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Lesotho - The Mountain Kingdom
The kingdom of Lesotho is entirely encircled by its neighbour, South Africa. Maseru is the capital and from here most visitors venture into the mountains where there is an array of outdoor adventure activities on offer.
Formerly Basutoland, Lesotho gained full independence within the Commonwealth of Nations on October 4, 1966.
Lesotho is also known as the Kingdom in the Sky. It is the only country to be entirely above 1000m
Water is Lesotho's only significant natural resource. It is exploited through the 21-year, multi-billion-dollar Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), which began in 1986.
Currency: 1 Loti (LSL) = 100 lisente Capital: Maseru Time: GMT +2 Main Languages: English and Sesotho Climate: Well marked seasons. Summer rainfall. Snowfall in the highlands Electricity: 220/240 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin, rectangular blade plugs
Loti (LSL) = 100 lisente. The plural of ‘loti’ is ‘maloti’. The South African Rand is accepted as legal currency on a par with the Loti (Rand R1 = 100 cents).
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for Travelers coming from an infected area. Since the most practical way to reach Lesotho is to go through South Africa, it is also necessary to conform to South African health regulations.
The national language is the widely spoken Sesotho but English is also a common language, and that of the business community.
Service charges are not included in hotel and restaurant bills, and tipping is at the client's discretion.
Geography and Climate
Lesotho is a mountainous country surrounded on all sides by South Africa. Its mountainous terrain give it a special beauty. To the west, the land descends through a foothill zone of rolling hills to a lowland belt along the border where two-thirds of the population live. Three large rivers, the Caledon, the Orange, and the Tugela, rise in the mountains. Temperate climate with well-marked seasons. Summer is the rainy season. Snow occurs in the highlands from May to September. The hottest period is from January to February.
90% Christian; mainly Anglican, Roman Catholic and Lesotho Evangelical. The remainder belong to other denominations, including Islam.
All visitors must have a return or onward ticket and all documents necessary for return or onward journeys, as well as sufficient funds for their duration of stay. It is advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.
Travel within the country can be conducted by road between major centres. The road system is underdeveloped and few roads are paved, especially in the rural areas. It is advised not to drive in rural areas at night.