Volunteer in Lesotho and experience meaningful travel while working hand in hand with local communities to make a positive impact. With projects across Lesotho, Go Volunteer Africa specializes in reliable and challenging international volunteer placements in Lesotho that make a real difference.

Go Volunteer Africa’s Lesotho volunteer program is diverse and each volunteer project brings a unique, exciting experience. The overall aim of the volunteer in Lesotho program is one of improving the community infrastructure, encouraging sustainable activities and capacity building.

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.

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. Unspoiled landscapes, rugged mountain trails and rural retreats are the major drawcards for travelers to Lesotho.

Lesotho Pony Trekking
Lesotho Pony Trekking

Why Volunteer in Lesotho?

One of the smallest countries in Africa, the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho has its fair share of problems. Classified as one of the least developed nations in the world by the United Nations Development Program, 57.1 percent of the 1.9 million-strong population lives below the national poverty line. This being the case, it seems essential to understand the primary causes of poverty in Lesotho in order to effect change for the better going forward.

As with many of the world’s poorer countries, there is a significant divide between urban and rural areas. In Lesotho, a massive 75 percent of the population lives in rural areas. More than half of these people are deemed poor and around 30 percent are living in extreme poverty. When broken down by region, it is evident that rural communities contain the vast majority of the country’s poor.

A large part of this is related to agriculture. While the industry only contributes 17 percent of total GDP, for the rural poor, agriculture is the primary means of making a living. The problem with this is that the majority of people are unable to access arable land; it is estimated that only 10 percent of land in Lesotho is suitable for agriculture. With this being the case, agricultural productivity has been stagnant since the 1990s, in part due to erratic weather, including droughts and floods.

The inability for the rural poor to achieve consistent crop yields leads to further problems which compound the issue of poverty in Lesotho. Hunger has always been an issue in the country, but particularly poor performance in agriculture over the past few years has exacerbated this further. In 2016, it was estimated that one in three would be in dire need of food aid in order to survive, and this has led to conflict in communities. Reported cases of malnutrition also increase rapidly during times of particularly poor performance.

Poor health is another of the key causes of poverty in Lesotho and, unfortunately, malnutrition is not the only worry in this area. The country harbors the world’s third highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, with 23 percent of the population infected. The high rates of infection have knock-on effects, with maternal and infant mortalities high across the country also. Those who require treatment are, on average, a four-hour walk from health clinics, which leaves many in dire need of treatment unable to receive it.

Unemployment is also one of the major causes of poverty in Lesotho. Migration to urban areas in search of a paying job is common, with many leaving for South Africa in search of employment. Much of this is a result of the poor economic and business conditions in Lesotho, which is not appealing to foreign investors, and an estimated 50 percent of the population is unemployed. The lack of opportunities for earning has led to some families going without income and being reliant on subsistence farming, however, this often leaves them open to the threats outlined above and, as such, further decline into poverty.

While the country is not without aid, the argument often made in the past is that it has been focused in the wrong places. If these key causes of poverty in Lesotho are targeted, then people may finally be able to move out of deprivation and into some level of prosperity.

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. ***

 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN LESOTHO

LESOTHO: Community Volunteer Work

LESOTHO: Community Volunteer Work

Lesotho community volunteer work will bring you an unforgettable cultural and volunteering experience. The participants of the volunteer in Lesotho program will do volunteer work in Maseru from two weeks and above and after that ...
Lesotho Authentic Experience Tour

Lesotho Authentic Experience Tour

Go Volunteer Africa through our GVA Holidays & Safaris organizes special authentic Lesotho experience tour for independent travelers and groups. By booking a Lesotho authentic experience tour with us, you are seizing an opportunity to explore the ...

EXTRAS AND SUPPORT

ABOUT LESOTHO

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.

 

Capital: Maseru

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.

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

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.

 

SUPPORT

BEFORE YOU GO

IN-COUNTRY

§  Pre-departure support & documentation

§  Travel & medical advice & documentation

§  Advice on visas & equipment advice

 

 

 

§  Project orientation

§  Accommodation

§  3 meals a day

§  Airport pickup

§  In-country emergency support

§  24-hour HQ backup

§  Free GVA t-shirt

 

 

LESOTHO VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

 

  • Immerse yourself in rural, slum, semi-urban & engaging community
  • Promote sustainable community livelihoods
  • Improve the living standards of local people
  • Make friends for life

 

Transport:

Airport pickup

Accommodation:

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.

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.

Get Started

Fill Volunteer Application Form here or Make an inquiry here