Tiny African kingdom skis as Europe sweats


While millions across Europe sweat through a summer of record-breaking heat, others are skiing in Africa. Don’t worry. This isn’t another sign of climate change but rather the fascinating anomaly of Lesotho, a tiny mountain kingdom completely surrounded by South Africa.
Lesotho has a geographical claim to fame: It’s the only country on Earth where every inch of its territory sits more than 3,280 feet above sea level. That gives Lesotho snow in the southern hemisphere’s winters. And while cold winters aren’t rare in southern Africa, snow is and ski resorts are even rarer.
At an altitude of 9,842 feet, Afriski in Lesotho’s Maluti Mountains is Africa’s only operating ski resort south of the equator. “I’ve never seen snow in my life,” said Kafi Mojapelo, who travelled the short distance from South Africa for a skiing vacation she never thought she’d take. “So, this is a great experience.”
Afriski’s Kapoko Snow Park is the only freestyle snow park on the continent.
Competitors lined up last month for the annual Winter Whip Slopestyle snowboard and ski competition. Sekholo Ramonotsi, a 13-year-old who practices regularly at Afriski, won the junior snowboard and ski divisions. “I would really like to ski in Europe,” he said.





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