The many faces of Lesotho

We entered Lesotho via the well-known Sani pass. Immediately we were greeted by one of the many sheepherders in the country. His smile was contagious and set the standards for the rest of the trip. For hours we see nothing but huts made of clay with thatched roofs, small fields built against the steep walls of the mountains and here and there a shepherd. The shepherds live in the highlands of Lesotho.

The poorer people of the country try to make a living in the mountains as sheep or cow herders. Many days and nights they walk through this beautiful but wet and cold landscape with their cattle. A hard and lonely existence with a wind that never dies and their cattle as their only company.

We soon became acquainted with the many shepherds in the country. We couldn’t have in-depth conversations, but with the age-old hands and foot language we got far. We gave a number of shepherds a lift, although I don’t know if that was really better for them. The road consisted mainly of large stones, making it a slow and bumpy ride. Here and there we came across a village glued to the back of the hill to catch as little wind as possible. We came across shops at the craziest of places where we always stopped for a local snack and good conversation. The snack worked out fine, that good conversation was a bit more difficult.

All the shepherds we encountered and “spoke” had a different story. Because I did not always understand the stories, I started photographing the faces, because Lesotho has many faces. Beautiful soft faces with beautiful eyes and white teeth, to dark faces with tired eyes and many wrinkles that reflect the harsh existence here in the mountains. All the faces have a story to tell. Below a collection.