'Muso OAU Lesotho (Sesotho)
Kingdom OF Lesotho (English)
Kingdom of Lesotho
Flagge Lesothos Wappen Lesothos
(detail) (detail)

Wahlspruch: Khotso, Pula, Nala
(Sesotho for: Peace, rain, prosperity)

office languages English, Sesotho
capital Maseru
system of government parliamentary monarchy
king Letsie III. (David Mohato Letsie Bereng sea-ISO)
prime minister Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili
surface 30,355 km ²
number of inhabitants 1.867.035 (conditions July 2005)
population density of 67 inhabitants per km ²
gros domestic product/inhabitant $702 (143.) Conditions: May 2005< /small>
Independence from Great Britain to 4. October 1966
currency Loti
time belt UTC +2
national anthem Lesotho Fatse La Bontata Rona
Kfz characteristic LS
Internet TLD .ls
preselection +266
Karte Afrikas, Lesotho hervorgehoben
Karte Lesothos

the Kingdom of Lesotho (Sesotho: [le'soːto]), in former times Basutoland, is a parliamentary monarchy in the southern Africa. Lesotho is an enclave in South Africa, thus completely by its only neighboring country is enclosed, belonged however at no time politically to this. The name of the country meant translates country of the Sotho - speaking humans, whereby the southern Sotho is meant here. The country lies between 29 and 30 degrees southern latitude as well as between 28 and 30 degrees of eastern length. Due to its special altitude the country becomes also The Kingdom into the Sky (English for: The kingdom in the sky) mentioned.

Table of contents


the Kingdom of Lesotho is one of the smallest countries of Africa and has at 30.355 km ² about the size of Belgium. Therefore Lesotho is surrounded completely by South Africa and has no entrance to the sea. With its only neighboring country Lesotho about 909 km border divides. The country borders in the west and the north on the South African province Free State, in the east on KwaZulu Natal and in the south on the province east cape. Lesotho is one from world-wide three countries, which will surround completely by only another country. The other two are San Marino and the Vatikanstadt, which lie within Italy.

Topographic map of Lesotho

the largest part of Lesotho is appropriate for the so-called Highveld (in Lesotho Lowlands” mentioned) on a high plateau, which represents the main settlement area of the country. The eastern high surfaces (“Highlands”) lie partly over 2000 m highly, in the west lie the country on approximately 1400 to 1600 M. Almost in a crescent-shaped manner, beginning in the southwest and ending in the north, the country is surrounded by the Drakensbergen (called in Lesotho Maloti mountains), which reach a height of nearly 3500 m. The western Ausläufer of the mountains flattens on approximately 1500 m. The highest mountain of the country and also the entire southern Africa is the Thabana Ntlenyana with 3482 M. at the same time. The deepest point of the country is because of the confluence of the Oranjes (called in Lesotho Senqu) and the Makhaleng river on approximately 1400 M. A world-wide unique geographical condition is the altitude of Lesotho. As only independent country the entire national territory is appropriate for the earth over 1000 m, whereby additionally about 80% of the surface lie over 1800 m.

In Lesotho rise the two important South African rivers Oranje and Caledon, which formed deep of Canyon along the river courses. At the abort edges of the basalt rock, from which the Drakensberge is formed, one finds innumerable Wasserfälle, of which is the Maletsunyane cases with Semonkong with approximately 192 m the highest in the southern Africa. The soil of the plateaus at the transition to the Highveld in the west consists of soft sandstone. Therefore and also because of over settling and straining the soils (only about 11% of the national surface are agriculturally usable) these suffer here particularly strongly from erosion.

Natural resources of the country are water as well as some few diamonds and other minerals. The rich of water reservoir with an estimated daily discharge of 7280 millions Litres are starting point for large-scale projects for the energy and water supply. In the context Lesotho of the Highland Water Projects was begun with the building by several dams, is the largest of which the Katse dam.

climate and vegetation

by the situation in the Southern Hemisphere are opposite the seasons in Lesotho the European. The climate is moderately warm by the high situation of the entire country. In the winter, between June and August, will it often very cold and in in the altitudes in the east can snow fall. During the day it is sunny in addition, in the winter, during the entire yearly has Lesotho on average about 300 sun days. In the summer months between November and March it is predominantly hot in Lesotho. By the altitude the temperatures can vary during the daily very strongly (between -15° C at night and up to 30° C during the daily). The average yearly temperature in the capital Maseru amounts to 15° C. In the high mountain situations of the Drakensberge all year round snow is possible. About 85% of the annual precipitation - in the state average about 600 to 800 mm - fall during the summer, why the landscape is in the dry winter months often dried up and verödet.

