Advantages A beautiful country scenically
Disadvantages Not a lot ofspecific 'sights' and road are poor
|Value for Money|
|Ease of getting around|
LesothoBasutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho after it was granted independence from the UK in 1966. It is a pretty small country of only 30,355 sq km and there is no natural surface water in the form of lakes or rivers which also makes life more challenging for the population. The entire country is pretty high at an average of three thousand feet and the highest point is Thabana Ntlenyana at 3,482 m.
The population is mainly Basotho (97%) and the total population was estimated to be 1,930,493 in 2012 so it is not heavily populated and most people are scattered in smaller settlements and even Maseru isn’t a huge city population wise at 220,000. Think what is so sad is when you look at the average age and that is as low as 23 which is quite shocking. I have taken the following statistics from the CIA website:
“0-14 years: 33.4% (male 323,142/ female 320,752)
15-64 years: 61.3% (male 577,239/ female 605,887)
65 years and over: 5.4% (male 51,568/ female 51,905)
in 2012 estimated”
As we entered the country we did have to go through border control and using our trusty satnav with extra maps updated for Southern Africa we set off for our lodge. The sat nav said turn to the right and my husband said ‘I’m not going down that road’ and so we headed out of town,. About twenty minutes later we began to feel that we were heading in the wrong direction and asked a group of school girls for some directions. They slapped their thighs and roared with laughter and told us to go back to the previous town and follow the road from there this was exactly where we should have turned before.Our boys were quite distressed as they girls asked us for some biscuits and we had nothing and the boys showed them that we only had rubbish in the car with apple cores in a paper bag. They grabbed this and ate our apple cores which really upset the boys, I just wish we had had something better to give them.
My husband lived here around thirty years ago for around five years and was teaching in a local school and that is why we stayed in Lesotho on our trip to South Africa. We stayed at a mountain lodge called Malealea and I have written a review about that too.After we spent the night in our eco friendly Basotho huts we set off for St Monica’s where my husband had lived. We found his old house and the school and while we were there the students came out and started to talk to my husband about the teachers and nuns who had been there in his day. They were so friendly and really excited to meet my husband as he had lived there in years gone by.
When my husband worked in Lesotho they had tree planting days encouraging the planting of trees which had been cut down for firewood as it gets really cold there in winter. This time we were impressed as in the twenty years the trees had grown and the country looked far less bare he said. I thought it was a beautiful country with mountains and lots of open space and lots of trees now.
Maseru is the capital city and nearest the border on the north and we drove through the city to have a little look and then went to a Nandos for lunch before leaving the country through the northern border and then we went on to Kruger National Park.
Although there is a huge problem with poverty and it does get very cold in winter so to be poor and cold is hard. Lesotho regularly gets snow in the winter so the Christmas song we know ‘There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time’ may be accurate as Christmas is their summer but many people do not realize that Africa is a huge cointinent and in fact some countries do get snow in their winter.
Lesotho is heavily dependent for jobs on the surrounding South Africa as Lesotho has few natural resources. Poverty is deep and widespread and according to the UN describing 40% of the population are classified as "ultra-poor". The small amount of food cultivation has been hit by the many deaths of farmers from Aids.
If you are interested in seeing a different African country while visiting South Africa then I would suggest a trip into Lesotho where you will find very friendly people and if you are in to scenery, mountains, hiking and horse riding then I really recommend a trip into Lesotho and to stay at Malealea Mountain Lodge.Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
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