Lesotho is a Southern African country. Forming an enclave in the eastern part of South Africa, between the South African provinces of Natal, Orange and Cape, Lesotho has an area of 30 355 km2. The main cities are Maseru, the capital, with 178 300 residents (2004), Maputsoe (36 200 residents), Teyateyaneng (23 700 residents), Mafeteng (36 000 residents) And Hlotse (23 400 residents).
The geographical characteristics of this region influence the entire economic, political and social framework of Lesotho. It is a country with a very rugged relief (western slope of the Drakensberg mountains), where only 10% of the land is arable.
The climate is subtropical, with the temperature quite moderate due to the effect of altitude.
The main agricultural products are maize, tubers, sorghum and wheat. Livestock farming has some relevance in the economy of rural areas. Lesotho has few natural resources and is experiencing a timid industrial development through small projects related to jewelery, ceramics and furniture.
The country is dependent on the cooperation established with South Africa. This can be seen in the presence of Lesotho in the Tripartite Monetary Area (which also includes Swaziland, South Africa and Namibia), as a member of the Customs Union. South Africa, because its currency (the loti) is quoted by the rand (South African currency), because it shares an integrated communications system with South Africa and because an undetermined number of natives find emigrants in South Africa.
Environmental indicator: no data (1999).
The population was, in 2006, 2 022 331 residents, which corresponded to a density of 61.51 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 24.75% and 28.71%. Average life expectancy is 34.4 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.510 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.497 (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will be 2,414,000 residents. The country’s ethnic groups are the Sothos (85%) and the Zulos (15%). The most representative religions are Catholicism (43%) and Protestantism (29%). The official languages are Sotho and English.
Lesotho, inhabited by the different clans of the Basotan people since the 16th century, has its origin in the year 1824, when Moshoeshoe, the most powerful chieftain of the tribes of the Basotan people (tribes who were involved in violent wars), assured a defensive position in the center of the territory from which he organized the kingdom of Basoto. In 1843, Moshoeshoe, as a result of the tense relationship with the South African Boers, allowed the passage from Basoto to English protectorate, being annexed to the Cape colony in 1871, a year after Moshoeshoe’s death. In 1884, Lesotho severed its connection with the Cape colony, assuming the status of Territory of the British High Commission, a situation that lasted until 1964, the year in which a Constitution was passed declaring the independence of the kingdom. A year later general elections were held that gave victory to the National Party of Basutolandia, headed by Leabua Jonathan, who remained in power until 1986, when a coup led by General Justin Lekhanya overthrew Lebua Jonathan. This occurred in the wake of a serious economic and social crisis, caused by the economic blockade imposed by South Africa in response to Jonathan’s criticisms of apartheid policy. Although relations between the two countries were quickly restored, this did not prevent the situation in Lesotho from becoming increasingly precarious, leading to a new coup d’état in 1991, which brought Colonel Elias Ramaena to power, who promised to hold elections. These would take place in 1993, giving the victory to the party of the Pan-African Congress of Basoto (BCP), led by Ntsu Mokhehle. However, due to clashes between the armed branch of the BCP and a rival faction of the army, King Letsie III, in August 1994, in an attempt to carry out a royal coup d’état, dissolved the Mokhehle Government and Parliament, a decision from which it went back on September 14 of the same year, thanks not only to the huge protests of the population, but also to the threats of economic blockades by South Africa and the Commonwealth countries. For Lesotho democracy and rights, please check getzipcodes.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Lesotho, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Lesotho. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Lesotho
Check out a collection of country, shaded relief and political maps of this Southern African country, an enclave of South Africa, formerly known as Basutoland.
Lesotho – Graphic Maps
Provides a map along with some facts and figures that reveal the kingdom’s geography, population statistics and political system.
Lesotho – InfoPlease.com Map
Presents a user-friendly graphical map of Lesotho with key populated areas and bordering nations clearly marked.
Lesotho – National Geographic
Satellite imaging and political map-making combine to create a zoomable map of this west African country, and it’s cities, rivers and topography.
Lesotho – Terrian Map
Take a good look at the terrain of this small nation. Detailed map shows cities, district boundaries, the capital, roads and rail lines.
Lesotho Regional Map and Information
Unique map offers visitors a regional perspective of the country. Click on a region to get an overview of that area, view photos, and make plans.