The Kingdom of Lesotho is hidden in the heart of South Africa and is referred to by many travelers as the Switzerland of Africa. Lesotho is the only independent state in the world that is completely located above an altitude of 1,000 m above sea level.
According to physicscat, the country consists mainly of the gentle highlands and the rugged peaks of the Maloti Mountains, of which the Thabana Ntlenyana is the highest mountain in southern Africa at almost 3,500 meters. Lesotho is also known as “The Kingdom in Heaven” because of its high altitude.
The altitude and mountainous geography provide a spectacular backdrop for numerous outdoor activities such as horse riding, climbing, fishing, climbing, hiking, bird watching, mountain biking and even skiing on the snow-covered slopes below the Mahlasela Pass. Much of the country and its villages can only be reached on foot, on horseback or by light aircraft.
However, Lesotho’s remoteness is a big part of its appeal, and this also helps preserve the traditional culture of the Basotho people. Lesotho also has some outstanding examples of ancient rock art by the San nomads who once lived in the area.
Since Lesotho gained independence from Great Britain, the country has gone downhill economically, it is considered one of the worst developed countries on earth. Where Lesotho cannot measure itself against the wealth and infrastructure of its large neighbor South Africa, the small country scores with adventure and natural beauty.
Best travel time
Temperatures in Lesotho are extreme in summer and winter. In the winter months (May to September) snow falls and temperatures often drop below freezing point. The coldest months are June and July. On the other hand, summer (October to April) in Lesotho is warm and humid, with January and February being the hottest months and the most rainfall. The temperatures during these months are between 15 and 35 ° C.
Despite the relatively high temperatures, the summer season in Lesotho is comfortable and not too hot for outdoor activities. With plenty of sun and pleasant daytime temperatures, the summer months October to April are a good time to visit Lesotho. If you especially want to avoid the rain and still experience the good weather and many tourist activities, the best time to travel is between October and November and after the rainy season in March and April .
Climate in Maseru
Average temperatures in Lesotho vary widely. Given the humidity in the air, temperatures feel good for most of the year, with the exception of a few cold weeks in winter.
Lesotho has a continental climate that is heavily influenced by its altitude. Summer lasts from October to April while winter is from May to September. While the average rainfall in the summer season is only around 70 mm, the relatively rainy months are between December and February.
The summer is hot and the temperatures in the lowlands occasionally rise to 35 ° C. The highlands, on the other hand, are cool and the average temperature is 18 ° C. Winters are mild in the lower regions, but in the mountains there can be sub-zero temperatures and snow.
Towards the end of winter and what some like to call spring, a multitude of alpine flowers cover the mountains in August and peach trees and mimosas bloom in the valleys.
The weather in the highlands is mostly unpredictable, similar to the Scottish highlands. In a moment the sky is clear and it is sunny – and suddenly huge clouds pile up along the peaks. It can happen that within five minutes you are in a fog that can easily last for twelve hours! For this reason, you should always keep an eye on the weather and be prepared for anything in Lesotho.
Food and drink
Lesotho food has no significant influences from other countries or cultures. People just eat and are usually not vegetarian. Each dish comes with rice, wheat or cassava. Fish, beans and beef are often eaten with main meals.
English and Sesotho are the two official languages spoken in Lesotho. Zulu and Xhosa are also spoken.