Detailed Map

Full Name
Kingdom of Lesotho

Area
30,355 sq km

Capital City
Maseru

People
  Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%,

Languages
Sesotho (Southern Sotho, official), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa

Government
Constitutional Monarchy

Prime Minister
Pakalitha Mosisili

Lesotho (pronounced le-soo-too) is a mountainous kingdom completely surrounded by South Africa. It's roughly circular in shape and about the same size as Belgium. Lesotho's forbidding terrain and the defensive walls of the Drakensberg and Maluti ranges have given both sanctuary and strategic advantage to the Basotho (the people of Lesotho).

All of Lesotho exceeds 1000 m (3280 ft) above sea level with peaks reaching well over 3000 m (9840 ft).

The tourist slogan, 'kingdom in the sky', is not far wrong, as Lesotho has the highest lowest point of any country in the world.
To the west, the land descends through foothills to a lowland belt along the border where two-thirds of the population live. Three large rivers, the Orange, the Caledon and the Tugela, rise in the mountains.

For many, Southern Africa's most impressive endowment is its flora, and Lesotho can claim a significant amount of credit for that, with a spectacular diversity of plant life.

One of the most popular and exciting activities for travelers to Lesotho is pony trekking on the tough, sure-footed Basotho ponies. Along the same lines, but without the safety of the cliff-climbing ponies, is hiking with landscapes reminiscent of the Tibetan plateau.