World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Lesotho Travelling Guide
Lesotho Travelling Guide

General background: Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990. Constitutional government was restored in 1993 after 23 years of military rule.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Maryland

Climate: Temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers

Terrain: Mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains

Population: 2,207,954

Ethnic groups: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%,

Religions: Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%

Language: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa

Government type: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Capital: Maseru

Legal system: Based on English common law and Roman-Dutch law; judicial review of legislative acts in High Court and Court of Appeal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho's primary natural resource is water. Its economy is based on subsistence agriculture, livestock, remittances from miners employed in South Africa, and a rapidly growing apparel-assembly sector. The number of mineworkers has declined steadily over the past several years. A small manufacturing base depends largely on farm products that support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries. Agricultural products are exported primarily to South Africa. Proceeds from membership in a common customs union with South Africa form the majority of government revenue. Although drought has decreased agricultural activity over the past few years, completion of a major hydropower facility in January 1998 now permits the sale of water to South Africa, generating royalties for Lesotho. The pace of privatization has increased in recent years. In December 1999, the government embarked on a nine-month IMF staff-monitored program aimed at structural adjustment and stabilization of macroeconomic fundamentals. The government is in the process of applying for a three-year successor program with the IMF under its Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. Lesotho has a marked inequality in income distribution and serious unemployment/underemployment problems that will not yield to short-run solutions.

Communication/Telephone system: Good general system.

Places of interest: This mountain kingdom has spectacular mountainous areas.

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