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Lesotho

Interesting facts

Lesotho is the southernmost landlocked country in the world, being completely surrounded by South Africa. It is a mountainous kingdom that is home to the hospitable Basotho people.

In 2006, Lesotho celebrated 40 years of independence with a new flag and it bears an unusual symbol – a Black ‘makorotlo’ or Basotho hat – representing the Basotho, the indigenous people of the country.

Lesotho’s main mineral source is diamonds. The Letseng Diamond Mine in the Maloti Mountains in the far northeast of Lesotho is the world’s highest mine at 3,100 meters. Although it does not produce a great number of stones, it is famous for its quality, and particularly for producing relatively huge stones.

The Orange River, South Africa’s longest river, rises in the Drakensberg Mountains of Lesotho before traveling west through South Africa to drain into the Atlantic Ocean. The river is a major source of hydroelectric power in both Lesotho and South Africa.

Known as the kingdom in the sky, Lesotho is the only independent nation in the world that is entirely over 1,000 meters above sea level. Indeed, the lowest point in Lesotho is at 1,400 meters (4,593 feet), which is the highest low point of any country.

Pony-Trekking– The sure-footed Basotho pony is the perfect vehicle to get around the beautiful Lesotho highlands, since roads between villages are scarce. You can opt for a few hours of trail riding or multi- day treks. Given their gentle nature, Basotho ponies are perfect for a novice rider.

The Maletsunyane Falls (or Semonkong Falls)— the highest single drop waterfall in Africa ends in a gorgeous swimming hole. In the winter the spray freezes creating an ice dome – spectacular to say the least. It is the highest waterfall in Southern Africa. The village of Semonkong, which means ‘the place of smoke’, is named after the mist.

Ts’ehlanyane National Park– hiking trails, rock pools, alpine forests and clear rivers make this national park a wonderful destination for nature lovers. Treat yourself to a few nights at the Maliba Mountain Lodge.

Sehlabethebe National Park– The oldest national park in Lesotho, Sehlabathebe is characterized by its remote, rugged beauty. You’ll need a 4×4 to get here, but if peace and solitude is what you enjoy, don’t hesitate to visit. Hiking and pony-trekking is the best way to experience the park.

Within Lesotho lies the tallest mountain in Southern Africa, it is called Thabana Ntlenyana (“Beautiful Little Mountain”) and forms part of the Drakensberg Mountain range.

 
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