Volunteer in Lesotho with Africa’s leading and largest volunteer travel organization. Experience meaningful travel while working hand in hand with local communities in Lesotho. With projects across Lesotho, Go Volunteer Africa specializes in reliable and challenging international volunteer placements in Lesotho that make a real difference in local communities.
The Volunteer in Lesotho program allows you to experience a country in a different manner than any other travel opportunity. It provides a fun adventure packed with rich ingredients that will not only make you feel good, but will improve the lives of others. Meet other volunteers, and work with local citizens and professionals also striving to make beneficial improvements to their communities.
Go Volunteer Africa addresses critical local-Lesotho issues by providing meaningful and sustainable volunteer service to local communities, and investing in the local economies and people. The continuous, year-round service that Go Volunteer Africa provides creates opportunities for cultural exchange, promotes education, childhood development, and healthy living; encourages domestic volunteering and awareness of community needs; breaks down stigmas and stereotypes; and improves quality of life.
Volunteering in Lesotho with Go Volunteer Africa is the experience of a lifetime, where you are choosing service as a means of learning about other cultures, global issues, and making a positive impact on communities abroad and at home. But the positive effects of volunteering in Lesotho opportunity don’t stop when you return home.
As a volunteer in Lesotho you will:
- Gain new perspectives and insight into another culture and yourself.
- Experience another culture and country at a deep and personal level from the inside out.
- Gain hands-on experience that will distinguish you on professional level for career development.
- Make a positive impact on the community in the areas of education, childhood development, healthcare, and other social services.
Required Volunteer Qualifications:
No qualifications necessary, other than the ability to speak English. Minimum age to volunteer independently is 18 years old for the Lesotho volunteering program. We also encourage families to volunteer, where the minimum age for children volunteering is five years old. We also accommodate both large and small groups. A volunteer must have no physical disability and ready to come and offer his or her time in the kingdom.
PROJECTS IN LESOTHO
EXTRAS AND SUPPORT
Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is an enclaved country within the border of South Africa. It is one of only three independent states completely surrounded by the territory of another country, and the only one outside of the Italian peninsula. Lesotho is just over 30,000 km2 (11,583 sq mi) in size and has a population of around 2 million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.
Lesotho was previously the British Crown Colony of Basutoland, but it declared independence from the United Kingdom on 4 October 1966. It is now a fully sovereign state that is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The name Lesotho roughly translates to "the land of the people who speak Sesotho".
Small though it is, Lesotho is packed with great things to see and do. You can ride a pony through the mountains, walk in the footprints of dinosaurs along a riverbed, and even go skiing. Lesotho is entirely surrounded by South Africa, but despite its location inside Africa’s powerhouse, Lesotho remains its own country with its own unique, dynamic personality.
The country is noted for its mountainous landscape; it is the only nation in the world with an elevation entirely above 1,400 meters. Commit to spending a few days, or even a week or two, in Lesotho, and you will have a remarkable experience. And when you’re ready to move on, choose any direction, put your walking shoes on, and start exploring South Africa.
What to Do in Lesotho
Malealea: The village of Malealea is situated in some of Lesotho’s most majestic and mountainous landscapes. Pony treks are available, as are guided day trips, but we recommend staying overnight.
Sehlabathebe National Park: With its awesome hiking trails, sandstone rock formations, and miles of beautiful landscape, Lesotho’s first national park warrants a visit. Traveling to the park requires the use of a four-by-four, and we recommend hiring a guide to show you around. You can ride a pony along the paths to see the park’s waterfalls and rare birds; you can stay the night in the park’s accommodations, or take along a tent and camp out.
Thaba-Bosiu: Located 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of Maseru and considered the greatest historical site in the country, Thaba-Bosiu is the flat-topped mountain where the Basotho nation originated. This is where Moshoeshoe sought refuge from attacking forces, and it is said that the mountain was never conquered. At the bottom of the hill, there is a visitor center where you can find a guide to take you to the top of the mountain and teach you the site’s detailed history.
