Officially known as the Kingdom of Lesotho. This country is very interesting because it is enclaved within another country, which is South Africa.
The capital city of this small country is Maseru.
Continue reading and discover all these amazing facts about Lesotho
1. Lesotho’s geography is unique
Located on the African continent, Lesotho is a landlocked territory situated in South Africa. It’s a small mountainous country, but it is also an enclaved country.
This means that Lesotho’s surrounded by South Africa in all of its cardinal points.
In addition, this small country is almost the size of Belgium. It does have a small international airport in the capital city of Maseru, but often tourists prefer to land and depart from the Johannesburg International Airport.
2. Lesotho is considered to be the highest country in the world
The entire country is situated at or above 1,400 meters above sea level. And, at least 70% of the territory lies above 1,800 meters above sea level, a fun Lesotho fact.
In addition, Lesotho is filled with hills and mountains which makes it a very welcoming country for those tourists who like to do outdoor activities, such as hiking.
Geographically, Lesotho lies on a high plateau, which means that the whole country is located in high areas of the world.
In fact, its highest point is the Thabana Ntlenyana and its found at 3,482 meters above sea level, and, on the contrary, its lowest point is at 1500 above sea level, which, in turn, makes it the only country in the world with the highest low-point level.
This is why the country’s official Kingdom was named The Mountain Kingdom.
Another small fact is that Lesotho has a pub in a very high place, located at 2874 meters above sea level, right at the end of the Sani Pass, which is an iconic road that leads Lesotho to South Africa.
3. The country is a very interesting case study
There are only three independent states that are completely surrounded and are immersed in the territory of a different country. For example, the Vatican City is inside of Italy, San Marino is inside of Italy as well, and, lastly, Lesotho is inside of South Africa.
The first two are both in the Italian peninsula, and they are considered to be microstates within Europe. However, this makes Lesotho the only enclaved country in the world that is situated outside of Italy and Europe.
As a result of this enclave, Lesotho officially recognizes two languages, the Sesotho and English. So, no need to worry, if you ever go to Lesotho they will definitely understand you.
4. In Lesotho, you will be able to find ancient things
Because of Lesotho’s altitude, many things have been preserved. For instance, in Hlotse, dinosaur footprints were discovered not so long ago. They are found in the Subeng Stream, which is a very touristy area in the country, mainly because its located in the Tsehlanyane Natural Reserve, an interesting Lesotho fact.
Paleontologists have claimed that the footprints they discovered were left more than 180 million years ago. Thus, thanks to a combination of Lesotho’s lack of tourism for many years, and the country’s elevation, these footprints were preserved in sandstone.
5. The country is highly dependent on agriculture
Nowadays more tourists can be seen in Lesotho. However, there’s still a long way to go if they would like to become fully dependent on the tourism industry.
This is why they still rely on agriculture in order to live. They produce corn, sorghum, pulses and wheat, and most families have their own land to work on.
Many families either work there or in the textile industry, which is also a big industry within the country, an interesting Lesotho fact.
Lesotho’s economy is also dependent on individuals of the country who have become ex-pats and are now living in South Africa. They usually send remittances to their family that has been left behind in Lesotho, thus this makes a huge impact on the country’s economy.
6. Lesotho is a fairly new country
Even though its history goes back to thousands of years, the modern estate of Lesotho is still a little bit over 50 years old.
There, Lesotho has a Constitutional Monarchy and it represents one of the last three Kingdoms of Africa that are still going strong, – the other two Kingdoms are in Morocco and Swaziland.
Lesotho has had the same King since 1990, and he is King Letsie III. Even though he succeeded his father, King Moshoeshoe II when he was sent to exile, his father came back a couple of years later, in 1996 and became the King again, something unusual in any Kingdom. However, he soon died in a car accident and Letsie became King Letsie III again.
The country was colonized by Britain, but it gained independence from them on October 4th, 1966.
7. Lesotho has a UNESCO World Heritage Site National Park
And citizens are really proud of it. It is called the Sehlathebe National Park and is the home to many endangered species that are only native to these lands.
The interesting fact about this reservoir – apart from housing many flora and fauna autochthonous to this area, is the fact that it is located next to South Africa’s Ukhahlamba National Park, which is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
And, together, the two National Parks form what is called the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site. There are many rock paintings made by the ancient culture of San people, which can date to at least 4,000 years ago, an interesting Lesotho fact.
Even though tourists often prefer to go to South Africa, nowadays Lesotho is welcoming more adventurers who would like to get to know one of the most ancient places on earth.
There’s quite a lot to discover and to do in this country, and many people are becoming aware of this. Lesotho not only has beautiful nature, but it is also a very unique country in terms of its citizens, culture and even geography. Lesotho is definitely worth a visit!
I hope that this article on Lesotho facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!