Tag Archive for Lesotho

Gavan and Judy Hogan volunteer at the local Schools

One of the directors of Maliba Lodge is a friend who lives near us in Melbourne, Australia. When we heard that there was an opportunity to come to Lesotho to do several weeks of volunteer teaching, we jumped at the chance. We have had several years experience of living and teaching in Papua New Guinea and have great memories of that time.

Gavan and Judy Hogan singing to students

Singing with students at Ts’ehlanyane Community Secondary School

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World Wide Schools and Pen Pal Programs

Maggie Day - Lesotho VolunteerOne of very enjoyable parts of Peace Corps service is the opportunity to connect students from various countries through the World Wide Schools (WWS) program.  As noted in the WWS Match Handbook, “The program is designed to engage students in an inquiry about the world, themselves and others in order to broaden perspectives, promote cultural awareness, appreciate global connections and encourage service”.   Through a “pen-pal” exchange that works along with WWS the students learn about places in the world as seen and described by their peers, developing new friendships along the way.  Read more

Lesotho’s chronic food insecurity becomes a crisis

Years of bad luck and record-breaking maize prices have led land-locked Lesotho into a crisis. Prime Minister Tom Thabane declared a food security emergency on Aug. 10, and a national vulnerability assessment warns that nearly 45 percent of the nation’s 2.2 million people will face moderate to severe food insecurity in the next few months.

Agriculture in Lesotho faces a catastrophic future.

Photo by Damien du Toit

While the crisis can be mitigated in the short term, Lesotho will need ongoing food support: It’s one of four countries in the world where nearly 100 percent of the population is projected to remain food insecure for the next ten years. Read more

Chaos in the snow as winter storms hit the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho

ER24 assist stranded travellers in LesothoAt approximately 10am on July 15, ER24 received numerous distress calls from beyond the borders of South Africa. The ER24 Emergency Contact Centre received emergency calls from people trapped on the Butha Buthe pass on route to Afri-Ski and the Oxborn Lodge.

The ER24 Bethlehem station is familiar with the pass and its dangers. A strategic plan and decision was followed to assist the people stranded. Shortly after 11:00 paramedics arrived at the scene, where they found almost 30 vehicles either stuck, or involved in collisions after they had skidded on the icy road surface. Read more

First Ski Trac to be in the Mountain Kingdom

You know that in May 2011 we reported something regarding the government of Lesotho planning the construction of the world’s first Ski Trac in the highlands of Lesotho as part of an initiative to increase tourism in the country.

What is a Ski Trac?

Ski Trac dome sketch

A Ski Trac is a giant indoor revolving slope that will allow skiers the potential for an endless ski run, within a massive climatically controlled dome. Read more

Get Lost in Lesotho – Maliba Road Trip

Get Lost in Lesotho..

‘We need to promote Lesotho as a whole – as its own destination.’ These were the words of my wife who is the marketing manager for Maliba Mountain Lodge, a 5 star lodge in the mountains of Lesotho. She was referring to the fact that Lesotho is one of the lesser known destinations on the tourism map – even for us South Africans. It is generally seen as a country which is hard to get to – as a place more suited to those looking for a hard core adventure with their rugged off road vehicles.

We therefore decided to set out on a road trip ourselves, to see the highlights of the country, and to determine the accessibility of this small, mountainous kingdom. To gain first-hand experience – as a group of young South Africans, with little time between work days for travelling– of the people and their cultures, the landscape and perhaps to learn a bit about the country and its history. At the same time, to film the entire adventure to try and capture some of the spirit and culture of the country and its people.

Our goal, as a group of five friends, was to travel over four days into the easily accessible parts of the country, without the need for serious back up and support. Read more

Liquid gold – Water sports in Lesotho

The Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is a land of vast treasures, ranging from picturesque views, diamonds, fauna and flora, the friendliness of its people and last but not least, water!

Indeed Lesotho has an abundance of water many countries in Africa could only dream of, which has made it not only famous but provided it with much needed revenue. Pristine mountain streams home to wild trout, tumble and gurgle their way into rivers and a number of man-made dams before flowing down into South Africa. Lesotho’s many beautiful rivers, dams and tourism infrastructure associated with the Lesotho Highlands Water Project present opportunities for water activities such as fresh-water fishing, white water rapids boating, kayaking, canoeing and small boat sailing which only adds to the variety of sports / activities available in Lesotho.

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Disa cephalotes subsp. cephalotes

Flower of the month (February 2012)

Disa cephalotes subsp. cephalotes

Disa cephalotes subsp. cephalotes photo by Bokang Ntloko

Photo by Bokang Ntloko

 

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Bird Watching In Lesotho

Birding in Lesotho will come as a fascinating and surprising entertainment for all the bird lovers as well as ordinary tourists from all over the world, who will be able to view its astonishing variety and beauty first hand.

the Fairy flycatcher sitting on a branch

Fairy flycatcher - Photo Johann Grobbelaar

Lesotho is shelters an impressive number of species of birds. Over 300 varieties have been recorded in the country and vary from residents, that stay all year around, to breeding birds, that spend a good part of the growing season in Lesotho to raise their young, migrants who pass through Lesotho with the seasons, to wintering birds who like to spend a the winter in Lesotho to escape even colder conditions up north. However, many species of birds are relatively common as they are part of the ecosystems of the country.

The Lesotho Drakensberg and Maluti are among the most sought after by bird watchers who come for Birding in Lesotho. You will be bowled out by the sheer variety and number of these colorful birds, some of which are extremely rare. The birds can be seen in the natural parks in the region, with its well known avifauna, as well in isolated spots which host a variety of fauna of Lesotho. Read more

A Day trip up Sani Pass by Charles Bruce

I have decided to do a separate entry about this day because it was a completely different experience from our hike in the Drakensberg. We were picked up in the morning (which dawned bright and sunny but eventually became cold and rainy at the top of Sani Pass) by our guide Stuart and set out in a group of 7 people in a well-used Land Rover. The day before we had eavesdropped on the owner of Sani Lodge telling a caller that they could attempt to drive up the Pass in their rental car, but they may end up leaving pieces of their engine behind. There was a reason that the only vehicles that we saw on this road were Land Rovers and Land Cruisers and other such four-wheel drives. A few kilometers past Sani Lodge the road turned into a narrow, rutted, rocky dirt track. Some areas were washed out and as we ascended the pass, it turned into steep switchbacks. Some were so steep that we had to do three-point turns to turn the corner! Apparently in the winter this road becomes an even bigger challenge with black ice and with South African drivers that have made the trip up the Pass to see snow, but have no idea how to drive in it.

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