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Everything you need to know about Lesotho: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

Lesotho: Former Basutoland and the Smallest African Country

Lesotho became a former British protectorate in 1843 under the name of Basutoland and gained independence only in 1966 under the sovereignty of King Moshoeshoe II. King Moshoeshoe was briefly exiled in 1970 when the Lesotho PM Leabua Jonathan declared a state of emergency only to forge a compromise with King Moshoeshoe that paved the way for his eventual return. The country also witnessed another coup attempt in 1998, which prompted South African military intervention to restore stability in Lesotho. The country also has one of the highest prevalence of HIV Aids in the world.

Lesotho Facts and Stats:

    · National Name: Kingdom of Lesotho
    · Capital: Maseru
    · Total area: 30,350 sq km
    · Population: 2,128,180 (2008 est.)
    · Currency: Maluti
    · Languages: English, Sesotho (both official); Zulu, Xhosa
    · Ethnicity/ Races: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%
    · Religion: Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%
    · GDP (Per Capita): $1,500 (2007 est.)
    · Life Expectancy: Male: 48 years, Female: 56 years (2001 est.)
    · Literacy: 85% (2003 est.)

Lesotho Geography and Climate:
Lesotho is landlocked and located completely within South Africa. It is also the only country, which lies entirely above 1,000 metres above sea level with the lowest point being 1,400 metres above sea level. This fact has imparted great geographical diversity to Lesotho in the form of sandy deserts as well as snow-clad mountains.

Climatically Lesotho enjoys a cool weather year round owing to its high elevation. Most of the rains in Lesotho falls during the summer and is accompanied by thunderstorms. Snow can be chilly in the lowlands where the temperature touches –7 °C.

Lesotho Culture and Economy:
Lesotho culture has strong elements of tribal life and the Lesotho music reflects this element of the culture clearly. The traditional Lesotho music instruments include lekolulo and setolo-tolo, a kind of mouth organ. The traditional Lesotho housing style is called a rondavel and the Lesotho dress styles are centred around the Basotho blanket, which is a thick covering made of wool.

Lesotho has plenty of fresh water, which it supplies to South Africa for supporting its economy, apart from this agriculture and livestock are the major contributors to Lesotho’s economy. Being well endowed with mineral resources has also helped Lesotho’s economy and diamonds, wool, mohair, clothing and footwear comprise the major Lesotho exports. Despite this Lesotho is a severely underdeveloped economy with more than 40% of the population classified as ‘ultra poor’ by the UN. The country is heavily dependent on foreign aid and developmental assistance especially for fighting the high prevalence of Aids among its residents.

Lesotho Tourist Attractions:
Lesotho is unlike other African countries and offers many exciting and thrilling experience to the adventurous tourist. The imposing walls of the Drakensberg and Maluti mountains surround the country in a silo. Being entirely situated 1,000 metres above sea level Lesotho offers exciting mountaineering and trekking opportunities in the form of Thabana-Ntlenyana, the highest peak south of the Kilimanjaro. Mokhotong is the prime tourist attraction in the eastern Lesotho and a treat for bird lovers. Sehlaba-Thebe, which is the only designated national park in Lesotho offers beautiful views of the wildlife and the view of Drakensberg and Maluti mountainranges.

Other Lesotho Tourist Attractions include:

    · Butha-Buthe
    · Leribe
    · Mafeteng
    · Mapeshoane
    · Maseru
    · Matsieng

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March 14, 2012 at 9:33 PM

London, Mar 14 (ANI): Prince Harry's globe-trotting has helped raise more than 2million pounds for his children's charity.

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