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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 languages English
Demonym(s) Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)
Government Unitary parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
• King
Letsie III
Pakalitha Mosisili
• 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
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
• Total
$2.127 billion
• Per capita
Gini (1995) 63.2
very high
HDI (2010) Increase 0.427
low · 141st
Currency Lesotho loti (LSL)
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
Driving side left
Calling code +266
ISO 3166 code LS
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. Its population is about 1,800,000. The capital of Lesotho is called Maseru.


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 position is unusual: it is completely surrounded by the country of South Africa and has no borders with any other country. This type of country is called an enclave. Enclave countries are very rare, but Lesotho is one (there are only two other countries like this, 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


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 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

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