Holidays and events
|January 1||New Year|
|March April||Easter (Good Friday to Easter Monday)|
|4. April||Hero Day (commemoration day of the Lesothic soldiers in the two world wars)|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|May||Ascension of Christ|
|17th July||King Letsie III’s Birthday|
|4th of October||Independence day|
|December 25th and 26||Christmas|
Source: Countryaah – Lesotho Holidays
Every year in autumn the Roof Of Africa rally starts in Maseru, which is considered to be the toughest rally in southern Africa. Not only the winding mountain roads cause difficulties for drivers, in some years the roads are still flooded by the rainy season, in other years the large amount of dust that is blown up makes it difficult to see.
The climate in Lesotho differs only slightly within the eastern and western parts of the country. In the east it is on average 1 – 2 ° cooler. The average daytime temperatures in the western part of the country are 27-28 °C from December to February. By June, temperatures drop to 15 °C. At night the average temperatures are 13-14 °C from December to February. In June/July temperatures can also drop below freezing point. From October to April there are around 6-10 rainy days a month. In the remaining months there is hardly any precipitation.
A special feature of Lesotho is the ethnic homogeneity of the population.
Of the traditional customs of the Basotho, the clothing is particularly noteworthy, consisting of colorful blankets (“Kobo”) with ornate patterns that one wraps around, and the conical hat of the Basotho, the “Mokorotlo”, which is based on the shape of the Qiloane rock should be. The hats are woven from straw and held together at the top with an artistic knot. The “Mokorotlo” is still the national symbol of the country.
Frequently occurring venomous snakes are:
Atropos viper, mountain puff adder
Cape cobra, well nivea
Ring neck cobra
Zebra cobra, zebra snake
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that LS stands for the nation of Lesotho as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Sehlabathebe National Park
Located in the Qacha’s Nek district, Sehlabathebe National Park in Lesotho has existed since 1970.
The area is around 65 km² in size and at an average altitude of 2,400 meters and is Lesotho’s only national park. In addition to the wonderfully lush vegetation, you can also marvel at the highest sandstone formations in the southern region of Africa.
Hlotse (also Leribe)
Hlotse has around 50,000 residents, is located in the north of the country and is often used as a starting point for tours to the Katse reservoir.
The capital of the district of the same name, founded in 1874, spreads around 75 kilometers southwest of Maseru. It is Lesotho’s third largest city with an estimated 57,000 residents and includes the Lesotho Pharmaceutical Corporation, which manufactures pharmaceuticals that are exported to several South African countries.
Lesotho’s main town and the only major city with approx. 220,000 residents, Maseru extends along the Caledon River in the west of the country. The relatively modern city is not necessarily very worth seeing for tourists, because it is more the economic and infrastructural center of Lesotho. But there are some colonial buildings to visit in the city center, of which the Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Victories is certainly the most impressive.
In addition to the Royal Palace of King Letsie III, the State House, the modern national stadium and of course the parliament building, the National University of Lesotho and the country’s international airport, Moshoeshoe I. International Airport, can be found in Maseru. Also of interest is the grand stand, which was built for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1988 and is still enthroned as an unreal monument between poor huts.
About 40 kilometers south of the capital Maseru lies Morija, named after the place Moriah mentioned in the Bible, where, according to legend, Abraham sacrificed his son Isaac to God. The first mission of what was then Basutoland was launched in Morija in 1833, so it is not surprising that the place still functions as the center of the Evangelical Church of Lesotho. The highlight of the annual calendar is the annual Morija Arts & Cultural Festival.
The capital of the Berea district, which is often simply abbreviated as TY, is located about 40 kilometers from Lesotho’s capital Maseru on a high plateau that is 1,600 meters high. The city, founded in 1886, has a fairly high population growth and is Lesotho’s second largest city with around 75,000 residents. It includes many tapestry weaving mills. In the vicinity of the city you can visit numerous rock caves, in which cave paintings of the San have been preserved, mainly depicting hunters and their prey.
Special buildings and structures
The dam, which was built between 1991 and 1997, with its gigantic 185 meters, was Africa’s highest dam until 2009. But then it was replaced by the Tekeze Dam in Ethiopia. Katse Dam was built as part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on the Malibamatšo River, a tributary of the Orange River. The purpose was to be able to export water to South Africa and generate electrical energy. The 45-kilometer-long reservoir supplied the first water in 1998.
Mokorotlo in Maseru
The Mokorotlo in Maseru is one of the most impressive buildings in Lesotho. This Mokorotlo is a traditional hut in a modern style that is used as a virtual museum. You can learn more about the culture and way of life of the Basotho tribe there.
Thaba Bosiu in the north-west of the country
In the former mountain fortress was the seat of King Moshoeshoe I. In addition to the ruins, you can see the stone graves of the king and his descendants. At the beginning of the 19th century, Moshoeshoe I. succeeded in bringing the Bantu tribes who had fled into inaccessible mountain regions. He built huge fortresses and expanded his power through diplomatic skill. So he managed to repel the oncoming Zulus.
Dinosaur footprints at Maphutseng and Moyeni
Well-preserved, fascinating dinosaur footprints can be found in many places in Lesotho. The easiest to reach are near Moyeni and Morija in the extreme south of the country. The million-year-old traces of the prehistoric animals are best seen on the Masitise Dinosaur Track on Mt. Moorosi Road.
Cave paintings near Ha Khotso
The most valuable cave drawings in Lesotho can be found near Ha Khotso, a village north of Roma. The place where the cave paintings were made a few hundred years ago is now known as Ha Baroana (The Little San). The drawings were made by the San on an overhanging wall and show many skilful representations of animals such as antelopes and wildebeest that were hunted at the time.
Katse dam near Bokong
Between 1991 and 1997 the highest dam in Africa with 185 m was built as part of the “Lesotho Highlands Water Project” on Malibamatšo (branch of the Orange River). German companies were also involved in the construction.
National University of Lesotho
The National University of Lesotho (NUL) is the only university in Lesotho, with most of the faculties in the rather small town of Roma, about 35 kilometers southeast of Maseru. The campus of the university with most of the faculties is located there on a not too large site. Overall, there are the faculties for education, social sciences, medicine, natural sciences and technology, law, human sciences and the faculty for all those students who have already passed a bachelor’s degree. The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences belongs to the capital Maseru.
Named after the Maletsunyane River, the 192 meter high waterfall is – after the Tugela Falls in South Africa – the second highest (but the highest uninterrupted) waterfall in southern Africa. It is located in the Maseru district and not far from Semonkong. You can also take a descent to the bottom of the popular tourist attraction.
Maloti Mountains and Mahlasela Valley
One of the focal points of Lesotho’s tourism is the Maloti Mountains in the highlands of the Drakensberg, where visitors can enjoy a variety of hiking and horse riding opportunities. You can also use a ski lift in the Mahlasela Valley (Butha Buthe District) and try your hand at a downhill slope. Numerous (inter) national investors are helping to develop the valley into Africa’s largest ski resort.
The 2,873 meter high Sani Pass, at which the most important border crossing to South Africa is located, is one of the famous Drakensberg mountains that rise between Lesotho and its only neighbor. A pass road runs from Lesothos Mokhotlong in the district of the same name to Underberg in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Those who are not suitable for high altitudes will not like to hear that the pass first works its way through the Maloti Mountains and then falls down serpentine-like steep slopes on the South African side. And in view of the fact that the South African road to the pass overcomes a total of 1,300 meters in altitude over a length of around 6.5 kilometers and is therefore the third steepest pass road in the world, even the highest pub in the world resting on the pass can not be terrified take whole.