Klimadiagramm von Maseru
Climatic diagram of Maseru
snow in the mountains of Lesotho

Flora and fauna

in the entire country gives it very few trees. These are limited mainly to situations protected valleys. Tree species most frequently which can be found are oil trees and kinds of aloe. In the altitudes of the country mountain pastures prevail forwards, in the deeper areas of the west are above all to grass country to be found.


population trend of Lesotho
old person Basotho woman with small girl

the mountain kingdom Lesotho is one of the few African national states, which possesses a homogeneous state people with a common culture, identity and a tradition. The 1.867.035 inhabitants of the country are ethnical almost complete (about 99%) the southern Bantuvolk of the Basotho, that under chieftain Moshoeshoe I. from many single trunks one combined to add. Small minorities in the country are groups of Zulu, Xhosa, Europeans and Asiaten.

Due to the geographical conditions the population is very unequally distributed within the country. About 70% live in the deeper western regions, preferentially in the river valleys. Here are also the few fruitful areas of the country. The largest population centre is the capital Maseru and their closer environment. Unemployment in the country amounts to about 45% and is world-wide thereby one the highest. This ratio rose in the time since the end of the apartheid in South Africa strongly, since many Basotho, which were busy as migratory workers mainly in the mines of South Africa, to whose locking again back into the country came. At present still about 30% all inhabitant of Lesotho in the neighboring country South Africa work. The remainder depends almost completely on the agriculture.

In the year 2005 the population portion over 60-jährigen of the inhabitants amounted to about 5.5%, whereas about 37% of the total population were under 15 years. The average number of children for each Basotho woman amounts to 3.44, the infant mortality lies with 8,5% and the illiterate ratio in the country amounts to 25%.

AIDS in Lesotho

major item: AIDS in Africa

AIDS is in Lesotho, like also in all other states of the southern Africa, the largest demographic problem. In the year 2003 were estimated infected up to 29% of the population with the rear virus. This is world-wide after Swaziland and Botswana the third-highest rate. The absolute number of the gotten sick ones amounted to in the year 2003 about 300,000 humans, estimated 29,000 inhabitants of the country fell the illness 2003 to the victim. Up to the year 2015 a rise on over 40% is prognosticated. Under the ernorme propagation of AIDS the population growth slowed down in the past years constantly and lies in the year 2005 with approximately 0.08%. Just as rapidly in the past years the average life expectancy, which sank from approximately 50 years in the year 2000 on 33 years for men and 35 years with women in the year 2005, decreased.

The reasons for the large number of the gotten sick ones are to be explained among other things also by clearing-up politics lacking of the government. Only after the illness could spread over years almost unhindered, the government started a country-wide program for the clearing-up and fight against AIDS, as well as for the support of infecting in the year 1999.

languages and religions

official office languages of the country are Sesotho (southern Sotho) and English. English than office language mainly native language of 99% of the population is to be justified is Sesotho by the time than British Protekorat. Other languages worth mentioning of the country, which are spoken however of a very small subpopulation, are isiZulu and isiXhosa.

About 80% of the total population are Christians, about which again half is catholic, 40% Protestanten and 10% Animisten. Other groups of religions are Muslims, Hindus and member of nature religions.


early history

the mountain country of Lesotho became about 25,000 v. Chr. from the San, a hunter and collecting tank people, settles. From the numerous excavating and rock painting, which left these peoples in the southern Africa, about 5000 is in Lesotho to find is, for example in the Drakensbergen with hectar Baroana.

During the migration of the Bantu trunks, approximately in 4. to 5. Century began, arrived the Nguni peoples into the southern Africa and established themselves as farmers and Hirten. During the next centuries the area today's Lesotho von Norden was settled coming by the Bantu. Those up to then resident San became of the Basotho - and Tswana used - groups there for instance starting from that 11. Century ever further displaced and today Südafikas and Lesotho are no longer resident in these regions. Starting from that 14. Century covers the settlement area of the Basotho large parts of the today's South African province Free State and the western part today's Lesotho, whereby the settlement emphasis was because of the fruitful banks of the Caledon. The Bantu lived there in small communities mainly on agriculture and cattle breeding, whereby that led knappe usable country again and again to unrests under neighbouring trunks.

the rule of king Moshoeshoe I.

