The Kingdom of Lesotho is a small landlocked country within South Africa, known for its towering mountain peaks and breathtaking vistas. Lesotho has something for every traveller, so whether you’re after outdoor activities, exploring historical sites or getting off the grid like never before, here are our top reasons why you should visit.
It’s an adventure tourist’s dream destination
Whether you’re into water sports, skiing, snowboarding or mountain biking, Lesotho has it all and more. Home to one of only two ski resorts in Southern Africa, Lesotho is the place to go if you want to hone your skiing or snowboarding skills. Afriski Mountain Resort, situated in the Northern Highlands, has something on offer for every snow bunny, and if that’s not your thing, visiting to check out the scenery is just as good.
Afriski Mountain Resort also has amazing accommodation suited to all budgets and travellers. Contact the resort on +266 595 44734.
Navigate the notorious Sani Pass
The small country is also home to the famous Sani Pass, one of the most challenging yet rewarding 4×4 routes in the world. The pass begins at 1,544 metres (5,065 feet) and summits at 2,876 metres (9,435 feet). Needless to say, visitors should prepare for high altitude, unpredictable weather, and often snow. If you book through a tour operator they’ll ensure that your vehicle is in perfect condition and capable of navigating the tricky pass, giving you peace of mind.
Check out Sani Pass Tours to book a trip. Call them on +27 33 701 1064.
Have a drink at the “highest pub in Africa”
At 2,874 metres above sea level, Sani Mountain Lodge boasts the “highest pub in Africa”. The lodge offers accommodation to suit all needs, from camping to self-catering cottages. It is situated at the end of the Sani Pass, so a 4×4 vehicle is required. If, however, you’re booked at the lodge, simply arrange to be driven up or down. The quaint bar serves homemade glühwein during the colder months and tasty lunches can be ordered from as little as R55 (£3).
Contact Sani Mountain Lodge at +27 78 634 7496 to book.
See the Subeng dinosaur footprints
When we said Lesotho had it all we weren’t joking. The Subeng dinosaur footprints are preserved in sandstone and feature the prints of a variety of prehistoric animals which lived approximately 200 million years ago. Situated approximately 8 kilometres (5 miles) north of Hlotse, and within easy walking distance from the main road, this is an unmissable site. When you arrive, informal local guides are happy to show you the way.
Take in the awe inspiring scenery
Lesotho is well known for it’s breathtaking scenery which includes snow-capped mountain ranges during the winter. The Sehlabathebe National Park, in the Maloti Mountains, is at the heart of the country and boasts rich plant, animal and bird life. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot the rare bearded vulture. Katse Dam, home to the highest dam wall in Africa, is another must-visit and the place to go for uninterrupted views of the landscape. It’s situated on the Malibamatso River and tours can be booked by contacting +266 229 10805.
Visit the Ha Kome historical cave dwelling
These fascinating, and well preserved, caves are home to descendants of the Basia and Bataung clans. From pony treks to picnicking in the area, this is a great spot to spend the day. Visitors can also get their hands on authentic, locally produced crafts at the nearby Kome Crafts and Information Office.
Ha Kome is situated in the Pulane area in the Berea district.
Visit the Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village
Thaba Bosiu is located 24 kilometres (15 miles) from Maseru. It’s a national monument and known to be the birthplace of the Basotho people. The sandstone plateau is home to a fortress established by King Moshoeshoe I, the founder of the Basotho Nation, and is considered by locals to have magical powers. Meaning ‘mountain at night’, Thaba Bosiu is believed to grow larger during the evenings, protecting inhabitants from enemies and intruders.
Visitors can book a guided tour and visit the ruins of the Royal Village, see King Moshoeshoe I’s grave and the majestic sand dunes. Call +266-5022-1962 for more information.
Need to know
Lesotho is approximately 540 kilometres (336 miles) from Johannesburg. Many travellers visit the charming town of Clarens, situated in the foothills of the Maloti Mountains, before heading into Lesotho.
A valid passport is necessary to cross the border from South Africa to Lesotho and the local currency is the Maloti. Most major currencies can be exchanged at hotels, banks and ATMs across Lesotho, while South African Rand is used interchangeably with Maloti.