For fear of sounding like your mother (I am someone's), I highly recommend that you do not venture into Lesotho without packing your thermal underwear!
Regardless of season, Lesotho can get very cold - we were recently there in early January (midsummer) and got caught up in a major hailstorm, which dropped the temperature within minutes by 20¢ªC. At such altitude, it's difficult to warm up again once you've got cold (especially if you got wet into the bargain), and you really need something dry to change into that will help to conserve your body heat.
Thermal underwear has the virtue of being both toasty warm and packing into virtually no space. In case of emergency, it can be pressed into service as pyjamas, leggings or a T shirt, and is an invaluable addition to your case ... I never travel without mine!
First prize is genuine ski stuff but even standard department store stuff will do (if you're passing through South Africa in winter, look for well priced thermal vests and long johns in Woolworths).
I will prefix my comments by stating that I am not a photographer's backside and what I know about the technical side of taking pictures could be written on the back of a postage stamp with space to spare ...
However, do yourself a favour and do not venture into a high altitude location such as Lesotho without some sort of UV filter for your camera. For fear of stating the obvious, at altitude, the UV is much stronger than at sea level, and as a result, your photos can suffer as a result of excessive glare.
This is not an expensive piece of equipment, but will make the world of difference to your photos, so consider this an 'essential' rather than a 'luxury'!
Luggage and bags:
An extra bag or two for all those Basotho blankets you will buy.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Traipsing through Africa, I wanted to wear as little clothes as possible, despite the malaria and sun warnings because it was so damn hot. You likely will feel the same. That is until you reach Lesotho. Beginning in the fall, it can get very cold at night, snow can happen, and generally you could be caught off-guard and lose a toe or two if you are not prepared.
Sturdy hiking shoes are needed for hiking.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Minimal access to medical care, so bring a First Aid kit and basic medicines.
In summer, Lesotho weather tends to be schizophrenic, with hot days, showers, cold spells and wind all in one day. If you've been to the Hebrides, it reminds a bit of that sort of weather... on a good day. Shorts and t-shirts are OK most of the time, but be prepared for chilly or very chilly evenings. Umbrellas and raincoats should be kept at hand for unexpected showers.
Winters are downright cold - it's not for nothing that the national dress of Lesotho is a warm blanket! Snow appears on the high lying areas - read: most of the country - so those coming from Europe and North America will know to dress appropriately.
Photo Equipment: Bring the best you've got, and lots of CF cards... Lesotho is a photographer's dream.
Miscellaneous: Remember evacuation insurance - there are few hospitals in Lesotho, although basic clinics are quite widespread.
Luggage and bags:
As usual if you are hiking or pony trekking make sure your luggage is up to the trip
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Strong footwear, the terrain can be unforgiving. Pack for all weather conditions, Lesotho is a high country and can be subject to sudden changes of weather
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen not just because it's sunny but because at altitude you will receive a higher dose of UV rays.
Photo Equipment: A UV filter for your camera as much of Lesotho is high up in the mountains.
Miscellaneous: Iodine tablets or some sort of water filtration system is a must as you cannot be sure the water is safe to drink. Just because the locals drink from a particular spring it doesn't mean you will not become ill from drinking there. Do not take chances with your health!
Good hiking territory,
nights can be NIPPY even in summer,
be prepared !!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: UV in SOuthern Africa is HORRID,
especially for those from Europe and North America,
you need sun screen protection SPF25+ (repeat 25+)
and of course
n lekker floppy HA
hiking gear useful
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Non Malaria
Photo Equipment: wide and telephot lenses, for Panoramas and close up across hills and valleys
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Even summer evenings are cool
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