Animals and Plants
Lesotho is an almost treeless country. If there are trees, they are eucalyptus trees or acacias. Sometimes people have planted peach trees and pastures can be found along the country’s rivers. There is a tree that can grow up to three meters high and is called the mountain cabbage tree. Mountain pastures and grass steppes shape the landscape. Mainly low shrubs and almost no trees grow here.
Since Lesotho has been a popular hunting area, there are only a few animals left in Lesotho. Antelopes, baboons and jackals can only be seen in the country’s only protected area, the Sehlabathebe National Park.
Monetary union with South Africa
Lesotho’s economy is heavily dependent on neighboring South Africa. There is also a currency union with South Africa (as well as Swaziland and Namibia), which means that the currencies of the countries are linked to one another. The currency of Lesotho is called the Loti. It is therefore dependent on the South African rand. Many of the residents of Lesotho go to South Africa to work as workers, mainly in the country’s mines.
Many people make a living from agriculture
Those who stay in the country often make a living from agriculture. Corn, millet, wheat and legumes are grown. On the plateaus of the country there is mainly cattle farming. Mainly sheep and goats are kept here, whose wool is exported. Otherwise the population can hardly feed themselves. The wool of the animals is then processed into blankets, for example. You can also earn a little money with it.
Hydropower and imports
The country’s large water resources are gaining in importance. Lesotho’s water is pumped to South Africa to feed the people there. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project has brought money into the country since 1998. This project is constantly being expanded. But such projects are not without controversy, as they take the local population’s water away.
Many important products that one needs to live have to be imported into Lesotho, including many foods. Most of the products come from South Africa. Lesotho imports far more into the country than it exports. That is a problem for the small and very poor country.
Diamonds and textiles
Lesotho has hardly any natural resources. The only exception are diamonds. They are being broken down.
There are also some textile factories that import fabrics from Asia, process them and then sell them in Europe, for example. Unlike in Asia, Lesotho tries to offer workers better working conditions. The standards are higher than those of the Asian competition, for example in Bangladesh (see also everyday life in Lesotho).
Tourism in Lesotho
Lesotho has been trying to attract more tourists for several years. But so far there have been too few roads and means of transport in the country and too few opportunities for tourists, although Lesotho has a lot of nature to offer.
Some of this is to be changed in the future so that more tourists come and an additional source of income for the population. You can go horse riding or hiking in the mountains. Even a ski area has now been developed.
Eating in Lesotho
The staple food in Lesotho is corn porridge. In this, Lesotho does not differ from many other African countries. In Lesotho, the maize porridge is called Papa. To get more information on Lesotho and Africa, check petsinclude.
There is also a stew with vegetables, depending on which vegetables can be grown. The most common vegetables are beans, peas, onions, cabbage, and wild spinach
The people of Lesotho eat meat very rarely, it is simply too expensive. And if there is meat, it is usually chicken or goat meat. The Lesothic families, although often poor themselves, are very hospitable. If guests are received, everything that the kitchen has to offer is served. However, most people in Lesotho only eat once a day.
When boys become men
Lesotho still celebrates today when boys become men. It used to be a long festival that lasted for several days. The whole family came and celebrated. The boys ate “holy meat” from a slaughtered bull, had to prove themselves in the wild, were circumcised and at the same time learned important things about the history of their country. They also had to retreat to solitude in the mountains for some time.
Today the children don’t know what to expect from this ritual, it remains a secret. But the festival does not last as long today as it did in earlier times.
Blankets as clothing
Many Basotho – the traditional residents of Lesotho – wear wool blankets called Kobo. These blankets, which are usually provided with very elaborate patterns, warm you in winter. Incidentally, these blankets are worn by men and women.
Only women wear a piece of clothing called Seshoeshoe, a name that probably goes back to the previous king named Moshoehoe I. This garment extends to the ankle and consists of several layers. The women usually only wear it at parties.