Lesotho (le-soo-too) is a vastly underrated travel destination. It’s beautiful, culturally rich, safe, cheap and easily accessible from Durban and Johannesburg.
The contrast with South Africa could not be more striking, in both post-apartheid attitude and topographical extremes. Even a few days spent in Lesotho’s mountain air will give you a fresh perspective on the continent.
This is essentially an alpine country where villagers on horseback in multi-coloured balaclavas and blankets greet you round precipitous bends. The hiking and trekking – often on a famed Basotho pony – is world-class and the infrastructure of the four national parks continues to improve.
The 1000m-high ‘lowlands’ are the scene of low-key Lesotho life, with good craft shopping around Teyateyaneng and the capital, Maseru. But be sure to head inland into the valleys and mountains, where streams traverse an ancient dinosaur playground. This is genuine adventure travel.