Summer lasts from October to April and is hot and rainy. January and February are the hottest months. Heavy rains are frequent from March to May, with some sunny days. The lowlands stay hot at 30 degrees while it’s much cooler in the higher lands. Snow falls year round in the mountains and between May and September everywhere else. Winters can be very cold, especially in the highlands.
When to fly to Lesotho
The only consideration for visit to Lesotho is the weather. The country has more than 300 days of sunshine a year and clearly defined seasons.
The autumn months of February to April are perfect for outdoor pursuits such as hiking and camping. Moshoeshoe Day is 14 March. The day is in honour of the country’s founding father. People dress up in Lesotho’s national dress and parade from the Palace to the Sotho Stadium dancing, riding horses or herding bulls. At the stadium there are military and police parades.
The summer lasts from November to January but this is also the time of the most rain and the least tourists arrive on Lesotho flights between December and January. May to July can be very cold with snow on the Maluti mountains.
Getting around Lesotho
The Moshoeshoe I International Airport is Lesotho’s principal gateway. South African Airways operates regular flights to and from Maseru, the capital. It is possible to get internal Lesotho flights from here too, accessing some of the more remote villages by small chartered aircraft.
Many car-hire companies in Lesotho have links with South African companies. Cars rented in South Africa can be driven to Lesotho with written permission from the rental company.
There is also a good network of buses, minibuses and taxi services, but no train services. Charter air services are available.
Lesotho insider information
- Pony trekking with Basotho horsemen as guides is a good way to explore this almost fenceless country.
- Sehlabathebe is one of the highest and most remote parks in Africa. It lies in the Eastern Highlands on the border with South Africa. The Sani Pass is a spectacular mountain road. It is the entrance into Lesotho from the Natal Drakensberg Park in South Africa. The “Roof of Africa” route offers to-die-for views.
- At 3,482 metres (11,423 feet), Thabana-Ntlenyana is the highest peak in Africa, south of Kilimanjaro.
- Morija is Lesotho’s oldest town, founded in the 1830s by French Protestant missionaries. The Morija Museum displays important dinosaur remains (about 180 million years old) as well as artifacts from the hunter-gatherer stage (stone tools and weapons etc).
- Quthing is also known as Moyeni, which means Place of the Wind. It has two of Lesotho’s most significant sets of dinosaur footprints. Quthing also boasts the Masitise Cave House, now a museum.
- The town of Hlotse (also known as Leribe) was a British colonial centre during the Basotholand Protectorate (1869-1966). Some colonial buildings remain from that period including the old military lookout.
- Semonkong, a small town in the middle of the country, is home to the Maletsunyane Falls, the highest single drop waterfall in Southern Africa - almost 200 metres (656 feet).