The Kingdom of Lesotho is a small country landlocked entirely by South Africa. Also known as ‘Kingdom in the Sky’. Lesotho is known for its towering mountain peaks and breathtaking vistas. The country offers something for every traveller. Whether you are into outdoor activities, exploring historical sites or getting completely off the grid like never before.
Here are 11 reasons why you should visit Lesotho; the Kingdom in the Sky.
1. It’s a dream destination for adventure lovers
Lesotho may be small, but it is big on adventure. From the world’s longest commercial abseil to some of the most breathtaking mountain bike trails known. The country is packed with remote mountain ranges and steep, untouched trails that offer some of the most adventurous opportunities.
Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking or horse riding, Lesotho has it all and more. Lesotho is even home to one of only two(!) ski resorts in Southern Africa. So, if you want to go skiing or snowboarding. This is the place to be. The name of the ski resort is Afriski Mountain Resort
2. The Sani Pass
Lesotho is home to the notorious Sani Pass, one of the most challenging yet rewarding 4×4 routes in the world! If you like adrenaline-pumping off road driving, this rough route from Kwazulu-Natal to Lesotho, is the road for you. The road was built in 1950 and has barely been repaired since.
The pass begins at 1,544 metres (5,066 feet) and summits at 2,875 metres (9,436 feet). The steep zigzag route ends at the highest pub in Africa. Visitors should prepare for high altitude and unpredictable weather. It may be best to not drive down again the same day.
My advise is to book through a tour operator, they will ensure that your vehicle is in perfect condition and capable of navigating the tricky pass.
3. You will be one of the few tourist there
More and more people complain about the amount of tourists in Southeast Asia and other well known destinations. Well, we have ourselves to thank for that.. We are the ones who want to visit all these destinations. However, I always try to find ‘untouched’ places where you feel like it is still undiscovered. If you want to have a true authentic experience and get off the beaten track, visit Lesotho. You will not regret it, this country is rugged Africa at its best.
4. Enjoy the inspiring and changing scenery
Lesotho is well known for it’s breathtaking scenery which includes snow-capped mountain ranges during the winter. There are endless green plains, rolling hills and mountains, the most beautiful waterfalls and the occasional stray shepherd with his flock. The Sehlabathebe National Park is one of the most beautiful places to walk in Southern Africa. The strength and beauty of the park lies mainly in the peace and quiet. There is something fascinating about the lack of human presence. Sehlabathebe mainly means to be far away from civilization.
5. The highest pub in Africa
There are rooftop bars, and there are bars at the roof of the world. At 2,874 meters (9,429 feet) above sea level, Sani Mountain Lodge boasts the highest pub in Africa. You can enjoy a beer or even spend the night in the sky, often above cloud level. It is quite a hassle to get there, but once you do, you will have one of the most well-deserved drinks of your life.
Besides this bar being an epic place to spend time, the top of Sani Mountain Pass marks the Eastern border crossing between South Africa and Lesotho.
6. Subeng dinosaur footprints
When I said Lesotho has it all, I meant it. The Subeng dinosaur footprints are preserved in sandstone and feature the prints of at least three prehistoric animals which lived approximately 200 million years ago.
This site is located around 8 kilometers north of Hlotse, and a small sign on the side of the road advertises this site. it is about 500 meter from the main road. The entrance fees goes to the community and local guides are happy to show you the way.
7. Horse trekking through the mountains
The most popular mode of transport in Lesotho is the Basotho pony, a cross between European horses and the shorter Javanese pony. These pony’s are relatively small in size, robust build and have an excellent stamina in mountainous areas. During these trekkings you can see what horses are truly capable of as you ride over spectacular mountain passes.
7. See the most magical night sky full of stars
I’ve been to a lot of places in the world, but there isn’t one place which exceeds the night sky in Lesotho. It offers a spectacular experience when it comes to stargazing.
About two thirds of human population today live under light polluted skies, not dark enough to see the Milky Way.
In Lesotho there are no light polluted skies and you can see the Milky Way clearly. Because there are no big cities in Lesotho the sky is very dark without any light pollution from the cities. The dark sky clearly reveals the Milky Way which is full of seemingly bigger and brighter stars.
8. Experience local village culture (and homebrew)