Route of the large Treck of the Buren and settlement area of the Sotho in 19. Century

at the beginning 19. Century continued to increase the large Zulu king Shaka his realm ever and the area, in which the trunks of the Basotho lived, should next follow. In violent arguments it was united and led the Basotho, from the 1820 to the chieftain appointed Moshoeshoe I.to resist, possible, the attack the Zulu and secure their country. Moshoeshoe let fortresses in Butha Buthe and Thaba Bosiu establish, where he offered protection to many refugees. By skillful negotiations it succeeded to it to extend its sphere of influence by securing itself the favour and the confidence of neighbouring trunks. It is called therefore often as Moshoeshoe the large one and is considered founder of the Basotho nation. As support in the foreign policy of its kingdom it won the French Missionar Eugen Casalis.

Starting from the year 1830 the Buren on the search to country for new settlements penetrated and crosses for the first time the Vaal. When ever more Voortrekker than consequence of the tensions between Dutchmen and the British pulled on the cape in the so-called large Treck between 1836 and 1838 after northeast, it came to arguments of the Europeans with the troops Moshoeshoes. Soldiers of the again-created Oranje Free State penetrated always far into the settlement area of the Basotho, which caused chieftain Moshoeshoe to ask the British for protection. 1843 were signed between the Basotho and the British cape colony a protection contract, which was again dissolved however in the year 1859, in order to relieve the strained British relations with the Burenrepubliken. A renewed attack of the burischen troops 1865 the realm Moshoeshoes could a majority of its fruitful areas on the Highveld not withstand and had to the Oranje Free State deliver. Briefly before a final defeat of the Basotho the British intervened, since they were afraid a too large expansion of the Burenstaaten, and placed the remaining country in the year 1868 as Basutoland under British protectorate. Moshoeshoe succeeded it however to guarantee by skillful diplomacy the autonomy of its realm. One year after its death 1870 was lost the autonomy and to Basutoland to the cape colony was attached.

British crowning colony Basutoland

the Basotho people under the new king Letsie I. no agency in the parliament of the cape colony was granted, on which it came to rebellions against the British. This led to the fact that sämliche firearms of the Basotho were konfisziert. The Gun so following on it mentioned was between 1879 and 1883 was in such a manner expensive and unsuccessful for the cape colony that Basutoland was placed in the year 1882 again directly under British administration and in the year 1884 as the British crowning colony was explained.

When in the year 1910 the South African union is created, Basutoland leaned, just like Betschuanaland (today: Botswana) and Swaziland the integration into the new independent state off. In the year 1938 the British government decided an administrative reform, by which the number of the master chieftains and their authority was drastically reduced. , The Chiefs led this and the structural change within the country, mainly urbanization and better educational facilities during the following decades to a clear influence loss of the king house and. After the Second World War, in which also some thousand soldiers from Basutoland on sides of the allied ones participated, the tendency grew party ( BNP) or the Basotho Congress party (BCP ) after independence and led to the establishment of several movements of independence, like the Basotho national. 1959 were signed the first colonial condition and permitted in the year 1960, the coronation/culmination year of Moshoeshoe II., the first free elections of the country. The BNP won and led the following elections of the yearly 1965 scarcely Basutoland one year later with the new name Lesotho into independence. As system of government the constitutional monarchy was selected, first prime minister of Lesotho became a BNP chairman Leabua Jonathan.

since independence 1966

after the choice victory of the oppositionals BCP in the choice of 1970, the condition set, proclaimed anullierte prime ministers Jonathan the result repealed the state of emergency and drove king Moshoeshoe II. temporarily in the exile. Members of the opposition parties were arrested, the remaining oppositionals proclaimed after the publication of a transition condition 1973 a government-in-exile , which remained however insignificant.

The statement of South Africa released tensions with regard to foreign policy, Lesotho supports the anti-apartheid movement ANC forbidden in South Africa in the years 1982/83. The white minority government of South Africa imposed thereupon sanctions against economically strongly the kingdom dependent on the large neighboring country and implemented spleen acre actions against Lesotho. The refusal Jonathans to extract and drive it from the country from the ANC the support out, led after unrests relating to domestic affairs for many years to a Militärputsch under general Justin Metsing Lekhanya in the year 1986, in which the government-faithful interCIM national assembly was dissolved and a military advice was educated. King Moshoeshoe II. with extensive executives and legislations rights and prevailed up to its renewed Vetreibung in the exile 1990 together with the chairman of the military advice Lekhanya was strengthened.

