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In The Lap of Nature: Roll Back Time On A Lesotho Tour
A tour through the country of Lesotho isn’t going to be your average vacation. Which is why, you need an outfit that’s not your average travel company. Enchanting Travels is your best bet when you want to plan a holiday to this small kingdom in the Drakensberg Mountains. Surrounded entirely by South Africa, Lesotho is nicknamed “Kingdom in the Sky” since the entire country lies at an altitude of over 1000 meters.
Step back in time when you leave the capital Maseru, to the traditional countryside where farming and sheep rearing are the dominant occupations. Not far from the capital, your friendly Basotho guide can explain this little-known country’s history, while walking you through Thaba Bosiu where the erstwhile rulers of Lesotho are buried.
Lesotho (pronounced les-oo-too) has drop-dead gorgeous mountain landscapes. In Tsehlanyane and Sehlabathebe National Parks and at Maletsunyane Falls, you’ll experience unspoiled nature, with barely another human in sight. At Malealea visitors can go pony trekking and visit and interact with local Basotho communities. At the foot of the Devil’s Knuckles peaks, innumerable pools of fresh water reflect the red mountains—a photographer’s delight. A few excellent lodges at these locations provide all the comforts you could possibly require.
Step even further back in time, when you visit the still inhabited Ha Kome Cave dwellings built under a cliff overhang, an hour’s drive from Thaba Bosiu near the village of Mateka. The caves have unusual mud huts built into them, and also hold millennia-old cave paintings. Top it off with a trip to see fossilized dinosaur footprints, said to be 200 million years old, in the little village of Morija, or in other locations around the country.
Recommended Lesotho Tours
Places: Durban (1 day) → Southern Drakensberg (2) → Sehlabathebe National Park (2) → Southern Drakensberg (1) → Port St Johns (1) → Eastern Wild Coast - Hiking (3) → Eastern Wild Coast - Beach (4) → Durban (1)
The climate in Lesotho is moderately warm throughout the year. Due to the high altitude, the temperatures are relatively low compared to the neighboring countries of Lesotho. Follow this link for an overview on the seasons and the best time to visit.
Dramatic gorges, rolling valleys and the iconic Basotho ponies – don’t miss out on the top highlights while planning your Lesotho travel itinerary. Follow this link for an overview on what to do in Lesotho.
Lesotho is primarily made up of the Sotho ethnic group, which is a major reason why the country has avoided civil warfare in its long history. The majority of the country has a traditional ancestor worship belief system alongside Catholicism, which is why you will see native rituals, including chanting and drumming, at church services. Music is just as important as dancing, and during your Lesotho tours you can expect the men of communities to do group dances with much high-kicking gusto!
Animals are an important element of Lesotho communities and the Basotho (citizens of Lesotho) value cattle even over money. The wealthy tend to send their children abroad for private schooling. The Basotho are well known for their handmade crafts, and one example is the patterned woven blanket that the people wear, as well as tapestries and finely made musical instruments.
On your Lesotho tours, you can also observe the amazing knitwear and leather, made from the wool and hides of the sheep and goat herds that roam the mountains, or the woven and grass and ress work, such as mokorotlo, a traditional Basotho hat.
Similar to most African cuisine, the local dishes revolve around maize (for the renowned staple meal of mealie pap), sorghum and wheat as well as beans, peas, cabbage and onion. You can also taste various stews made with peanuts or oxtail, curries and kebabs. Prepare to eat lots of beetroot salad during your Lesotho tours, as it is a common side dish. Ginger beer is a popular alcoholic beverage, as is ting, made from fermented porridge.
Why not try Lesotho’s national dish?
Papa: a thick maize porridge that is usually eaten with mutton, chicken or eggs or a spicy vegetable sauce
The Enchanting Travels team is happy to help you plan your private and tailor-made Lesotho tours.
History of Lesotho
Lesotho was originally known as Basutoland. It is known as the Hostage State as it is a country completely surrounded by and dependent on the Republic of South Africa. Tribal wars in southern Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries forced many of the Sotho-speaking tribes to flee into the highlands.
Moshoeshoe, an African chief, united the peoples into a nation in the 1800s. Unfortunately the Boers (Dutch-settlers) took much of the land. Moshoeshoe requested assistance from the British Government and the remaining area became a British protectorate. Lesotho gained independence in 1966 and a constitutional monarchy was established.
Whilst Lesotho has suffered from much political strife over the last few decades. the nation is determined and optimistic, and Lesotho tours have contributed to the growing economy.