I loved Lesotho and think you will too…
Visiting Lesotho came as an afterthought to us. We hadn’t initially planned for it, and after asking around, it occurred to us we should add it to our itinerary since we like nature and hiking. We had met some people from Lesotho in our trips to South Africa and had heard from locals and visitors alike that it’s quite a beautiful country with lush bountiful landscapes and cold temperatures. We had already spent a month in super hot Mozambique, so a cool place with lots of hiking territory seemed like an ideal destination. I did not expect, however, for Lesotho to be so beautiful.
I can honestly say that Lesotho remains to this day as one of my favorite countries I’ve visited, and the views is just the beginning of it. Here are 5 reasons I loved Lesotho and think you will too:
1- It’s a hiker’s Paradise in Lesotho
Lesotho is land locked, and this might sound like it might not be geographically exciting but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s called the kingdom in the sky because of its high altitudes, and kingdom like feel…. the entire country looks like Wakanda!
It’s filled with mountains, natural trails, seemingly infinite meadows and the most scenic views. If you like hiking, you can get lost for hours or days. We stayed in Ribaneng and did two of my favorite hikes ever. We went to two different waterfalls and crossed rivers, caves and trails that seemed untouched by men. All we saw were shepherds with their candle and little kids running in the wild.
It’s like being transported to another time…which brings me right onto my next point…
2- The culture in Lesotho is unlike any other
Lesotho is not a country that HAD a great culture and still preserves some of it in small towns or that puts on shows for tourists to show you what it was like 200 years ago… the entire country IS the way it is and you can truly experience their unique culture. People very much still live in their traditional housing and carry on traditions that have been passed down generation after generation.
The vas majority of the country is very rural and people live a simpler life. There is a significant degree of poverty, but if you look past, you can also see a society that is proud of their deep rooted culture. They live and work off the land and honor it as the source of life that it is. People seem to live in harmony with the nature around them, and there is just a very calm feel about the whole of Basotho Country. I had never visited a place where it seemed as though everyone lived in another time period or culture altogether. It was very fascinating and captivating, and made for very good connections with those locals we met.
3- This is Real Africa
When we planned a trip to South Africa the first time, we envisioned Safaris and the wild, but we were based out of Johannesburg and that is a big modern city!
Visiting Lesotho felt like going back in time, to an Africa from another time period…. one that I might’ve designed in my head from the movies or books that spoke of vast lands with wild life all around. Lesotho still has natural healers and sheep shepherds that walk around meadows upon meadows with a flock of free range sheep and cattle…Lesotho feels like Switzerland and Africa had a baby… a beautiful, wild, vast, and peaceful baby.
It almost sounds contradicting but it truly feels like a different world. In Lesotho nature rules, and even though it might sound weird, I was craving a natural Africa… a wild one where nature played a bigger role than buildings and highways.
4- The Friendliest Locals
I can only speak for the region we visited (which was Ribaneng) as it wouldn’t be fair to generalize an entire country, but I can honestly say the people of Lesotho were some of the friendliest we met.
Basotho people are kind, welcoming and super friendly.
Many locals allowed us into their houses to show us their traditional way of living, and many strangers shared words, hugs, smiles and even beer with us. We walked around several areas within Ribaneng and made friends with children and adults alike. The kids would come up to us and say a few words in english, and the adults would nod and smile everywhere we went.
The local kids from Ribaneng put together a traditional performance for us at Ribaneng Lodge and it truly was such a wonderful moment. We truly felt like we were visiting friends in another country.
5- Yummy and healthy food
Because the country is vast and people live off the land, the food is AMAZING. Vegetables are fresh and juicy, and there are free range, organic meat options as well.
We visited during summer, so we were lucky to have what seemed like a vast variety of fruits and vegetables at our disposal, but maybe the food sources are not as plentiful in the winter since Lesotho does get pretty cold. It seems as though everything is organic, as most people grow their own food.
We were made delicious healthy meals daily, and not one of them was disappointing. Their cuisine seems varied with animal and plant sources and has some similarities with South African cuisine, such as the use of pop.
Overall, this country was one where I felt like I traveled to another place altogether. It felt like being in a different time period. I loved the pace of life, the amazing views and the abundance of nature. I think Lesotho is one of Africa’s best kept secrets and if you get a chance, you should visit it too.
Is Lesotho on your list? Let me know what countries you’re planning on visiting next below, and what other things you’d like to know about the countries I visit.