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Lesotho travel guide

Surrounded by South Africa and dubbed the 'Kingdom of the Sky', mountainous Lesotho is the perfect place for outdoor adventure and tribal encounters

Lesotho is an independent kingdom the size of Belgium, which stands like an island surrounded by South Africa. And it is not just a geographical island. Culturally too Lesotho is completely distinct from its larger neighbour. Though Western dress is now the norm in its capital, in the Lesotho’s countryside you’ll find the Basotho people still living traditional lives in simple stone and thatch huts.

Lesotho’s high altitude (the entire country lies above 1000m) and stunning mountainous landscape have earned it the moniker “Kingdom of the Sky”. And a lack of motorways and fences make this sky kingdom the perfect place to explore. You can trek, horse-ride or mountain bike in whichever direction you like – just make you get the local chief’s permission when you stop off in the villages.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Trek through spectacular mountain scenery on horseback
  2. Go on the trail of dinosaur footprints around Morija, in western Lesotho
  3. See parades of Basotho in vibrant, traditional dress on Moshoeshoe day on 14 March, when the first king of Lesotho is celebrated
  4. Discover rock paintings in Liphofung Cave
  5. Ski, or have a snowball fight, at Oxbow in winter
  6. Look out for yellow and white flags outside village huts – a sign that you can buy joala. Be warned though, this thick local brew is not for the faint-hearted.  

Wanderlust tips

Temperatures plummet at night, particularly in the highlands. Make sure you bring extra warm layers of clothing, no matter what time of year you visit. Better still, buy a patterned Basotho blanket, which provides very effective protection against the cold.
Visitors are few, and the locals are friendly, so always respond to attempts to speak to you.

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