Photo by Tristan Joubert


Lesotho is a landlocked country located in the southern part of Africa. It is entirely surrounded by South Africa and is known for its mountainous terrain. The entire country is situated at high altitudes, and it is often referred to as the “Kingdom in the Sky.”

Maseru, located in the western lowlands serves as the capital and largest city of Lesotho. Sesotho and English are the official languages of Lesotho. Sesotho, also known as Southern Sotho, is the national language and is widely spoken across the country.

Lesotho has a population of around 2 million people. The majority of the population is of Basotho ethnicity. It was established as a kingdom in the early 19th century under King Moshoeshoe I. It successfully resisted colonisation by the British and maintained its independence.

Lesotho gained independence on October 4, 1966. It has since remained an independent constitutional monarchy.


Lesotho operates as a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. The King of Lesotho is the ceremonial head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government.

Its economy is largely based on agriculture, textiles, and remittances from Basotho working abroad. The country has faced challenges such as high unemployment and poverty rates.

Basotho culture is rich and vibrant, with traditional music, dance, and arts playing a significant role. The Basotho blanket is a distinctive cultural symbol, and traditional ceremonies, such as initiation rites, are important cultural practices.

Thaba-Bosiu, meaning “Mountain at Night,” is a mountain fortress that holds historical and cultural significance in Lesotho. It served as the residence of King Moshoeshoe I and played a crucial role in the defense against invasions.

Lesotho is known for its pony trekking opportunities. The sturdy Basotho pony is a common means of transportation in the mountainous terrain, and exploring the landscapes on horseback is a popular activity for visitors.

The Sani Pass, a mountain pass connecting Lesotho and South Africa, is renowned for its challenging terrain and stunning scenery. It’s a popular route for those seeking adventurous border crossings.


This national park, located in the southeastern part of Lesotho, is known for its alpine meadows, rock formations, and diverse flora and fauna. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Lesotho has the distinction of having the highest low point of any country. The lowest elevation in Lesotho is still over 1,400 meters (4,593 feet) above sea level.

Hidden Insights: Uncovering Lesotho

1. Semonkong: Lesotho is home to Semonkong, which translates to “Place of Smoke.” This area is known for the Maletsunyane Falls, one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in southern Africa. The falls are a stunning natural attraction, and adventurous activities like abseiling are popular in the area.

2. Traditional Hats (Mokorotlo): The traditional Basotho hat, known as the Mokorotlo, is a symbol of Lesotho’s cultural identity. It is often worn during ceremonies and celebrations. The hat has a distinctive conical shape and is made from woven straw or fiber.

3. Dinosaur Footprints: Near the town of Moyeni, there are preserved dinosaur footprints that date back millions of years. These tracks, known as Subeng Stream Dinosaur Footprints, offer a glimpse into Lesotho’s prehistoric past.

4. Traditional Music Instruments: Lesotho has a variety of traditional musical instruments. The lekolulo, a mouth organ made from animal horns, and the setolo-tolo, a single-stringed instrument, are among those used in traditional Basotho music.

Photo by unknown

Photo by unknown

Capital City: Maseru

Population: 2,210,646 (2023)

Nationality: Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)

Location: Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa

Languages: Sesotho (official) (southern Sotho), English (official), Phuthi, Xhosa, Zulu

Religion: Protestant 47.8% (Pentecostal 23.1%, Lesotho Evangelical 17.3%, Anglican 7.4%), Roman Catholic 39.3%, other Christian 9.1%, non-Christian 1.4%, none 2.3% (2014 est.)

Area Total: 30,355 sq km

Lesotho Embassy in UK

Address: 7 Chesham Pl, London SW1X 8HN