Lesotho

Beautiful, culturally rich, affordable and easily accessible from Durban and Johannesburg, mountainous Lesotho (le-soo-too) is a vastly underrated travel destination. The contrast with South Africa could not be more striking, with the Basotho people's distinct personality and the altitudinous terrain's topographical extremes. Even a few days in Lesotho’s hospitable mountain lodges and trading posts will give you a fresh perspective on Southern Africa.

This is essentially an alpine country, where villagers on horseback in multicoloured balaclavas and blankets greet you round precipitous bends. The hiking and trekking – often on a famed Basotho pony – is world class, offering undulating expanses of pastoral charm, traditional rondavels (round huts with a conical roof) and innumerable grazing sheep.

The 1000m-high ‘lowlands’ offer craft shopping and sights, but don't miss a trip to the southern, central or northeastern highlands, where streams traverse an ancient dinosaur playground. This is genuine adventure travel.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lesotho.