About Lesotho, Part 1

by Chikashi

Lesotho is small and mountainous, lying high in the Drakensberg/Maluti Mountain range in Southern Africa. The Kingdom is completely landlocked within South Africa making it the only country in the world completely surrounded by another.

Lesotho is also the only country in the world where all of the land lies above 1000 metres. It has the highest low point of any nation – 4,500ft – and as a result is sometimes known as “The Kingdom in the Sky”. Much of the population of 1.8 million live in rugged, mountainous terrain, only accessible on foot or horseback.

Lesotho was united as a nation in the early 19th Century by King Moshoeshoe the Great. Basutoland, as it was then called, successfully defended itself from the British, the Zulus and the Boers. In 1868 it became a British Protectorate before gaining full independence almost a hundred years later on October 4, 1966. Basutoland was then reborn as Lesotho.

Today, Lesotho is ruled by King Letsie III. The King wields considerable tribal authority but the country is a constitutional monarchy. The Prime Minister, Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili, is the head of government and has executive authority.

The Basotho people of Lesotho all speak Sesotho and are unified by their unique political, social and cultural identity.

The Mountain Kingdom is a peaceful, beautiful but currently, alas, also deeply afflicted country. That is why I am raising money in aid of Sentebale by doing the G2MC charity ride.

* The country description above provided by Sentebale.

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