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8 places to escape the heat of summer in the Southern Hemisphere

By: Josh Lew on Aug. 25, 2014, 3:07 p.m.
Malealea village

Photo: Di Jones/Flickr

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Lesotho is a mountain kingdom totally surrounded by South Africa. It is sometimes called the Kingdom of the Sky because the entire country has an altitude of more than 4,593 feet. In fact, Lesotho has the highest low point of any nation in the world. Because of this altitude, temperatures drop below freezing regularly during the winter, and snow is commonplace. From June through September, you can find plenty of action on one of the continent's only ski resorts.

Afriski features an extensive snow-making system that accentuates what falls naturally during the Lesotho winter. With four lifts, this is certainly not the Swiss Alps or the Colorado Rockies, but the unique appeal of skiing in Africa draws both South African and overseas visitors. Lesotho also boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, with the wintertime dry season offering an almost 100% chance of sunny weather. And though buildings outside the main tourist areas are not heated, the landscapes are quite beautiful. Lesotho's untouched scenery draws adventurous hikers and culture-minded explorers alike.