Fast Facts:

1. It is Africa’s 12th smallest country, located in southern Africa and completely surrounded by South Africa.

2. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.

3. Official languages: Sesotho and English

4. Major ethnic groups: Basotho (99.7%), Others (0.3%)

5. Major religions: Christianity (95%), Traditional religions (4%), Other or no religion (1%)

6. The name Lesotho means the land of the people who speak Sesotho.

7. It is called the Mountain Kingdom because its terrain is extremely mountainous and the entire country is over 1000 meters (3280 feet) in altitude. Eighty percent of the country lies above 1,800 meters (5,906 feet).

8. The legendary Sani Pass provides the only road link between KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Lesotho. The steep gravel road, which can only be driven by 4 x 4 vehicles, starts at 1545 meters (5066 feet) and climbs to an altitude of 2876 meters (9436 feet).

9. The Basotho blanket is a wool tribal blanket worn by the people for warmth, but also as a status symbol and cultural identification. The blankets have distinctive designs and more intricate designs indicate a higher class of blanket.

10. The Basotho pony is a national source of pride and the main mode of transport over Lesotho’s rugged terrain.

11. Water and diamonds are Lesotho’s significant natural resources.

12. It’s home to the “Highest Pub in Africa”, located at 2874 meters (9429 feet), at the Sani Mountain Lodge. This is a popular tourist stop.

13. Tourism largely centers around nature, adventure sports, history, and culture.

14. Things to see/do include: Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest point in Lesotho at 3482 meters (11,424 feet); Afriski Mountain Resort, a luxury resort which offers activities for skiers, snow boarders, mountain bikers, hikers, off-road enthusiasts and more; Liphofung Caves and ancient San rock art; Maletsuyane Falls; Katse Dam; and Thaba Bosiu National Monument and Cultural Village.

Map of Lesotho
Video: Top Tourist Places
Video credit: Trygve Roberts