Lesotho Overview

Lesotho is a small mountainous country in southern Africa surrounded on all sides by South Africa. There is little documented about the history of Lesotho before the 19th century. The place has been inhabited by San people who have left cave paintings in several places. The violent and successful expansion of the Zulu people during Shaka Zulu in the 1820s led to many villages being divided and people fleeing.

Capital: Maseru
Biggest city: Maseru
State: monarchy
Language: sesotho, English
Religion: Christianity, indigenous religions
Surface: 30,355 km²
Population: 2.1 million inv
Population density: 70 residents per km²
Life expectancy: 40 years
Illiteracy: 15%
Currency: loti (LSL)
1 loti = 0.60 kr
GDP per capita: $ 1,200 (2010)
Time difference: +1 hour
Electricity: 250 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: 4 October
Country area code: 266
2-Letter country abbreviation: LS (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: agriculture 73%, service sector and industry 27%
Climate: temperate with cool, dry winters and hot, humid summers

Lesotho flag

In 1868, Lesotho became the British protectorate of Basutoland. Basutoland changed its name to the “Kingdom of Lesotho” upon independence from Britain in 1966. In 1998, a controversial election was held, followed by violent protests and military uprising, which led to South Africa intervening in a brief but bloody military invasion. Following this, the constitution has been reformed and the political situation has stabilized.

The income differences in the country are large and half of the population is very poor. Lesotho has the world’s third highest proportion of HIV-positive people. As many as 28.9 percent of all adults in the country carry the HIV virus. Only Botswana and Swaziland have more people living with HIV.


The following objects in Lesotho are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • Sehlabathebe National Park (2000)


Electricity and electrical outlets in Lesotho

Voltage: 220 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: M

Need an adapter: Yes, Swedes need an adapter.


Weather in Maseru

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 22 21 19 15 11 7 7 10 14 17 19 21
Day °C 30 28 26 22 19 16 17 19 23 25 27 29
Night °C 15 14 12 7 2 0 -1 1 5 8 11 13
Rain (mm) 78 78 81 42 19 12 11 15 22 45 58 64

Lesotho 2


According to Countryaah, Maseru is the capital of Lesotho, and has 227,880 residents (2006). The city is the country’s only urban center of importance. Maseru was a small trading town when it was made the capital of British Basutoland in 1869. It was the capital of the British Protectorate between 1869 and 1871 and between 1884 and 1966. In Maseru, among other things, candles and carpets are manufactured. Lesotho National University and an international airport are located near the city.

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