Mokhotlong: Situated at the top of the Drakensberg Ridge, Mokhotlong is one of the country’s most remote regions, as well as one of its poorest. We recommend hiring a guide in Maseru to show you around Mokhotlong: despite its economic condition, Mokhotlong is stunning and serene. Because of its remote location, traveling alone in the area is not recommended.
Sani Top Chalet: We highly recommend this spot—no pun intended, okay?—as Sani Top Chalet is Africa’s highest pub. Situated between the border of Lesotho and South Africa along the Drakensberg Ridge, the chalet is accessible only by four-by-four. Once you are at the Sani Pass, you can spend the night, have a meal, and enjoy the view at 9,429 feet (2,874 meters) above sea level.
Semonkong Falls: Reached by a 3 mile (5 kilometer) walk along the Maletsunyane River, the Semonkong Falls are an amazing sight, as they mark the single highest drop in all southern Africa. A visit to the falls makes for a great day hike.
Subeng River’s Dinosaur Footprints: Few pursuits are more remarkable than tracking dinosaur footprints along a riverbed. Located just north of Hlotse (also called Leribe) are the Subeng River dinosaur footprints. Follow the signs, and have a blast walking exactly where those creatures did.
Oxbow Skiing: Just beyond the Moten Pass is Oxbow, a village with a .9 miles (1.5-kilometer) ski slope. It’s not the Alps, but don’t discount it. The snowfall can be erratic, so the best time of year to visit Oxbow is in July and August. A bus travels daily between Mokhotlong and Butha Butha, stopping in Oxbow along the way. There is also a lodge in Oxbow where you can stay the night.
Maseru: While many travelers skip Lesotho’s capital city, we think it is definitely worth your while. Shopping and restaurants are easy to find, and the surrounding hills are great for hiking.
Maliba Mountain Lodge: Pamper yourself at the most luxurious lodge in all Lesotho. Situated in the mountainous terrain of Tsehlanyane National Park, Maliba Mountain Lodge has the world’s highest subalpine botanical garden, an open viewing deck, a restaurant bar, and Basotho-style chalet rooms. There are hiking trails and pony rides just a few minutes away, and the views from the rooms are breathtaking.
Thabana Ntlenyana: Thabana Ntlenyana, which means “Beautiful little mountain” in Sesotho, is the highest point in Lesotho and the highest mountain in southern Africa. It is situated on the Mohlesi ridge of the Drakensberg/Maloti Mountains, north of Sani Pass. It stands at 3,482 metres (11,424 ft) high.
The peak is usually climbed by groups completing a Grand Traverse of the Drakensberg, although the peak is technically in the Maloti Mountains.
Moteng Pass: Enjoy the thrill of the Moteng pass. A steep tarred pass in the Maloti mountains of Lesotho, reaching a height of 2820 metres. It is one of two passes that links the town of Butha-Buthe with the diamond mining town of Mokhotlong, the other pass being the Mahlasela pass. A beautiful pass to drive, but be vigilant during winter as the road gets very slippery.The pass is 7.9 km long, with the last stage being extremely dangerous in winter due to patches of ice. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of Lesotho.
Morija Museum: The Morija Museum, is located in Morija village in the Maseru district of Lesotho. It was formally opened in 1956, and entered its present permanent facilities in 1989. The purpose of the museum is to carry on the tradition of Morija, as a centre of learning, innovation and excellence, in Lesotho. It’s home to many cultural treasures including, traditional Basotho artifacts as well as Lifaqane and Boer War memorabilia.
Currency: Lesotho loti
Population: 2,131,846 (approx)
Official languages: English
Area: 30,355sq. km
International Calling Code: +266
PROJECT LOCATIONS & QUICK FACTS
Go Volunteer Africa, welcomes you to the beautiful Kingdom in the sky-country of Lesotho in Southern Africa. Go Volunteer Africa offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities in Maseru and other areas in Lesotho from teaching, childcare, construction and healthcare projects.
Lesotho, a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa, is crisscrossed by a network of rivers and mountain ranges including the 3,482m-high peak of Thabana Ntlenyana. On the Thaba Bosiu plateau, near Lesotho's capital, Maseru, are ruins dating from the 19th-century reign of King Moshoeshoe I. Thaba Bosiu overlooks iconic Mount Qiloane, an enduring symbol of the nation’s Basotho people.