One year after the coronation/culmination of king Letsie III. in the year 1990 general Lekhanya was set off from major general Elias Phisoana Ramaema, the new chairman of the military advice. This introduced the emergence of a new democratic condition in the year 1993. The first free elections were won of the BCP. Only one year later, in August 1994, loosened king Letsie III., supported by the military, the parliament and sets parts of the condition repealed. The Putsch broke down however after approximately one month, so that the old government could be used again. 1995 turned king Moshoeshoe II. back on the throne, deceased however with a car accident in the year 1996, so that its son Letsie III. to 31. October 1997 back-got. The choice of 1998 could be won by again created Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD ) under the guidance of Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili. By the Mehrheitswahlrecht the party 79 of the 80 seats in parlament won. Thereupon revolting opposition parties in bloody arguments almost paralyzed the entire public life. From fear of a renewed coup d'etat troops from South Africa and Simbabwe on requests of the prime minister were called in the country, in order to stabilize the situation. After a phase of the relaxation and a change of the right to vote the last soldiers could leave the country until 2001 again. The choice of 2002, which the acting prime minister Mosisili could again win, was recognized by the opposition and a broad majority of the population.



the condition of Lesotho became to 2. April 1993 discharges. It specifies the system of government of the country as konstituionelle monarchy with two-chamber parliament . The Wahlalter for the elections for national assembly is at 18 years. Likewise the division of power is fixed and an independent law system is guaranteed.

In addition in the condition become the human rights, as for example freedom of reunion, talking and pressing, freedom of religion, which to right to personal liberty, protection from hard labour or the protection of the Privatsphäre and the private property guarantees.


of the prime ministers of Lesotho, at present Pakalitha Mosisili (since 23. May 1998), is a chairman of the government and the cabinet and holds the implementing force. The prime minister is not selected. Condition in accordance with the chairman of the largest parliament party takes over automatically this office. During the years 1986 to 1993 the office of the prime minister was suspended and the office business by the chairman of the military advice was implemented.

The king, at present Letsie III. (since 7. February 1996), has to a large extent only representative functions and an active participation in the political happening is forbidden it by the condition. The monarchy is hereditary, additional can however according to a traditional law by the advice of the master chieftains be determined, who the successor of a deceased of king becomes. This comes into force then, should be still under age the successor. Also the joggle of a king can be ordered by this advice.


the legislative force in Lesotho lies in the hands of the parliament, which is divided in two chambers. As upper house the senate, the House of Commons functions is the national assembly.

The senate consists of 33 members, from whom 22 master chieftains of the country are. The majority of these members are descendants of Moshoeshoe I. and continue to leave their seat in the senate to their descendants. The remaining eleven members of the senate are determined by the king on suggestion of the government. Present president of the senate (conditions: January 2006) is Sempe Lejaha. Major task of the senate in accordance with the condition is the revision and examination of law collecting mains, which come from the national assembly, in addition, the draft of laws. The second chamber, the national assembly is selected directly by the people in general, free, same and secret choice. A legislative period takes five years. The House of Commons has at present 120 seats, by which 80 in majority choice and 40 over elections on the basis of proportional representation is selected. Chairman of the national assembly is Ntlhoi Motsamai (conditions: January 2006).


the juridical system in Lesotho is based, just as South Africa, on a combination from Angloamerikani systems of the Common Law and the novel the Dutch Law, a common right of Dutch coinage, which deduces itself of Roman right.

The law of the country is non-partisan and independent in accordance with the condition. Highest law instance is the highest court, whose chairman is suggested by the king. Subordinated local courts, in the cities and traditional courts, are predominant which exist mainly in rural areas.

government and parliament

since the Verabschiedung of the new condition in the year 1993 took place in Lesotho three elections. The Basotho Congress party (BCP ) could decide the elections of 1993 for itself and won, under the Mehrheitswahlsysstem, all seats in parlament. On it following the parliamentary elections of 23. Brought May 1998 to again created Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) 79 of the 80 seats. After unrests and rebellions of the opposition 1999 were changed electoral law and the parliament was increased of 80 to 120 seats, whereby 80 seats are still selected by a majority choice system. The remaining 40 seats are determined since then by elections on the basis of proportional representation.

