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Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi)
The majority of visitors to Lesotho arrive by road from South Africa. There are daily services
from and to Johannesburg International Airport operated by SA Airlink. South African
Airways, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic operate daily services to Johannesburg from
Visas are not required for entry into Lesotho by British passport holders, visitor visas for
USA and others can be obtained at the airport (if you are not from the USA or UK check with
Lesotho consulate in your countries capitol) however, all passports must be valid for 6-12
months before & beyond the intended length of the stay.
The unit of currency is the Loti, which is divided into 100 Lisente, or the South African Rand.
The notes are issued in Loti denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200. International Credit
Cards are widely accepted in main centers, as are US Dollars or South African Rand
A Yellow Fever certificate is required but only if arriving from infected areas. Immunization
is however recommended against hepatitis A, polio, tetanus and typhoid.
Participants must arrange their own International flights, but will be met and transported
throughout the duration of the build.
The hot, humid and wet season is between November and April. It is cooler and drier the
rest of the year.
Best time to visit:
May to October. Although it is has been known to get very cold and even snow in June-
Climate: tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (Oct to April)
Main industries: copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages,
chemicals, agriculture, tourism
Languages: English (official), Bemba, Kaonde, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about
70 other indigenous languages
Life expectancy: 35 years old
No. of adults and children living with HIV/ AIDS rate (as of 2001): 1,200,000
No. of AIDS orphans (0-14) (as of 2001): 570,000
% below poverty line: 86%
Zambia, a landlocked country in south-central Africa, is about one-tenth larger than Texas.
It is surrounded by Angola, Zaire, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and
Namibia. The country is mostly a plateau that rises to 8,000 ft (2,434
“The Kingdom in the Sky” and for good reason – it is home to the majestic Drakensberg and
Maloti Mountain ranges with several peaks surpassing 10,000 feet. In fact, the lowest
elevation in the country is still above 3,000 feet making it the world’s highest “minimum
elevation” of any nation on earth! We like to say that every road in Lesotho is a scenic route,
and its true – no matter which direction you head from the capital city of Maseru, splendor
continues to unfold with each passing curve. Nestled in the palm of South Africa, Lesotho
shares strong economic ties with its neighbor but is proud of its unique political, cultural
and social identity.
High altitude and autonomy, however, bring distinctive challenges to Habitat’s work in
Lesotho. During the winter months (May through August), snow often covers much of the
mountain ranges and makes working outdoors difficult. Since only one half of 1% of Lesotho
is forested (only Libya has less), obtaining coal, kerosene or straw for heating becomes the
top priority for both urban and rural families living in stone or brick houses with no
insulation. And having strong economic ties with South Africa does not mean to infer that
the Lesotho economy is expanding. Challenges in the textile and agriculture sectors, and
the high prevalence rate of HIV/Aids makes it difficult for families afford safe and decent
shelter. These dilemmas encourage many families to migrate to larger cities in search of
In many instances, arriving in the capital with little money and even less formal training, it
becomes problematic in trying to find work and housing. Families end up living in
overcrowded, unsafe and unhealthy conditions. As many as fifteen families may share one
latrine and children play near open sewage. Women are particularly vulnerable since they
have no inheritance rights, and little hope of ever having a place to call their own. The
Ministry of Local Government reports that more than 45,000 units of decent, affordable
housing are needed to resolve the current crisis in the capital district alone!
Habitat for Humanity Lesotho
Habitat for Humanity Lesotho (HFHL) launched its program in 2001 and is primarily building
houses in Khubelo, on the outskirts of the urban capital, Maseru. The block and brick
homes utilize a corrugated iron roof and consist of two to three rooms, or 28 and 43 sq.
meters respectively. All houses have a detached latrine.
Since snow accumulates for several weeks at a time in rural areas, Habitat has partnered
with World Vision in reaching out to one of these remote locations – Mohales Hoek – where
HFHL is providing technical support for the construction of 150 homes for low income
families in need of safe and decent housing at affordable prices.
HIV/Aids is rampant in Lesotho where over 40% of females aged between 25 – 39 are
infected. UNICEF estimates there are over 100,000 Aids orphans living in Lesotho and this
number is expected to increase significantly in the years to come. Since 2005, HFHL has
been providing shelter for children and youths in this category while a partner agency, SOS
Children’s Village, attends to the health, education and food security needs. There are
currently plans underway to expand this project.
HFHL works in close partnership with other groups committed to reducing poverty housing,
including the Ministry of Local Government. The MoLG has assisted HFHL in locating land for
housing at reduced costs and has expressed interest in becoming more active in advocacy
on behalf of women and children for secure tenure and inheritance rights. In cooperation
with UN Habitat and the Maseru City Council, HFHL is an integral part of the National Urban
Support Team dedicated to eradicating informal settlements by the year 2020. HFHL also
participates in the World Habitat Day sponsored by UN Habitat and the MoLG.
Proposed Schedule for Anir Experience & HfH Build:
Day 1 Pre-build (optional) Depart home for Cape Town South Africa
Day 2 Arrive Cape Town
Day 2-8 Cape Town Experience click here
Day 8 (day 1 for folks not participating in pre-build they depart for
Day 9 Cape Town Pre-build depart for Lesotho - everyone arrives in
Day 10 Orientation in Lesotho
Day 11-16 Build Lesotho
Day 17 R&R Lesotho cultural experience
Day 18-22 build
Day 23 - Closing Celebration
Day 24-27 Post-build safari in Kruger National Park
Stunning scenery, invigorating mountain air and endless blue skies"
With all its land lying at altitudes of more than 1,000 metres, Lesotho is aptly
described as "The Kingdom in the Sky". Indeed the country boasts the highest
mountain in Southern Africa, Thaba-Ntlenyana, which towers to 3,482m. The size
of Belgium, Lesotho also has the unusual distinction of being entirely surrounded by
another country, the Republic of South Africa.
[folks] come here not for the bush and big game, but for stunning scenery,
invigorating mountain air and endless blue skies.
In spite of new mountain roads, some areas of the country are
still off the beaten track so pony trekking
is a popular way to explore the country.
The traditional lifestyle of the Basotho people
can still be observed in the Lesotho Highlands.
Building of the Katse Dam and the flooding of
the Malibamatso Valley has created watersports
and angling opportunities.
Lesotho's capital, Maseru, has a number of colonial buildings, dating back to the
start of the century. The Basotho Hat building, which houses a handicraft shop and
a restaurant, is an important landmark. Here it is not unusual to see blanketed
Basotho horsemen, with their distinctive conical hats, weaving through the heavy
traffic or craftsmen manufacturing their goods in the front of modern office