Lesotho covers 30,355 km². It is the only independent state
in the world that lies entirely above 1,000 m sea level. Its lowest point is
1,400 m and over 80% of the country lies above 1,800 m. Lesotho is also
landlocked and is entirely contained within the country of South Africa.
Lesotho has a population
of approximately 1.881 million, according to 2006 census where from 23.8%
urban and 76.2% rural. Population density is lower in the highlands than in
the western lowlands. Although the majority of the population -- 57.6% -- is
between 15 and 64 years of age, Lesotho has a substantial youth population
numbering around 37 percent. The annual population growth is -0.46% with a
life expectation of about 36 years!
Lesotho is divided into ten districts, each headed by a district
administrator. Each district has a capital known as a camptown: Berea;
Butha-Buthe; Leribe; Mafeteng; Maseru; Mohale’s Hoek; Mokhotlong; Qacha’s
Nek; Quthing and Thaba-Tseka.
Sani Pass is the only vehicle route over the Drakensberg escarpment
and into the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. It is a spectacular 4x4 track
twisting and snaking its way through the rocky cliffs to the top of the
world. Before the 1950's, it was a trail for pack animals to carry goods
through to the isolated town of Mokhotlong in Eastern Lesotho. Now, the road
carries 4x4 vehicles, though the odd donkey and horse can still be seen
plodding slowly up the steep route. Crossing the border at the top of the
pass, one enters not only another country (passports required), but also
another world. The Basotho have a unique African mountain culture,
reminiscent of Tibet! People live in traditional rondavels (huts), herd
goats and sheep in the high mountains and grow crops by ox-ploughing and
hand-hoeing in a lifestyle fascinating for the visitor. Come and experience
the wonders of the mountains. Visit Lesotho under your own steam, or on one
of our tours.
Semokong, once the secret hideout of outlaws, this remote, sprawling,
village still has an untamed feeling to it. Semonkong means “Place of Smoke”
and is so named because of the Maletsunyane Falls, the highest single-drop
falls in southern Africa. The falls, about 5 kilometres south of Semonkong,
are set in awesome surrounding cliffs with the water plummeting down a
192-metre drop. The falls can also be visited on a pony-trekking trail.
There are also fantastic hiking and trout fishing opportunities in the area.