Country Profile - Lesotho
by Cathie A. Johnson
Located in the middle of South Africa, Lesotho has the unique experience of being an island-like country surrounding by land. Located about 336 miles south of Johannesburg, this high-altitude country is full of mountainous villages smattering the landscape, with many of these villages only accessible on foot or horseback. Thatched roof huts make up these highland villages and often are self-reliant, especially in the harsher winter months.
With limited resources and job opportunities, the people of Lesotho rely heavily on South Africa. Many people have found themselves working in the mines of South Africa. The country struggles economically and much of the population is stretched thin financially. While it might be easy to assume Lesotho looks just like the rest of South Africa, it actually couldn’t be more topographically different. Lesotho’s high altitude location creates a stark visual contrast to the remainder of the surrounding area. With mountain villages, lodges, and endless pony riders exploring the land, Lesotho welcomes visitors with beauty and hospitality.
A nature lover’s paradise, Lesotho holds large and dramatic national parks within its relatively small country. From the Bokong Nature Reserve to the Ts’ehlanyane National Park, Lesotho has ample opportunities for outdoor exploration and adventures. Sign up for a multi-day pony trekking excursion that might venture to waterfalls and beyond, before settling back in at a mountain lodge.
Influences from the former British connection can be seen in the country’s penchant for tea-drinking and in the official language of English, shared with the country’s other official language of Southern Sotho.