Shopping is best done outside the Lesotho capital, preferably at the craft workshops themselves, as the money you spend on traditional goods goes to the cooperative itself, helping to improve the living conditions of the workers. The highlight of the African crafts industry is the weaving and the beautiful mohair tapestries, bursting with color and vibrancy, make for long-lasting reminders of an unforgettable vacation. You can even commission your own design to fit your home color scheme. Sadly, the supply of this ultimately luxurious natural fiber has declined over the years, and much fewer weavers have work than two decades ago.
Hand-woven woolen blankets are the mainstay of traditional garments and make great souvenirs. Again, they’re best purchased directly from the workshops after you’ve watched the carding, dying and weaving process. Although bargaining is expected, knocking the price down to the last dollar is frowned upon given the extreme poverty of the bulk of Lesotho. World music fans will have plenty of chances to hear traditional tunes played by local bands on their hand-made instruments, and CDs can be bought as unique reminders of a fun evening out.
Local painted African pottery comes in all shapes, sizes and designs, as do the cleverly-constructed woven baskets that are still used in the villages today. Tribal jewelry is unique, and costumes charming. If you’re on a pony trek around the hills and it’s your lucky day, you may be able to buy several cow, sheep and goat bells from a shepherd as an authentic souvenir of your trip. Listen for the bells in the distance and hope they come your way!