Last updated on February 15th, 2020
Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is an enclaved country within the border of South Africa. It has an area of 30,355 square km. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho was previously known as Basutoland. Lesotho has Sesotho and English as its official languages. Its official currency is Lesotho loti (LSL). South African rand (ZAR) is also used along with Lesotho loti. There are a total of 16 countries including Lesotho that are landlocked in Africa. With these 56 facts about Lesotho, let us uncover more information about it.
1. Lesotho was formerly known as Basutoland. An individual is called a Mosotho and the people are called Basotho.
2. Sotho and English are the official languages of the country.
3. The name of “Lesotho” roughly means the land of the people who speak Sesotho.
4. As of today, more than 40% of the population of the country is below the poverty line.
5. Lesotho is a high-altitude country, situated at an elevation of 2161 m above sea level. It is also famously known as “The Kingdom in the Sky.”
6. “Thabana Ntlenyana” at 3,482 m is the highest point in the country.
7. The junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers at 1,400 m is the lowest point in the country. It is also the highest lowest point of any country in the world.
8. Lesotho is the only country in the world entirely above 1,000 m.
9. In the area, Lesotho is slightly smaller than Maryland, U.S.
10. Lesotho has a total land boundary of 1,106 km.
Flag of Lesotho
11. The increase in the population of the country is causing desertification, soil erosion, and overgrazing. Due to this, the quality of life in the country is being affected.
12. Lesotho is a mountainous country with more than 80% of the country 1,800 m above sea level.
13. Lesotho has one of the highest adult literacy rates in Africa.
14. A large chunk of its population works outside the country which is why foreign remittance plays a significant role in its economy.
15. Many women in the country also work because of poverty, due to the death of their husbands, or due to their husband’s unemployment.
16. Maseru is the capital city of Lesotho. The city is located on the Caledon River. The name of the city means “red sandstones”.
17. About 75% of the country’s population lives in rural areas, and animal herding and agriculture is their main occupation.
18. Almost 90% of the goods that are consumed in Lesotho are imported from neighboring South Africa.
19. Diamond mining is an important part of the country’s GDP and accounts for 9% of it.
20. Kids in the country play soccer to entertain themselves and listen to music.
21. Radio is the most popular form of media in the country. The country also receives radio and television stations from neighboring South Africa.
22. The first phase of Lesotho Highland’s Water Project was officially inaugurated in 2004. This water project is of paramount importance to both Lesotho and South Africa. Lesotho also extracts electrical energy from this project with the help of hydroelectric power planet.
23. Lesotho sees 300 days of sunshine every year. Rainy season in the country falls between October and April.
24. March 11 is celebrated as “Moshoeshoe Day” in the country. This day commemorates the death of the founding father of Lesotho–Moshoeshoe I–on 11 March 1870. He was a great ambassador and a great leader who worked for the country and preserved its language, art, and culture. Learn more about this great leader with these resources: resource 1 and resource 2.
25. Lesotho is pronounced “le-soo-too.”
26. Lesotho has three rivers: the Caledon River, The Orange River, and the Tugela River. All these rivers originate from the Lesotho Mountains.
27. The Katse Dam in Lesotho is the second largest double-curvature arch dam in Africa. It is 185 m high and 710 m in length. The total cost of the project was $8 billion and the dam was completed in 1996.
28. Water delivery from the Katse Dam officially began on 22nd January 1998. However, the majority of the water from the dam is used by South Africa that’s pays nearly $35 million to Lesotho for the water supply.
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