Lesotho, also known as the “Kingdom in the Sky,” is a small landlocked country in southern Africa. It’s surrounded by South Africa and has a population of about 2 million people. Despite its small size, Lesotho has a lot to offer visitors, from its stunning mountain landscapes to its rich culture and history. Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Lesotho.
1. The Scenery:
Lesotho is a country of dramatic landscapes, with soaring peaks, deep valleys, and cascading waterfalls. The Maluti Mountains, which dominate the country’s eastern border, are a particular highlight, with towering peaks rising over 3,000 meters. The Sani Pass, which connects Lesotho to South Africa, is one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world, with hairpin bends, steep inclines, and breathtaking views.
2. The Culture:
The country has a rich and vibrant culture that’s influenced by its history and geography. The Basotho people, who make up the majority of the population, have a unique language, dress, and customs. One of the most distinctive aspects of Basotho culture is the traditional blanket, which is worn by both men and women and has become a symbol of national identity. Lesotho also has a rich tradition of music and dance, with traditional instruments like the lekolulo and the setolo-tolo.
3. The Food:
Lesotho’s cuisine is a mix of traditional African dishes and European influences. One of the most popular dishes is pap and boerewors, which is a type of sausage made from beef, pork, and spices. Other popular dishes include Papa, a staple maize meal in enjoyed in almost every household.
4. The People:
The country is known for its friendly and welcoming people, who are proud of their country and culture. Visitors are often struck by how warm and hospitable the locals are, and many tourists return year after year to visit friends they’ve made on previous trips.
5. The Festivals:
Lesotho is a country that loves to celebrate, with a calendar full of colorful festivals and events throughout the year. One of the biggest and most popular is the Morija Arts and Cultural Festival, which takes place every September and features music, dance, theater, and art.
6. The Wildlife:
Despite its small size, the country is home to a surprisingly diverse range of wildlife, including baboons, antelopes, and even leopards. The Sehlabathebe National Park, located in the southeastern part of the country, is one of the best places to see Lesotho’s wildlife up close.
7. The Adventure Activities:
Lesotho is a paradise for adventure lovers, with a wide range of activities on offer. Visitors can go hiking in the mountains, horseback riding through the countryside, or even try their hand at skiing in the winter months.
8. The History:
The country has a rich and fascinating history, with a long tradition of kingship dating back to the 19th century. Visitors can explore the country’s past at sites like Thaba Bosiu, which was the stronghold of King Moshoeshoe I, or the Morija Museum and Archives, which houses a wealth of historical artifacts and documents.
9. The Crafts:
Lesotho is home to a vibrant craft industry, with local artisans producing everything from woven baskets and pottery to jewelry and textiles. Visitors can visit markets and workshops throughout the country to see these crafts being made and purchase unique souvenirs.
10. The Weather:
The country’s climate is characterized by warm summers and cold winters, with temperatures ranging from 30°C in summer to -7°C in winter. The country experiences plenty of sunshine throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. In winter, the snow-capped mountains provide a stunning backdrop for skiing and snowboarding, while in summer, the warm weather is perfect for hiking, camping, and exploring the countryside. With a pleasant climate all year round, Lesotho is a great destination for tourists looking to escape the heat or cold of other parts of the world.