Lesotho

May 20, 2015

Visiting St. Felix primary school where four teachers have over 240 students.
This dedicated teacher runs back and forth between the packed first grade classroom
and this big second grade class (not all students made it into the photo).
Girls wear close cropped hair, so these are not all boys.

Little Lesotho is about the size of Belgium or Maryland. Its mountains, valleys, and highlands are home to just over two million people.

Scattered in villages across the highlands, most people are extremely poor. The Kingdom
of Lesotho was formerly a British protectorate before its independence in 1966.


Thatched huts in Lesotho

A Lesotho sangoma (traditional healer) offering potions for romance as well as your body.  
Blankets are standard protection against the cold, snowy winters.
A blanket shielded this Lesotho horseman from the chilly late day breeze. 

Great-grandson of the matriarch we visited in the nearby village.
This matriarch (late 80s) showed us around huts for her extended family.
A Lesotho kraal (we'd say corral) for the valuable livestock.
In the mountains of northern Lesotho lies the handsome new Maliba Lodge.
This was my base for hiking, horse riding, and community visits.
The lodge also operates an impressive "community trust" aimed at helping local villages (while perhaps also reducing travelers' guilt from staying in this five-star place).  

Hiking in Tsehlanyane National Park.
My photo on horseback was far too goofy to post.
I'd never ridden a horse over such treacherous terrain
but we both survived some rough jumps.
All in all, Lesotho sure exceeded expectations ― interesting opportunities to witness its real rural life combined with good outdoor activities to help work off the fine meals at the lodge.
With Federica, a wonderful Italian-Venezuelan-South African guide whose smart and relaxed company made the good trip even better; pictured here at the beautiful Nambiti Hills Game Lodge just east of Lesotho on the way to Swaziland.  

My two game drives (always somewhat a matter of luck)
at Nambiti Hills were nice but not dramatic.
These reflected zebras were my favorite photo.