Lesotho Guide

Lesotho Guide

Lesotho or the Kingdom of Lesotho (Kingdom of Lesotho) is an enclave state in South Africa, completely surrounded by the territory of the Republic of South Africa.

Lesotho is the only country in the world whose entire territory is located above 1400 m above sea level. Due to its high altitude, the country is often referred to as the kingdom in the sky. The capital is Maseru.

Independence from Great Britain – October 4, 1966.

The official languages ​​are Sesotho and English. The form of government is a constitutional monarchy.

Resorts and attractions of Lesotho

Lesotho is located in South Africa. Its territory is completely surrounded by the territory of South Africa. Lesotho, along with the Vatican and San Marino, is one of three independent states in the world, surrounded by the territory of only one country. The country has no access to the sea.

The climate is due to the high altitude position, so Lesotho is under the influence of the subtropical high pressure zone, anticyclones predominate. The climate of Lesotho is relatively cold. In summer, in January-February in Maseru, the temperature reaches +30*C, winters are frosty, and temperatures vary from -7*C in the plains to -18*C in the mountains. The main amount of precipitation falls during the warm period of the year from October to April. The least amount of precipitation occurs in winter in June.

Trees are rare in Lesotho, and herbaceous vegetation is the most common. 33 species of mammals have been recorded in the country, including baboon, eland, meerkat, mongoose, endemic ice rat.

Interesting Facts

The early population of Lesotho consisted of gatherers and hunters who spoke the Khoisan languages. The Bantu tribes who came from the north in the 17th century pushed the indigenous population into the Kalahari Desert.

From August 11, 1871 to March 18, 1884, Lesotho was annexed to the British Cape Colony. March 18, 1884 Basutoland again received the status of a protectorate.

April 30, 1965 Basutoland received autonomy, and October 4, 1966 – independence under the name of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Lesotho has been a member of the United Nations since October 17, 1966.

Despite being landlocked, the country has signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
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Country data

Location: South Africa

Time zone: CET – 1 (during summer time: CET)

Total area: 30,355 km²

Land area: 30,355 km²

Water area: 0 km²

Length of the state border: 909 km

including: South Africa: 909 km

Coastline: 0 km

Capital: Maseru

Districts: 10
Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohales Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha’s Nek, Quthing, Thaba-Tseka

Telephone code: 00 266 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Thabana Ntlenyana 3,482 m

Population

Population: approx. 2 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 0.3% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 66

Life expectancy: 53 (male), 53 (female)

Official language: Sesotho, English

Religions:

  • 80% Christian
  • 20% other

Climate

In Lesotho the seasons are opposite to the European ones.

The temperatures fluctuate between -10 ° C in winter (June / July) (lots of snowfall) and up to 42 ° C in summer (December / January).

The amount of precipitation in the period from late October to mid-April is slightly higher than in the remaining months.

Lesotho

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Loti (LSL)

Classification: 1 Loti (plural Maloti) = 100 Lisente

ATMs: not available

International credit cards: These are accepted by some car rental companies and larger hotels and shops in the capital. Otherwise, however, cash payment is more the rule.

Regulations: The import and export of national and foreign currencies is not restricted.

However, you should exchange any remaining Maloti in Lesotho, as this currency is often not exchangeable outside the country.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Travel advice

Although the country has stabilized politically in recent years, the crime rate (car robbery, theft, assault, robberies) has risen sharply, especially against foreigners. As a result, there is a constant risk of violence throughout the Kingdom of Lesotho.

We recommend:

  • to lock the car even while driving
  • Never wear / show money or jewelry openly
  • never leave the house alone
  • do not go for a walk after dark

Behavioral advice

Photography and filming of police / army stations, uniformed persons, government buildings, airports and banks is not permitted.

You should also ask for permission beforehand when taking pictures.

Economy

Since most of the areas in Lesotho are not suitable for agricultural cultivation, mainly sheep and goats are kept in the higher plains.

In the regions suitable for cultivation, maize and millet are mainly grown for personal use.

Tourism is a growing source of income in the country.

Industries: food production, textiles, tourism

Natural resources: diamonds, farmland

Land use:

  • Usable land: 11%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 66%
  • Forests: 0%
  • other: 23%

Plants

Between the rocky mountains there are many plains with wide grassland and individual bushes. There are only isolated forests in protected depressions.

State reforestation is carried out with pines, poplars and other tree species.

Animals

The formerly very species-rich animal world of Lesotho, which was severely destroyed by extinction, is home to antelopes, hares and various small animals, as well as several species of birds.

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