Lesotho Profile

Lesotho is a landlocked country surrounded by South Africa. The country covers over 30,000 km2 in size and has a population slightly over two million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.

The name Lesotho translates roughly into the land of the people who speak Sotho.

It is the only independent state in the world that lies entirely above 1,000 metres in elevation. Its lowest point of 1,400 metres is thus the highest in the world. Over 80% of the country lies above 1,800 metres (5,906 ft). It lies between latitudes 28° and 31°S and longitudes 27° and 30°E.

Lesotho’s geographic location makes it extremely vulnerable to political and economic developments in South Africa. It is a member of many regional economic organizations, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). It is also active in the United Nations (UN), the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth.

Because of its altitude, Lesotho remains cooler throughout the year than other regions at the same latitude. Most of the rain falls as summer thunderstorms. Maseru and surrounding lowlands often reach 30 °C (86 °F) in summer. Winters can be cold with the lowlands getting down to −7 °C (19 °F) and the highlands to −18 °C (0 °F) at times. Snow is common in the highlands between May and September; the higher peaks can experience snowfalls year-round.

The present Lesotho called Basutoland emerged as a single polity under King Moshoeshoe I in 1822. Moshoeshoe, a son of Mokhachane, a minor chief of the Bakoteli lineage, formed his own clan and became a chief around 1804. Between 1821 and 1823, he and his followers settled at the Butha-Buthe Mountain, joining with former adversaries in resistance against the Lifaqane associated with the reign of Shaka Zulu from 1818 to 1828.

General information about Lesotho has been summarized to include the following;

Background and geography of Lesotho

Economy of Lesotho

Membership of regional and international organisations

Population and Health of Lesotho

Transport system in Maseru Lesotho

Vision of Lesotho 2020

For more reading

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/lesotho

http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/lesotho.htm

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