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a personal guide


The Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho (pronunced Le-soo-too) is entirely surrounded by South Africa and in many ways is dependent upon it. The native Basotho people are amongst the poorest in the World, living on an escarpment high on the Drakensberg Mountains. Life expectancy is a mere 35 years.

We travelled into Lesotho via the spectacularly beautiful Sani Pass. Although this is the only way into the kingdom from the south, it has only been passable by vehicles for a few decades, and then only to those with four-wheel-drive.

The climate is cool and windy - the village we visited was some 3000m (10,000ft) abve sea level - and the landscape sparse. The villagers made a meagre living from sheep farming, often involving the men staying way for months seeking green pasture.

Despite their poverty, we found the villagers friendly. We were treated to a mouthful of very tasty bread and a sip of sweet beer (an aquired taste!).

Sani Pass
Looking back into South Africa down the Sani Pass from Lesotho

Lesotjho sheep farmer
Sheep farming in barren, windswept Lesotho

Basotho lady outside hut
A Basotho lady outside her hut before inviting us in . . .
Basotho beer
. . . for a friendly drink

Much more about the Sani Pass


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Country profile from the BBC

Prince Harry works to help Lesotho orphans

Emdee Publishing


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