VOLUNTEERING IN LESOTHO QUICK FACTS
- The program is open all year-round
- Very flexible start and end dates (arrive any day of the month)
- Over10 exceptional sustainable project options
- Projects are based across the country with major locations Maseru
- Accommodation available at volunteer house & host families
- We host over 15 volunteers every month across Lesotho
- Program fees include pre-departure support, airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
- We are the most affordable organization in Africa, because we are the locals!
Beautiful, culturally rich, affordable and easily accessible from Durban and Johannesburg, mountainous Lesotho (le-soo-too) is a vastly underrated travel destination. The contrast with South Africa could not be more striking, with the Basotho people's distinct personality and the altitudinous terrain's topographical extremes. Even a few days in Lesotho’s hospitable mountain lodges and trading posts will give you a fresh perspective on Southern Africa.
You will get to integrate into local society, sample the tasty food, experience the vibrant culture and also make a difference. There are summer and year round programs available where you can help people, animals and the environment. Volunteering in Lesotho and helping people is a highly rewarding experience and there are also lots of cultural and sightseeing activities you will get to do in your spare time.
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to Go Volunteer Africa's local Coordinators on arrival in the country.
SAFARIS & TOURS
Safaris, day and cultural tours can be organized over the weekends for volunteers. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore Lesotho's vibrant cities, rich culture and wildlife. There is a lot to see and do in Lesotho.
BEFORE YOU GO
§ Pre-departure support & documentation
§ Travel & medical advice & documentation
§ Advice on visas & equipment advice
§ Project orientation
§ 3 meals a day
§ Airport pickup
§ In-country emergency support
§ 24-hour HQ backup
§ Free GVA t-shirt
LESOTHO VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
Volunteer Guest house/ Host Family
ARRIVAL & AIRPORT PICKUP
After you have booked and confirmed your placement, please book your flights to arrive at Moshoeshoe I International Airport in Maseru. A member of staff from our local partner organization in Lesotho will meet you on arrival at Airport and take you to the volunteer guest house or host family which will be your base for volunteering.
Orientation and Placement will be done the next day. This airport services numerous international carriers. Lesotho has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia- Pacific region, USA and Africa.
ACCOMMODATION & LIVING IN LESOTHO
Volunteers are provided accommodation in a volunteer house or in a homestay accommodation managed by the local coordinating team. Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to the participants from Monday - Sunday.
The accommodations are neat and clean. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteers on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms. Wifi internet, warm water is not guaranteed.
The homes are close to useful amenities like banks, ATM’s, currency exchanges, restaurants, cafes and shopping places. All placements are around 10 - 30 minutes from the accommodation.
Over the weekends or evenings, participants are free to eat out and explore the different delights that Lesotho has to offer.
Some volunteers are also provided accommodation in the project premises itself. For example - Volunteers working in teaching or orphanage project can be provided accommodation in the project premises itself in a separate room that is allotted for volunteers.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
Flights: Flights are not included in our program costs. However, GVA has partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteer travelers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travelers.
Visas: A foreign national wishing to enter Lesotho must obtain a visa unless they are a citizen of one of the eligible visa exempt countries. Lesotho introduced an e-Visa system on 1 May 2017. Foreign citizens may apply for tourism, business, student and diplomatic types of visa online through the eVisa system. Electronic visas are processed within 72 hours. Visitors with a single-entry visa to Lesotho may remain for a maximum period of 44 days. Visitors with multiple-entry visa may travel in and out of Lesotho only within 180 days. Visitors must apply for an extension if their stay is prolonged.
Insurance: You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the program. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave your home to the day you return.
APPLICATION & BOOKING
To participate in this program, you have to fill an online application form, and submit it for consideration. After application process and acceptance into the program, you will be required to pay 50% of the program fee within 14 days of your acceptance. Failure to make the placement booking and confirmation payment will lead to cancelation of your program.