Fun Facts of Lesotho
World’s most dangerous mountain pass
The Sani Pass in Lesotho has been named one of the world’s most dangerous mountain passes. The hair pinned pass connects Underberg in South Africa with Mokhotlong in Lesotho.
We drove this road and can tell you it ain’t for the faint hearted. Especially when it has rained it’s quite the difficult drive.
1. The highest lowest point on earth is in Lesotho
Lesotho is a highly mountainous nation, the lowest point is 1.400 meters which is the highest lowest point of any of the worlds nations. Do you get it? Most countries have a lower point than 1.400 meters above sea level. So this is the highest lowest point of any other country. It is the world’s only nation to be completely above an elevation of 1.000 meters. More than 80% of the country is located about 1.800 meters so Lesotho is also called ‘Kingdom of the Sky’.
2. Water & diamonds are Lesotho’s biggest treasures
The country is rich in both diamonds and water. It has many mountain streams with a potential to generate hydroelectric power. Therefore the country is nearly self-sufficient in electricity production. It also sells water and electricity to surrounding neighbour South Africa. Besides water, Lesotho also has a large diamond reservoir and diamond export. In 2018 one of the largest diamonds ever discovered was found in Lesotho, weighing more than a baseball.
3. Another treasure is the highest pub of Africa
The Sani Mountain Lodge at the Sani Pass is regarded as Africa’s highest pub. It is located at 2.874 meters above sea level, thus you often drink above the clouds. The pub is, in fact, located at the border between Lesotho and South Africa, the Sani Pass connects these countries.
4. Lesotho is also home to one of the largest dinosaur footprints ever
The earliest discoveries of dinosaur fossils are made by the early explorers and missionaries who arrived in Lesotho. In 2017, one of the largest dinosaur footprints ever found was discovered in Lesotho. It is 57cm and comes from a dinosaur named Kayentapus ambrokholohaxi. Which is a relative to the Tyrannosaurus rex and is estimated to be 2.7 meters tall and 9 meters long, making it one of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam Africa. Lesotho also has a dinosaur named after it: the Lesothosaurus, who evolved in the early Jurassic period over 200 million years ago.
5. There is not much traffic in Lesotho
Lesotho has the world’s smalles road networks. However, it has witnessed a huge expansion in the last half-century.
6. It also has only one UNESCO site
The Sehlabathebe National Park was added to the World Heritage List in 2013 as the immediate neighbour of South Africa’s uKhahlamba National Park. Together they make up Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site. Sehlabathebe offers steep terrain, Alpine tundra and 4.000 year old rock paintings by the ancient San people.
7. And it’s actually not called Lesotho
After 100 years of colonial rule by the UK Lesotho gained it’s independence from the UK. The full name of the country today is ‘The Kingdom of Lesotho’, however that wasn’t always the name. Lesotho was formerly known as Basutoland.
It was amazing to drive through the mountains of this small but impressive country. We’ve met so many people in such a short time. Not many tourists which makes it interesting for the locals to see us as well as for us to meet them.
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