Events to attend in Maseru, Lesotho: Lesotho Tourism Festival 

The festive season in Lesotho would not be complete without the Lesotho Tourism Festival (LETOFE). This annual event, previously a jazz genre festival happens every December at Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village, attracting many festivalgoers. LETOFE is a popular social calendar event known for bringing incredibly talented artists across Southern Africa to perform. Some of the legendary artists who have graced the stage at LETOFE include the late Tšepo Tshola, Zahara and Oliver Mtukudzi.

LETOFE rebranded from a jazz festival to a lifestyle event introducing arts and crafts, food, fashion and live entertainment in 2022 to attract a younger market. The line-up now includes genres such as Afro-jazz, house music, ampiano, FAMO, hip-hop and soul.  This outdoor event allows festivalgoers to buy tickets (general and golden circle), and bring camp chairs and cooler boxes, with early tickets on sale from October. Patrons can buy tickets from various distribution points such as Computicket, Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers and Shoprite using a debit or credit card from LSL350 and LSL450 i.e. ($18.91 and $24.32) respectively and LSL100 for the cooler box. 

How to prepare for LETOFE?

As an outdoor lifestyle event that happens out of town, I cannot stress the importance of preparing and planning for the event enough. With climate change a big concern, the weather in Lesotho changes quickly and rapidly. In planning your outfit for the festival, it is important to prepare for the scorching afternoon heat and chilly and wet evenings in Thaba-Bosiu. LETOFE is notorious for rainstorms, so pack an umbrella, raincoat, water-resistant shoes and warm jacket. 

My second tip when planning for LETOFE is to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion. Because a significant number of people arrive late at the festival, there are endless queues, increasing the waiting time and likelihood of missing some performances. Parking is also a big challenge, especially without a VIP parking ticket. 

The third tip is to dress up and show up looking good. While we should prioritise being comfortable, dressing down should never be an option!  As aforementioned, LETOFE is a lifestyle event, so looking your best is important. 

This year, the event took place on December 23rd and the theme for the 2023 edition was ‘African Royalty’, where you could win the best dressed and walk away with a cute prize. As the saying goes, ‘if you look good, you feel good’, so make it a point to feel good, pose for the camera and have fun.

As I do with all my blog posts, sharing my review and overall experience is a significant part of my writing. So, how did I experience LETOFE 2023?

The Alliance VIP Experience 

Hosted by Alliance Insurance Company, one of the event sponsors, I arrived at the festival at 2 pm dressed in my House of Hannah emerald, green kimono.  With parking and two VIP tickets, I decided to host my friend who is visiting home from New York City, and who had not experienced Lesotho during the festive season since 2018. From checking in at the VIP reception, good service in the marquee, the abundance of food and drinks and quality conversations, I must applaud Alliance for its premium hospitality. Throughout the day, the team made sure that everyone was taken care of, later providing blankets and umbrellas when it rained and late snacks. The décor and setup were beautiful, with a 360-degree booth available to capture the moment and have fun. 

My favourite performances were Data Seiko, Ntate Stunna, Mafikizolo, Mookho and MiCasa. As I write this blog post, the captivating voice of Data Seiko from Botswana keeps playing in my mind. What a talented artist! Unfortunately, I left the festival earlier to avoid the traffic and driving in extremely bad weather conditions. During the day, I also had an opportunity to visit some of the stalls showcasing at the festival, catch up with friends and colleagues and capture moments for my Vlog, be sure to check out the video on my YouTube Channel.

After many years of attending LETOFE, it is exciting to witness how the festival is transitioning to position itself as a must-attend lifestyle festival in Lesotho. Quoting the festival’s new tagline, ‘We live. We love. We Connect’, here’s to creating more memorable experiences and connections. 

For more, follow my social media account @tkay_nthebe, subscribe to my YouTube channel and sign up for a free email newsletter  that shares travel, lifestyle and adventure content.

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