The Mountain Kingdom

© Firecracker

The Mountain Kingdom

Lesotho is known as The Mountain Kingdom, with good reason. Remote, rugged and rather beautiful, Lesotho is said to be the place where Gods and mythical beasts roam. It is also rather difficult to get around – although there is a good road network many areas can only be reached on horseback or by foot.

Young Basotho shepherds live semi nomadic lives tending to their livestock in the rural mountainsides.  They are often accompanied by dogs, which help them in their shepherding and to protect their livestock from predators.  Men wear traditional blankets that tell stories of the land, which are often presented at coming-of-age ceremonies and will remain with them for life.

Horses first came to Lesotho with European settlers in the 19th century and the local pride, the hardy ‘Basuto pony’ is the result of crossbreeding over time. These ‘ponies’ are of medium size and known for their endurance and make excellent mountain racehorses. Donkeys are also used to carry both humans and goods across the mountains, especially when many of the migrant workers return from South Africa over holiday periods.

Filming in Lesotho is relatively easy and crossing the borders from South Africa with crew and equipment is straightforward. Locations offer immense skies, unspoilt mountain regions, amazing mountain passes and snow during the winter months. The Kingdom also houses the highest pub in all of Africa, which is well worth a visit for a G&T and late afternoon pony trek (or race), for the brave. 

All images © Firecracker 2024