Lesotho, a country in Southern Africa is known as the Kingdom in the Sky because of its lofty altitude. It holds the record of being the only country that lies entirely at 1000m elevation. Lesotho’s mountainous topography not only gives credit to the country’s unique title but sets the stage as the perfect destination for outdoor adventures. You might wonder about Lesotho’s pronunciation. Lesotho is pronounced almost as it’s spelled but a local will be able to help you pronounce it better once you arrive at your destination. You might also be wondering about the official language of Lesotho – English and Sotho are the official languages of Lesotho! There are tons of other languages spoken in Lesotho but English remains very common.
Fun fact: Lesotho is totally surrounded and landlocked in South Africa. It is a fantastic adventure holiday destination to visit with kids. If you do go to Lesotho, some of the amazing places you should visit include:
Lesotho is home to the highest ski resort in Africa. Afriski Mountain Resort is located 3222m above sea level and has been likened to European ski resorts. It is located in the Maluti mountains in Lesotho.
The resort offers winter-sports for both young and old, with a special children’s board and ski area. It also provides ski lessons for beginners on gentle nursery slopes in addition to the more challenging slopes for experienced skiers. The ski is open for skiing in winter months (June – September) and open for mountain adventure sports in the summer (October – April).
2) Ts’ehlanyane National Park
This is the biggest park in Lesotho and no other spot in the country is as isolated from everything as Ts’ehlanyane is. This Park protects a beautiful high-altitude (2000-3000m), 56-sq-km patch of rugged wilderness, including one of Lesotho’s only stands of indigenous forest with a number of rare undergrowth plants unique to this
woodland habitat. This park is perfect for hiking and horseback riding. Visit Maliba Lodge, the only 5 star lodge in Lesotho, is located within the Ts’ehlanyane National park. It is about a 4-hour drive from Johannesburg international airport.
3) Katse Dam and Botanical Gardens
Any trip to Lesotho is not complete without a visit to Katse Dam. This is the centerpiece of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project which supplies water to the country of South Africa from Lesotho.
The dam works through an intricate and mind-boggling course of dams, underwater tunnels, and gravity through the hills and valleys. This an amazing place to visit and enjoy science and nature with your kids. While you’re at Katse, you can tour of the dam wall, take a boat trip on Katse Dam, ride a horse, visit one of the local villages, and wander around Katse Botanical gardens.
4) Sani Pass and the highest pub in Africa
Sani Pass is an amazing place that is popular with locals and tourists alike. First of all, it marks the border of South Africa and Lesotho so when you are here, you are standing in two countries. The Sani Pass is a remarkable area for driving, hiking or mountain biking while enjoying sprawling views of the Drakensberg Mountains.
At Sani Top, you’ll the highest pub in Africa located at Sani Mountain Lodge built exactly on the border so you can hang out in two countries at the same time. You can just drink here, or you can check in for the night. Either way, you will be right above the clouds as the lodge is located at an elevation of 9429 feet or 2874m. If you do make it here, it is customary not only to enjoy a few well-earned drinks but also to have your photo taken. Afterall, this is Africa’s highest pub!
5) Semonkong Falls
Semonkong in itself is a popular attraction, as it is home to the Semonkong Falls, also known as the Maletsunyane Falls. The fall is the highest single drop in southern Africa and offers some spectacular unspoilt scenery.
This picturesque waterfall is easily accessible from Semonkong by a five-kilometre walk along the Maletsunyane River. While truly spectacular in summer when the water flow is highest; in winter when the water freezes, it sprays the rocks with ice and forms a stunning ice cage over the pool.
Although a small country, Lesotho has other amazing places like Maseru, Sehlabathebe National Park, Morija, Thaba Bosiu, Hlotse, etc that you and your kids can visit and discover the history and heritage of the Mountain Kingdom. We hope you add Lesotho to your bucket list as it is one of the best countries to visit in Africa as well as one of the safest countries in Southern Africa.