The last elections, which became several times shifted before, found to 26. May 2002 instead of. The governing LCD achieved strongest opposition party with 54% of the delivered voices the absolute majority, which corresponds to 74 seats in the Nationalversamlung, became the Basotho national party (BNP) with 22,4% of the voices (21 seats in parlament). Further small parties could secure themselves altogether 18 seats in parlament. The acting prime minister is Pakalitha Mosisili, that the country since that 23. May 1998 governed and its cabinet 18 Ministers covers at present. The next elections for national assembly are at present planned for May 2007.

Important political targets of the government at the beginning 21. Century are comprehensive privatisation measures, since many of the usually national enterprises are down-kept house and in marodem condition, in addition measures against the food scarceness, high unemployment and AIDS.

See also:

foreign policy

by the geographical location depends very on the political and economic developments of South Africa the country. Accordingly the foreign policy of Lesotho was for a very long time almost exclusively certain from the political relations to the large neighbour. Lesotho came during the time of the apartheid politically under the pressure of the white minority government of South Africa, since accusations were raised that asylum was granted to political refugees of the ANC in Lesotho. Since the end of the apartheid in South Africa the relations between both states is friendly.

Lesotho is member in different regional economic organizations like the development community for the southern Africa (English: Southern African development Community, SADC) and the customs union of the southern Africa (Southern African Customs union, SACU). The moreover Lesotho is today among other things member of the UN, the African union (OUTER ONE) and the Commonwealth. All western states maintain diplomatic relations with Lesotho, many have a constant message seat in the country.


Force (LDF) consists security politics the security forceses of the country , a small and badly equipped army with estimated 3500 soldiers, and Lesotho Mounted policy service (LMPS) , the national police of Lesotho. The army of Lesotho is subordinated to the Secretary of Defense. Since 2002 however the prime minister has the supreme command over the military, since this holds at the same time also the office of the Minister for defense and national security. The police authorities of the country are subordinate to the Minister of the Interior.

Due to the small and relatively weak army it was not possible for the government in the year 1998 to check the revolting opposition whereupon troops from South Africa and Simbabwe had to be called for support in the country.

administrative arrangement

of districts

Verwaltungsgliederung Lesothos

Lesotho is divided into ten districts:

No. District capital surface (km ²) population (conditions: 2001)
1 Berea Teyateyaneng 2222 300,557
2 Butha Buthe Butha Buthe 1767 126,948
3 Leribe Hlotse 2828 362,339
4 Mafeteng Mafeteng 2119 238,946
5 Maseru Maseru 4279 477,599
6 Mohales Hoek Mohales Hoek 3530 206,842
7 Mokhotlang Mokhotlang 4075 89,705
8 Qacha's Nek Qacha's Nek 2349 80,323
9 Quthing Quthing 2916 140,641
10 Thaba Tseka Thaba Tseka of 4270 133,680

most important cities and municipalities

Das Dorf Malealea in Lesothos Bergland
the village Malealea in of Lesotho mountain country

major item: List of the cities in Lesotho

the dye in Lesotho, largest with distance, is Maseru with a number of inhabitants of 316.155 (conditions 1. January 2005). Thus concentrate 13 per cent of the population of the country in the capital region. The indication of the numbers of inhabitants can be only heavily determined due to the extensive settlements and are estimated therefore.

City inhabitant (2005) struggled district
1. Maseru 218,355 Maseru
2. Teyateyaneng 75,115 Berea
3. Mafeteng 57,059 Mafeteng
4. Hlotse 47,675 Leribe
5. Mohale's Hoek 40,514 Mohale's Hoek


the Katse dam on the Oranje belonged in the high country of

Lesotho Lesotho, based at the Pro-Kopf-Einkommen, to the poorest countries in the world and is very strongly agriculturally coined/shaped. In the year 2003 amounted the portion of the population, who of less than a US Dollar per day must living, according to the list of the countries with the largest poverty world-wide to 43%. About 60% of the population are directly in the agriculture active, in which about two thirds of the economical gross income are gained. The large majority of the inhabitants of the country lives either on Subsistenzwirtschaft, that means that they produce agricultural goods mainly for the internal requirement, or as migratory workers, with priority in the mines of South Africa.

