Tag Archive for Lesotho

What 24% HIV+ Really Means

Juliana Fulton - American Lesotho Peace corps

When I first signed up for my Peace Corps assignment, all that I was told was that I’d be in Lesotho, working with communities on HIV/AIDS. I was very excited about living in Lesotho, but less so about working on the AIDS pandemic. It just seemed like such a monumental and depressing task. We were told that the official prevalence rate was 24% of people in Lesotho were infected with HIV. It sounds like a lot, but it is totally different to be in the middle of it, to see all the sickness and death. It’s everywhere and it effects everyone. It has decimated such a friendly, loving people. After being here for a year and seeing its terrible pervasive effects, I wouldn’t want to focus on anything else. Even though the average family has 3-4 children, there is still negative population growth, it’s that bad.

In my village there aren’t really any good figures on how many people are infected. There is a lot of stigma and prejudice about being HIV positive, so most people won’t talk about it (which is a big part of the problem). But in my village of 204 families, there are 85 children who have lost one parent, and 33 children who have lost both parents and are still in primary/elementary school.Besides teaching about HIV in the schools, I am helping to start a community center in my village with funding from the Maliba Comunity Development Trust. Read more

The complete African snow experience at AfriSki

Yes, it snows in Africa, and in 2011 it snowed a lot ! It is also a little known fact that people have been skiing in various Southern African mountain ranges since 1929. One of the most ideally  suited locations are the Maluti mountains in the Kingdom of Lesotho. Not far from Clarens lies the Mahlasela Pass and the location of the Afriski – Ski & Mountain Resort.

A lot has changed since 1929 and the introduction of modern snow making facilities and lifts to Afriski in 2002 have allowed skiing and snowboarding to flourish in this little know corner of the Lesotho Mountain Kingdom.

panorama of the AfriSki resort in Lesotho, Southern Africa

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Lesotho Trout – Unpredictable and challenging fishing

Fly fishing rod and netAlong the entire length of the pool, fish dimpled the surface. In the riffle water, subtle rises, apart from a mere flattening and silvering of the surface, were barely discernable. On the far side of the stream beyond the current, a perfect reflection of the new day shimmered and broke as a large tail creased the surface.

Twenty minutes trickled by revealing little of the cycle happening below. I relented, attaching a small Baetid emerger not far beneath a sparsely tied Klinkhamer. Stifling a sudden gasp, the cold water reinforced that I was closer to the stratosphere than I had ever previously cared to venture.

I took great pleasure in noting that – as lightly as a broken spider web riding a morning breeze – each cast landed where it ought to.  The fish continued to rise with purposeful bearing. As the sun rose higher, shadows of several feeding fish became obvious and although a fewer smaller feisty freestone rainbows accepted my offerings, it was clearly apparent that I had not yet unravelled the mystery below the riffled surface. Several fly changes, lengthening and down-sizing of leader found me none the wiser. I began to chuckle and it was then that I realized that it was moments like these which, to me, define the very essence of why I fly fish. Deciding it was time to sit back and reflect and more importantly, check if my toes were still intact, I began to reel in. Not far upstream, a good fish showed. A quick flick and a mend covered the rise nicely. Read more

Child shepherds flock to night school

In the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, boys as young as five spend months on end tending cattle in the isolation of remote highland country.

For the young, becoming a herd boy is a cultural obligation in Lesotho society, a practice which leaves many children deprived of an education.

Photo by Christo Geoghegan

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Malealea Monster MTB Challenge

Mountain biking (MTB) is in its infancy in Lesotho and only a select few cyclists take advantage of the conditions and terrain across Lesotho to hone their off-road skills.

In order to get Malealea on the proverbial MTB map, we are hosting a MTB event in September 2011. This will be a ride from Matsieng (the home of the King of Lesotho). This incredibly scenic route is approximately 65km of single track, jeep track and gravel road. In addition, a shorter route of 33km is also on offer for those less adventurous, and a short sprint for children will be arranged.

When: Saturday   3rd September, 2011 @ 10h00 Read more

Lesotho a hiker’s paradise

Lesotho is without doubt a hiker’s paradise.

Lesotho mountain trekking with MalealeaAlthough very few dedicated hiking trails exist, the face that the entire country is a network of bridle and foot  paths. You will also not find a single fence in the mountains, meaning that you can hike pretty much anywhere you like.

A typical hike will include:
• Riverside walk, swim, caves, gorges and rock formations
• Bird and wildlife sightings
• Stunning views
• Bushman rock art sites
• Picnics and packed lunches can be provided on request

Some wonderful trails can be found in the various Lesotho national parks and nature reserves.

Sehlabathebe National Park is rough, rugged, yet incredibly scenic with rolling grasslands and wild flowers,  perfect for bird watching and hiking. Accommodation can be booked with Jonathan’s Lodge. Read more

Surfing in Durban to Skiing in Lesotho!

It was a week which started with surfing the Durban waves and ended with skiing in Lesotho. And neatly sandwiched in the middle was a close encounter with a herd of elephant. There are not many holiday destinations where you can spice up your life with such variety.

Game Drive at Umzolozolo Private Game Reserve

Game Drive at Umzolozolo Private Game Reserve

It started with a perfect winters day spent on the Durban beachfront, surfing the waves on my long board which others disdainfully call “the ship.”  The next day I made the two-and-half hour drive to Nambiti Reserves to visit Umzolozolo Private Game Reservewhich is near Ladysmith in Northern KZN. This hidden gem of 10 000 hectares boasts the Big Five and is right here on our doorstep.

This was, of course, a business trip and I was there on a site inspection for our new Bush/Berg package.  That afternoon I found myself sipping a gin and tonic, having just seen a herd of elephant, a serval and an abundance of general game. Africa is hell. Read more

Lunch fit for a King

Maliba Lodge prides itself in many things and one of them being that; in spite of its beautiful scenery and luxurious chalets, the Maliba Lodge team has been able to make this place so high in the mountains a home away from home for all our guests including his Majesty King Letsie III,  who honoured as once again with his presence here at the lodge.

King Letsie 3rd having lunch at Maliba Lodge, Lesotho

King Letsie III after his lunch at Maliba

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A Year of Seasons in Lesotho

Juliana Fulton - American Lesotho Peace corpsONE YEAR.  I have now been in Lesotho, the Mountain Kingdom, for an entire year.  It feels brief and incredibly long at the same time.  And it’s only half over!  I now have seen all of Lesotho’s seasons – one of the few countries in Africa that has four distinct seasons.  To get a better taste of what my life has been like throughout these seasons, I’ve written a brief description of each season (which is the opposite of those back in the U.S.)

Spring – It’s finally warming up and I can take off the extra layer of socks and long underwear.  Everything is super dusty and people talk about rain coming to start the seeds growing and settle the dust a bit.  There are baby animals everywhere, little goat kids and piglets at the house down the hill.  The peach trees start to blossom and cover all the hills in pink (though the peaches won’t be ready for four more months) Read more

Fire heath (Erica cerinthoides)

Fire heath or Rooihartjie

Erica cerinthoides - Photo by Marie Viljoen

Introduction:

An indigenous garden is simply not complete without this little redhead (Morita-nkoe (Sesotho) or Rooihartjie (Afrikaans)) will light one corner in your garden.  This plant does well in our cool grassland vegetation of Lesotho although care must be taken if planted in the garden as it is naturally growing on rocky sand stone cliffs. Read more

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