’s indigenous flora and fauna.
The highlight of any visit to Lesotho is a journey to the beautiful Highlands, where traditional life can still be seen as they continue with centuries-old unaltered customs and lifestyles. Incredible traces of prehistoric African life since the dawn of time can be found at many sites across the country, with the most impressive being Liphofung Cave’s stunning San Bushman rock art. The magnificent Maletsunyane Waterfalls at Semonkong offer single-drop splendor, while the Bokong Nature Reserve’s Lapquoa Waterfall becomes a sparkling sheet of ice in winter.
Everyday life in Lesotho is based on beliefs, solid traditions and ancient customs, best seen in the country’s tribal villages. Nature reserves, old-wood forests and national parks are loved by visitors for their unspoiled beauty and native wildlife. The Road of Africa, the famous route between the ski resort of Oxbow and the South African border, takes in dramatic mountain passes and incredible views. Pony-trekking is also a great way to explore the country, and hiking is very popular. When it comes to unique attractions, the dinosaur footprints at Morija have you covered.
The Basotho people are friendly and welcoming, known for their lack of aggression and love of peace. They are intensely proud of their country, calling it the "African Nepal." The ruler and government takes tourism development seriously, with the capital home to international-level hotels and excellent restaurants, while the smaller towns offers mid-range accommodations, charming inns and alpine lodges in the ski areas. In the villages, you can stay with a local in thatched, rondavel huts. Best of all, English is spoken by the majority of people in townships and the capital so communication will never ben an issue.
The only air hub here is Maseru’s Moshoeshoe Airport, but you can also arrive via road from South Africa. There is no train in the country, and getting around is by minibus, transportation used everywhere on the continent and an experience in itself! Minibus taxis are great for intercity travel, as they are very cheap and give an unrivalled opportunity to meet the locals – often in very close quarters. Self-driving is a far better option in Lesotho than other African countries, as many roads are well maintained.
- Visit Lesotho’s capital, Maseru, for an overview of the country
- See the 200-year-old Kome Cave Village, still inhabited today
- Explore spectacular remote waterfalls at Semonkong and Ketane
- Marvel at the massive Katse Dam, best seen via boat from the lakeshore or the nearby Leribe (Hlotse) township and its weavers
- Walk prehistoric dinosaur trails across the country
- Take a summer trip to the towering peaks of Sami Pass
- Try to decipher ancient rock art at GLiphofung Cave
- Feel the pulse of the cultural heart of the country, Thaba Bosiu
- Wander through Bokung Nature Reserve and the nearby Ts’ehlanyane National Park