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Kingdom of Lesotho
Muso oa Lesotho
Motto: "Khotso, Pula, Nala"  (Sesotho)
"Peace, Rain, Prosperity"
Anthem: Lesotho Fatse La Bontata Rona
Lesotho, land of our Fathers
Location of  Lesotho  (dark blue) – in Africa  (light blue & dark grey) – in the African Union  (light blue)
Location of  Lesotho  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

and largest city
Official languagesEnglish
Demonym(s)Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
• King
Letsie III
Sam Matekane
• from the United Kingdom
October 4, 1966
• Total
30,355 km2 (11,720 sq mi) (140th)
• Water (%)
• 2009 estimate
2,067,000 (144th)
• 2004 census
• Density
68.1/km2 (176.4/sq mi) (138th)
GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
• Total
$3.444 billion[1]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2010 estimate
• Total
$2.127 billion[1]
• Per capita
Gini (1995)63.2
very high
HDI (2010)Increase 0.427[2]
low · 141st
CurrencyLesotho loti (LSL)
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+266
ISO 3166 codeLS
Internet TLD.ls
1 Estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.

Lesotho is a small country in southern Africa, it is an enclave of South Africa. Its population is about 1,800,000. The capital of Lesotho is called Maseru.

Geography[change | change source]

Lesotho has no coast on the sea nor on a lake. This type of country is called landlocked, meaning it is surrounded by land. All of Lesotho's trade must either be flown in by aeroplane, or brought in by land. Lesotho's position is unusual: it is completely surrounded by South Africa and has no borders with any other country. This type of country is called an enclave. Lesotho is one of the only three enclaved countries in the world (the other two are San Marino and the Vatican City). This makes Lesotho's relationship with South Africa very important to them both.

Lesotho has many mountains and is one of the most mountainous countries in the world. All of Lesotho is at least 1,400 m above sea level. People sometimes travel there to ski in winter. The many mountains in Lesotho mean that it rains there a lot. Lesotho uses some of its water to generate electricity and sells some of the water to South Africa.

Location of Lesotho

History[change | change source]

Lesotho became a country in 1818, but it was then called Basutoland. A man called Moshoeshoe brought several of the groups of people in the area together and formed a new country with him as its king. This new country came under attack from its enemies and in 1868 Moshoeshoe asked Queen Victoria of Great Britain for help. Great Britain said it would help if Lesotho became part of the British Empire.

Lesotho eventually gained its independence on 4 October 1966. Now it is a member of the British Commonwealth. King Letsie III is the ruler of Lesotho.

Cities[change | change source]

Cities in Lesotho
Rang City Population District
Census 1986 Census 1996 Estimate 2005
1. Maseru 98,017 137,837 218,355 Maseru
2. Teyateyaneng 24,336 48,869 75,115 Berea
3. Mafeteng 12,598 20,804 57,059 Mafeteng
4. Hlotse 8,021 23,122 47,675 Leribe
5. Mohale's Hoek 7,899 17,871 40,514 Mohale's Hoek
6. Maputsoe 8,267 27,951 32,117 Leribe
7. Qacha's Nek 4,589 4,797 25,573 Qacha's Nek
8. Quthing 4,471 9,858 24,130 Quthing
9. Peka N.A. N.A. 17,161 Leribe
10. Butha-Buthe 7,509 12,611 16,330 Butha-Buthe
11. Roma 5,817 N.A. 11,612 Maseru
12. Mokhotlong 2,257 4,275 8,809 Mokhotlong
13. Thaba-Tseka 2,127 4,449 5,423 Thaba-Tseka

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Lesotho". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
  2. Human Development Report 2009. The United Nations. Retrieved 15 October 2009.