Lesotho

Lesotho Overview

Lesotho is a rugged, mountainous country that is completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Lesotho is sometimes called the Switzerland of Southern Africa because of its beautiful mountain scenery. Lesotho was formerly governed by the United Kingdom as the protectorate of Basutoland. It became independent in 1966.

The Sani Pass is a stunning entry point into Lesotho from South Africa’s Drakensberg National Park and is the gateway to the ‘Roof of Africa’, linking the magnificent scenery of the two mountain ranges. From the heights of the Maluti Mountains, the land descends to the western lowlands where all the major towns are to be found and where two thirds of the population lives.

CLIMATE

Most of Lesotho has a mild, moist climate because most of the country lies more than 5,000 feet above sea level. Annual rainfall averages 28 inches, and most of it falls between October and April. Temperatures in the western plains range from 90 °F (32 °C) in summer to 20 °F (-7 °C) in winter. In the highlands, snowfalls and temperatures often fall below freezing in the winter.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CAPITAL: Maseru
POPULATION: 2.1 million
LANGUAGE: Sotho, English
CURRENCY: Loti
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 220V, 50Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a three pin plug is required.
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +266
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC + 2

TRAVEL WARNING

Do not walk around Maseru or drive in rural areas at night. There have been incidents of muggings and vehicle hijacking, some involving firearms. There have also been incidents of armed robbery in Maseru and increase in gun-related crime. Sporadic demonstrations are possible.

Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk