Coat of Arms
Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili
» Sesotho, English
» Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)
» Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
» 30,355 km2 (140th)
» 2,067,000 (144th)
» $4.277 billion
» Per capita $2,244
» $2.616 billion
» Per capita $1,372
» Lesotho loti (LSL)
» SAST (UTC+2)
Best of Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave, completely surrounded by its only neighbouring country, the Republic of South Africa. It is just over 30,000 km2 (11,583 sq mi) in size and has a population of approximately 2,067,000. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Best of Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.The name Lesotho translates roughly into the land of the people who speak Sesotho.
Best of Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The name Lesotho translates roughly into the land of the people who speak Sesotho.
Best of Lesotho is geographically surrounded by South Africa and economically integrated with it as well.
The economy of Best of Lesotho is based on agriculture, livestock, manufacturing, mining, and depends heavily on inflows of workers’ remittances and receipts from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The majority of households subsist on farming.
The formal sector employment consist of mainly the female workers in the apparel sector, the male migrant labor, primarily miners in South Africa for 3 to 9 months and employment in the Government of Lesotho (GOL) . The western lowlands form the main agricultural zone. Almost 50% of the population earn income through informal crop cultivation or animal husbandry with nearly two-thirds of the country’s income coming from the agricultural sector.
Water and diamonds are Best of Lesotho’s only significant natural resources. Water is being exploited through the 30-year, multi-billion-dollar Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), which was initiated in 1986. The LHWP is designed to capture, store, and transfer water from the Orange River system and send it to South Africa’s Free State and greater Johannesburg area, which features a large concentration of South African industry, population and agriculture.
At the completion of the project, Best of Lesotho should be almost completely self-sufficient in the production of electricity and also gain income from the sale of electricity to South Africa. The World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and many other bilateral donors are financing the project. Diamonds are produced in Letšeng, Mothae, Liqhobong and Kao mines.
U.S.-Lesotho Trade Facts
Lesotho is currently AGOA’s 133rd largest goods trading partner with $360 million in total (exports plus imports) goods trade during 2013.
- Lesotho was the United States’ 225th goods export market in 2013.
- U.S. goods exports to Lesotho in 2013 were $600 thousand, down 96.1% from 2012.
- The top export category (2-digit HS) for 2013 was: Special Classification Provisions ($138 thousand), Machinery ($119 thousand).
- Lesotho was the United States’ 101st largest supplier of goods imports in 2013.
- U.S. goods imports from Lesotho totaled $359 million in 2013, a 15.6% increase from 2012.
- The top import categories (2-digit HS) for 2013 were: Knit Apparel ($211 million) and Woven Apparel ($110 million). These two categories represented 90% of total imports from Lesotho.
Best of Lesotho offers natural beauty, rugged terrain, and rich local culture and traditions, and a scarcity of civilization’s trappings, such as landlords and fences, provides a permit-free playground for the more intrepid adventurers.
Accommodation can be found in all the regions of Best of Lesotho, some calmly situated on river banks, some on mountain sides, and some at the highest altitude in Southern Africa.
A visitor to Best of Lesotho can choose to stay in a bed and breakfast or hotel in a town or the capital, Maseru, or choose to be spoiled by nature and find chalet or self-catering accommodation deep in the highlands of Best of Lesotho, totally surrounded by beautiful mountains and a peaceful environment.
- Kome Caves — impressive cave houses built by the basotho people to hide from the cannibals. Located an hour drive away from Maseru in the Berea district.
- Semonkong Falls — these falls near Semonkong drop 200m in single plunge! In summer, you can swim in the pond below while in winter the pond freezes over and an ice enclosure develops around the falls.
- Katse Dam — an impressive dam towering 185m in a narrow valley
Dinosaur footprints — well-preserved footprints of these terrible lizards exist around the country; the most accessible are near Moyeni & Morija
- Rock art — found in many places throughout the country, the most impressive found within Liphofung Cave..