From the re-establishment of a demokatischen system 1992 up to the political difficulties after the choice in the year 1998 the economy of the country constantly grew. Under unrests in Maseru and other important cities almost 80% of the infrastructure were destroyed, this had katastophale consequences for the further economic development. While the following years rose the budgetary deficit more strongly and the economy could their strong growth not further continue. In the year 2005 the economy of Lesotho grew by approximately 2%.

Lesotho is with Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa in a common currency area, which edge Monetary AREA, in which the South African edge is recognized in all countries as key currency functioned and. The Loti (Plural: Maloti), which is valid since 1980 in Lesotho, is convertible with a firm rate of exchange from 1:1 to the edge. The inflation rate was in the year 2005 on the average about 4,7%. Lesotho is member of the Southern Africa Common Customs union (SACCU), whose accounting units cause actually also a monetary union.

In the high country of Lesotho a great many important rivers rise, why the country has rich stores of water. With Lesotho Highlands water project, one the largest his kind, the majority of the necessary electricity won and it will become new economic sources of income for the export of water and river opened. Principal client of the water is South Africa, which supplies with it its centers of dense development in Gauteng.

foreign trade

due to the geographical location of the country operates Lesotho the largest part its foreign trade with South Africa and the states of the customs union of the southern Africa (Southern African Customs union, SACU). The country covers its import need about. 89.5% from the SACU countries, about which again approx. 99% on South Africa are void, and to approximately 7% from Asia. The most important import goods of the country are food, building material, vehicles, machines and pharmaceutical products. Relatively small incomes face the high expenditures for imported goods by the export. The most important export goods are clothes, shoes, vehicles, wool, Mohair and living animals. These goods are removed mainly from the SACU (53.9%) and North America (45.6%). Because of the continual commercial balance sheet deficit up to the year the foreign debts on approximately 720 million US$ summed themselves 2000.

Lesotho must take therefore economic support from most diverse international sources in requirement, for example from the United States of America, the World Bank or also the European union. Up to the end of the apartheid in the neighboring country South Africa the country received to more development assistance per head than every other country in the world, in order to support the South Africans immigrierten to Lesotho financially. Public development assistance for Lesotho in the year 2000 amounted to 41.5 million US$.


1992 and 2000 the portion of the public expenditures for the health service


the geographical location and the economic basic conditions of the country is the principal reasons for an only weakly developed traffic system. Majority inhospitable and with difficulty awayable areas in the eastern Hochebenen and in the Drakensbergen is not in many places opened or only with difficulty accessible.

air traffic

Lesotho Airways connected for the 1970er years to the Moshoeshoe internationally air haven, 19 km south of Maseru, among other things with the cities Johannesburg, Gaborone and Maputo. Since the insolvency in the year 1997, which followed a failed privatisation, the country has no more own national airline. Since that time the only international airport of the country is approached only by the South African airline South African Airways, mainly from Johannesburg.


Lesotho has no own railway system. The only railroad line of the country leads from South Africa across the Caledon river into the capital Maseru and attaches the city thereby to the South African Eisenbahnnetz. This line is intended however only for the goods traffic. The railway system of Lesotho is thereby only 1.6 km long. The track width amounts to 1067 mm (cape pure).

road system and motor traffic

in Lesotho prevail, as in the entire southern Africa, left-hand traffic. The public suburban traffic is very badly developed in Lesotho. Since there are only few Buslinien in the country, which are served only very irregularly, the inhabitants of the country use mainly private mini bus taxis for transport. These form, as also in the South African neighboring country, the backbone of public transport. They drive usually firm routes and by Handzeichen are continued, and step out are possible at each time. The entire road system of the country is about 6000 km long, about which approximately 1000 km GET ore are fastened and. Lesotho ordered in the closely settled western part over a well developed and GET ores north south centerline, beginning in the south at the border crossing Makhaleng Bridge close Mohale's Hoek over Mafeteng, Maseru, Hlotse to Butha Buthe in the north. The permissible maximum speed is on highways with 80 km/h and about 50 km/h within closed localities. Due to the different vehicles, which are on the roads on the way, from the ox truck to the truck, and the road safety lacking the traffic is very dangerous and accident pregnant in Lesotho.


the medium landscape is accordingly visible to the national size very. There is only a national television station, Lesotho Television, which nationally one operates. Beside radio still five further private transmitters since the broadcast reform 1998, which are to be received however partly only in certain regions, exist to Lesotho, the likewise national Radiosender. The radio is most important mass medium in Lesotho, since the pressure costs of newspapers are very high and can the majority of the population no television afford. Beside the national broadcasting stations also television and radio programs from South Africa can be received. The press is limited likewise a small number of newspapers, which both in Sesotho and in English publish become.


