Lesotho is a small landlocked country surrounded by South Africa, yet it remains surprisingly unknown to tourists from outside the continent, even though it boasts some of the most magnificent landscapes on earth, as well as some of the best weather anywhere in the world. With an enchanting culture and an unspoiled landscape, Lesotho has something to offer both adventurous travelers and those who want to relax on holiday. This mesmerizing tapestry of history, culture and adventure provides you with everything you need to know before you visit Lesotho.
The Basotho people are the indigenous people of Lesotho. They are united by their common language, Sesotho, and their traditional religion, which is a form of animism. Basotho culture is also expressed through food and music. Communication is important in Basotho culture, and there is a strong emphasis on family.
The Basotho have no written language, and do not read or write. However, they communicate through music and storytelling. Food has a central role in Basotho culture as well; among other things, it plays an important role in social gatherings as people are invited to share a large meal at homes or in community halls. It is believed that God created man by sacrificing a bullock, giving meat to people so they could eat. Even today some still practice sacrifices after important events like weddings or births.
Basotho society is patriarchal and patrilineal. In some families, wives live in their husbands’ homesteads for years at a time as visiting wives. However, after marriage a man still lives with his parents until he takes over a homestead from them; it is uncommon for children to remain in their parents’ home after marriage. Since 2006 polygamous marriages have been banned by law.
Tourism in Lesotho
Lesotho, a mountainous country in South Africa, is landlocked. It is a country rich in culture and tradition, with Basotho people making up the majority of the population. Lesotho’s main religion is Christianity. However, there are also many traditional beliefs that are still followed by some members of the community.
There are several attractions in Lesotho. Among them is Matalaneng Cultural Village, a cultural centre showcasing Basotho culture, located just outside Maseru. The village consists of a craft village and restaurant, as well as two traditional Basotho houses. These houses show how residents lived in villages during different times in history, including how they were built and decorated; they also contain displays on religious beliefs and traditional marriage ceremonies.
Climate in Lesotho
The country is home to an array of mesmerizing landscapes and unique wildlife. The Drakensberg mountain range forms the eastern border of the country, while the Maloti Mountains make up the majority of the terrain. The climate is generally temperate, with cool winters and hot summers. Despite its small size, Lesotho boasts an impressive variety of wildlife. The most commonly seen animals are antelope, zebra, eland, and kudu. Birds such as eagles, vultures, and ostriches are also plentiful.
The climate in Lesotho is typically temperate with warm summers and cool winters. The temperature in July ranges from an average high of 23°C (73°F) to an average low of 4°C (39°F). The temperature in January ranges from an average high of 12°C (54°F) to an average low of -0.1°C (31.8°F). With little rainfall, most water in Lesotho comes from rivers that flow into it, as well as underground springs. However, due to its location on top of a plateau and relatively high altitude, there are no rivers flowing out. Therefore, it is generally dry country with few lakes or waterways, making large-scale irrigation projects infeasible for agriculture development purposes.
Landscape and Wildlife in Lesotho
The majestic landscape of Lesotho is one of its defining features. From the soaring peaks of the Drakensberg mountains to the lush green valleys, the country is truly a sight to behold. And it’s not just the landscapes that are mesmerizing – the wildlife is equally impressive. From the Big Five to rare birds, there is an abundance of creatures to be found in Lesotho.
One impressive creature to spot in Lesotho is elephants. In fact, it’s not unusual to find herds gathering by rivers and streams, seemingly enjoying their daily bath in hot springs – but it turns out there’s another reason why they enjoy cooling off with a refreshing dip! Elephants are actually great swimmers, which comes in handy when they need to cool down on warm days. Elephant calves also love their daily soaks; as playful babies, they enjoy a good splash about for fun!
One of my favourite sights is watching baby elephants splashing around – and as you might imagine, most adults aren’t too keen on being washed by curious young calves!
Economy of Lesotho
The Kingdom of Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty King Letsie III as head of state. The country has a bicameral parliament consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly. The Prime Minister is the head of government and is appointed by the King from among the members of Parliament. Ministers are also appointed by the King on the advice of the Prime Minister and form the Cabinet.
The Kingdom of Lesotho’s economy is based on subsistence agriculture and a few other small industries. Agriculture constitutes 48% of GDP and 94% of exports. The agricultural sector’s main products are cattle, corn, potatoes, sorghum, peas, beans, tomatoes and apples. Smaller portions of tobacco, sugarcane and rice are also grown in more fertile areas with higher rainfall. The manufacturing sector mainly processes local agricultural produce.
The largest component of Lesotho’s economy by far is its large, automotive, textile and garment-manufacturing sector. This sector has almost single-handedly been responsible for making Maseru one of Africa’s fastest growing economies and it now supplies up to 80% of all jobs in urban areas. Most international companies have operations in Maseru and these provide income tax, sales tax as well as foreign exchange through repatriation of profits. After Nigeria’s capital Abuja, Maseru is home to sub-Saharan Africa’s second largest stock exchange by market capitalization at $586 million.
Government and Politics in Lesotho
The government of Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. The Prime Minister is the head of government, and the King is the head of state. Executive power is exercised by the government. Both the government and the parliament have legal authority.
The judicial system is made up of three levels; lower courts, which include magistrates’ courts and local tribunals; a High Court ; and a Court of Appeal. The judiciary is independent and free from government interference. It has been described as having its own set of laws—indigenous law, based on Sesotho customs and practices—which may be used to interpret general laws or settle disputes.
Lesotho’s federal-style government is based on three branches—executive, legislative, and judicial—with a bicameral parliament that consists of a Senate with 33 seats and a National Assembly with 120 seats.