Afro Tourism specializes in unravelling Africa’s beautiful but hidden places – what you’ll call the continent’s off-the-beaten-paths, to tourists/travellers. That goal has taken us to different nooks and crannies of Africa and enriched our experience especially in providing guides to travellers. Among the places I have been on this job, Lesotho stands out as one that easily evokes fond memories. The tiny country easily qualifies as “untapped” by any parameter because, despite its reputation as the Kingdom of the Sky – being the country with the ‘highest lowest point’ on earth,  its safety record, beauty, and interesting spots, many tourists still haven’t discovered let alone explored it.

On our first visit to the country, we were greeted by beautiful faces of young Basotho people, rolling hills and rocky volcanic outcrops, villages depicting real rural Africa, an energetic capital—Maseru, as well as its shared jewel—the Caledon River, which forms a part of the country’s border with South Africa. Sincerely, Lesotho is not a prime destination for luxury travel, but it is well worth a visit especially for those interested in exploring Africa, learning about Basotho culture, trekking or engaging in outdoor activities like skiing.

Because of its terrain, Lesotho has many hiking trails. There is a 6-mile hiking trail around Qiloane Falls. It is nice for a day out from Maseru—about an hour away. Qiloane Falls is at a beautiful remote area with many swimming holes. The trail starts at Basotho Pony Trekking Centre and terminates at the waterfalls.

Lesotho is also a place that takes you back in time to the prehistory era. It has more evidence of dinosaurs and other ‘crazy’ creatures than any other nation on earth. On a hill close to the Trading Post at Roma—a district in Maseru, there are many footprints of creatures that one could only imagine how they would have looked. 

When I climb the hill, I was first intrigued by the extraordinary views of the area, as we walked on, I was greeted by sights of a huge piece of rock on the hillside with something like footprints of some strange creature—say a dinosaur, pterodactyl or velociraptor.

We also visited a site where we saw some bushman paintings around a gorge. I was told the paintings depicted the animals usually found around the area in those days, and the daily activities of the people who lived there in ancient time.

Before we concluded our research, I witnessed, with admiration I must say, a motorbike tour of Southern Lesotho. The tour was organized by some adventurous youths. Their leader told me the tour was going to be an annual event and that anyone interested could join. Lesotho has nice mountain passes and little traffic so I’m sure the motorbike ride will be fun and memorable.

What I found more admirable about my stay was how hospitable the people were. Most of the people I met were young and hardworking. In fact, one of our tour guides was a teenager. From our interaction, I found him to be a goal-oriented person.

In Lesotho, things might be difficult, but the locals don’t mind helping and sharing the little they have. When I announced to my new friends that I would be leaving the country after my assignment, many of them were eager to give me a parting gift—mainly their straw hat and brightly coloured blankets. I was touched! “Thank you, but I am off to West Africa where the heat of the sun won’t let me use them,” I said in gratitude to their generosity. I am not sure when next I’ll visit Lesotho, but my thoughts are always with the people.

The story was originally published 18th October 2016.

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Michael Alvin

Michael Alvin

Creative Writer
Michael Alvin is a lawyer and a UNESCO certified journalist. At Afro Tourism, he blends creativity with his training in telling moving stories about his personal experience on his various trips across Africa.
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin

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