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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 6 Interesting Facts about Lesotho - Six Fascinating Aspects of Lesotho
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6 Interesting Facts about Lesotho - Six Fascinating Aspects of Lesotho

As one of South Africa's most popular tourist hotspots, Lesotho is a land full of diverse landscapes and attractions. Here are six interesting facts regarding the landlocked nation.


Young Nation

One fascinating aspect regarding Lesotho is its relatively young age when compared to other nations occupying the African continent. Lesotho is a mere 50 years old and is one of the youngest countries in the region. Having once been under British rule, Lesotho officially gained independence as late as October 4th, 1966. Having been a sovereign nation since the British claimed the football World Cup, it is curious to note that neither nation has been able to win the title since this fateful year. In spite of its independence, Lesotho remains an enthusiastic football-loving nation, with a team ranked 150th in global rankings.


Pub in the Clouds

Another interesting factoid on Lesotho is that the country is also home to the highest placed pub in all of Africa. The high altitude drinking hole is not only located in the Lesotho-South Africa border but also located at a vaulted height of nearly 2875m above sea level. Situated near the end of Sani Pass, the pub is undoubtedly the best place in the country to grab a cold one and relax with the locals. The views from atop the popular pub are nothing short of awe-inspiring so visitors crossing the Sani Pass never forget to make a pit stop at this cosy little pub in the clouds.


National Dress

While most nations around the world can lay claim to rather unusual looking national dresses and traditional clothing varieties, very few can call a blanket their national costume. Known as the Basotho Blanket, the colourful cloth is not only used to shield oneself against cold weather conditions and strong winds but also serves as a cultural identifier as well as a status symbol. Made mostly using wool, the blankets protect the wearer from the cold winter months of Lesotho while a woollen balaclava and gumboots complete the look.


Natural Heritage

Although Lesotho is only home to a single UNESCO World Heritage Site, the many national attributes in the country make it a dream destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The Sehlabathebe National Park is the country's most popular attraction for animal lovers and safari fans while the area is also home to the Alpine tundra which contains centuries-old rock paintings attributed to the ancient San community. Ts'ehlanyane National Park is Lesotho's most expansive national park while the Thaba-Bosiu National Monument serves as both a national landmark as well as a natural highlight as the vaulted venue was the stronghold of the founder of this African Nation, Moshoeshoe I. Earning a place on UNESCO's Tentative List for heritage sites, the rock is a whopping 130m high and is a source of national pride for locals.


Ski Destination

It may seem unlikely or even unbelievable but this African nation is a popular destination for ski holidays. Containing the winter sports enclosure known as the Afriski, the Maluti Mountains and the alpine atmosphere of the country's hills make it a prime ski destination. With altitudes up to 3222 meters the best time to visit Lesotho for a winter ski holiday is during the period from June to August. A mere 4 and a half hour drive from Johannesburg the area is a popular regional getaway option as well.


Mountain Central

The popular adage "Mountain Kingdom" is well deserved as Lesotho's landscapes are almost entirely covered in cliffs and hills. Two-thirds of the country's geography are occupied by mountains and its an inescapable part of touring the country. Visitors based in hotels in Lesotho whether it's the AVANI Hotels and Resorts or any of the countless other resort bases can enjoy the spectacular views from atop the country's scenic mountains.