Overview – Lesotho

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband write and update content for many travel organizations, including the Lesotho Tourist Board.

The sparsely populated, rugged and incredibly scenic Kingdom of Lesotho is officially the highest country in the world (it has the highest low point of 1,388m/4,554ft). This is the place for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and 4x4 driving on and off the beaten track. Whatever your interests, the warm Basotho people will make your stay an unforgettable one.

Rates (USD) $167 to $177 pp/day
Best Time to Go January to December
High Season December to January and July to August
Size 30,355km² / 11,720mi²

Pros & Cons

  • Very scenic mountainous country
  • Great for hiking, horseback riding, 4x4 driving and mountain biking
  • Adventurous off-the-beaten-track destination
  • A chance to conquer southern Africa’s highest peak (Thabana Ntlenyana)
  • Traditional cultures
  • Limited facilities and few lodges
  • Many roads are difficult to drive and require 4x4
  • Not much wildlife

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Wildlife

Lesotho is not a wildlife destination; none of the typical big safari animals are present. The national parks and nature reserves are home to several species of antelope, such as eland, grey rhebok and klipspringer. You might be lucky and see a black-backed jackal trotting across the grassy slopes. Chacma baboons and rock hyrax are common throughout, but the rare ice rat, a Drakensberg endemic, sticks to the highest altitudes.

Weather & Climate

Lesotho’s high altitude makes for a temperate climate. April to September is generally dry and cold. October to March is the Wet season; the weather is mostly lovely, but afternoon rainfall can be expected. Keep in mind that at any time of the year, the weather is very changeable, so never head out into the mountains without warm rainproof clothing.

Best Time to Visit

Lesotho can be visited at any time. Weather conditions are most pleasant from October to March (the southern hemisphere’s summer). However, be prepared for some rain to interrupt otherwise bright sunshine. The dry months (April to September) are cold and nights can be freezing. The spectacular mountain scenery is at its best from mid to late summer (December to April).

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Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Lesotho, the ‘Kingdom in the Sky’, a proudly independent country surrounded by South Africa
3/5

Dominated by the Maloti Mountains and a dramatic escarpment with the Drakensberg in South Africa, Lesotho’s nickname is apt – not one of its 30,355-sq-km lies below 1000-metres and many of its beautiful peaks reach above 3000-metres. In...

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