On top of the world – Lesotho continued

 

 

This is a second post in a three-part series on Lesotho.  Read post one here.

Lesotho is the only independent state in the world that lies entirely above 1,000 metres in elevation. Its lowest point of 1,400 metres  is thus the highest in the world. Over 80% of the country lies above 1,800 metres. Lesotho is also the southernmost landlocked country in the world. Because of its altitude, Lesotho remains cooler throughout the year than other regions at the same latitude. Winters can be cold with the lowlands getting down to −7 °C (19 °F) and the highlands to −18 °C (−0 °F) at times. Snow is common in the highlands between May and September; the higher peaks can experience snowfalls year-round.

As we wove through the mountains, climbing up towards Katse dam we started to see the temperatures plummet. Below you can see how the road cuts through the mountains.

Africa is most often depicted as a hot arid continent.  And it is mostly, so when we South Africans get to see a little snow, it is rather a treat.  Here in this region of Lesotho they have snow through most of winter and sometimes even in summer.  How strange for Africa!

As we reached the top, the most beautiful snowscape scenes surrounded us.

 

 

We stopped the car and had to clamber about in it for a bit like children of course 🙂

 

I felt like I was on top of the world.

The mountain kingdom.

 

 

 

 

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Chaotic weather patterns

While we have been so thankful for all the wonderful rain we have been having here in Hoedspruit, others further south have really been having a hard time with flooding.

Our summers here are usually extremely hot and we don’t get much rain. This summer we have had wonderfully warm temperatures and not the sweltering hot days that we are used to, and rain almost every day.

Our river (Blyde) is running strongly right now.

For those living in Pretoria and Johannesburg, 400 km’s away, this week has resulted in flooding in many areas.

Whether these strange weather patterns are due to the regular cycle of nature or on global warming is under debate right now. What  we do know is that globally, the weather seems very different this season with snow in summer and flooding in Austrailia, to people being snowed in for days in the US and Europe in regions that normally don’t have that much snow – things do seem to be very different.  So while we revel in the wonderful weather here, its important to keep in mind that there are many people around the world in desperate circumstances due to extreme weather.

(photos of floods taken from an email that is circulating – not sure who to credit)