Basotho Rondavel (round hut)

Lesotho is endeavored for the 1990er years to open the country strengthened for the tourism. The focus lies here on the Drakensberge with various moving possibilities. The most important tourist goals of the country are:

  • Drakensberge and Sani passport
  • Sehlabathebe national park in the east of the country
  • Malealea with surrounding landscape
  • Thaba Bosiu, old fortress of the Basotho

conditions of entry

the entry to Lesotho are possible with a stay of up to three months for citizens of the European union and Switzerland with a tourist visa. The passport must be valid with the entry at least still six months. If necessary a return flight ticket with firm return flight date is to be submitted, as well as a proof over sufficient financial means for the time of the stay. For travelers, those from countries with increased yellow fever danger journeys, is to be submitted with the entry a proof over appropriate inoculation. The Mediakamentenversogung in Lesotho is very bad, why tourists is recommended to carry a well equipped travel pharmacy.


Mokorotlo, traditioneller Basotho-Hut auf lesothischem Nummernschild
Mokorotlo, traditional Basotho hat on number sign of Lesotho

Lesotho is almost exclusively coined/shaped , under the homogeneous ethnical origin of the population, by cultural and traditional customs of the Basotho.

Particularly to emphasize the traditional clothing of the Basotho, on the one hand the Mokorotlo , is a pencil sharpener hat, as well as the covers, which are called on Sesotho Kobo and with artful samples are verziert. The hats are conical, from woven straw and at the point with a aufwändigen knot are held together. The form of the hat was had a feeling for rock Qiloane close by Thaba Bosiu. Here are Moshoeshoe I. and all following chieftains and kings of Lesotho buried and it is today the highest cultural monument of Lesotho. The Mokorotlo is today the national symbol of the country. He was to be found up to the year 1987 also on the national flag at that time of the country and is today on all Kfz Nummernschilder in the country shown.

Still further common and in the everyday life more frequently to find are the traditional Basotho covers, which are carried today still by very many humans in the country. Around the year 1860 chieftain Moshoeshoe I. bought. from through travelers for the first time and it carried one of these covers for English dealers regularly, whereupon ever more Basotho with these Umhängen dressed. Before as clothes mainly animal skin was used. The Basotho carries these covers at each season, since they protect both against cold weather and against heat. The covers are carried with different samples, is the most popular of which the ear of corn as symbol of the fertility or the crown.

see also: Culture of the Bantu

of holidays

in Lesotho gives it the following legal holidays:

Date German name English name notes
1. January New Year new Year's Day
11. March Moshoeshoe day Moshoeshoe' s Day birthday of the state founder and king Moshoeshoe I.
March or April Karfreitag and Ostermontag Friday before and Monday after Ostersonntag
1. May day of the work
25. May hero day Heroes' Day anniversary to the participants of Lesotho of the two world wars
17. July birthday of the present king Letsie III.
4. October day of independence Independence Day
25. /26. December Christmas


the kind of sport of the country most popular most important with distance and is football. Since many good players left the country due to the better life situation toward South Africa, the national football league is however insignificant. Largest international success of the national soccer team of Lesotho, which is since 1964 member in the international federation FIFA, was in the year 2000 the participation in the final around the COSAFA cup, a championship in the southern Africa. With world and Africa championships the crew, those fails from the fans Likuena (Sesotho for: Crocodiles) and by CO coach Motheo Mohapi is called cares for itself at present, regularly in the first qualification rounds and could not ever qualify for a final round.

Further popular kinds of sport are Judo, Taekwondo, boxes, long-distance run and riding. The largest international success of athletes of Lesotho was the profit the gold medal with the Commonwealth Games 1998 in Kuala Lumpur by the marathoner Thabiso Moqhali, as well as the bronze medal with the Commonwealth Games 2002 in Manchester for the Bantamgewicht Boxer Ezekiel Letuka. Lesotho took part since 1972 in so far nine olympic summer games, could obtain there however still no medal success. Best placement of a Athlethen of Lesotho was the 16. Rank of Thabiso Moqhali in the Marathon with the summer games of Sydney 2000.



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Commons: Lesotho - pictures, videos and/or audio files

coordinates: 29° 33 ' S, 28° 15 ' O


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