Lesotho is a small African nation that is relatively isolated from the rest of the world due to its highly mountainous terrain and landlocked status. It is an enclaved country surrounded by South Africa. Despite having a small size of only 30,000 square km, Lesotho hosts some amazing wonders of nature and culture. Here are some amazing facts about Lesotho:
10. Lesotho Has The “Highest Lowest Point” Of Any Country
Lesotho is a highly mountainous nation. The lowest point here is at 4,593 ft or 1,400 m which is the highest lowest point of any of the world’s nations. It is the world’s only nation to be completely above an elevation of 1,000 m. More than 80% of the country is located above 1,800 meters. Thus, not surprisingly, Lesotho is called the “Kingdom of the Sky”.
9. Lesotho Is Severely Afflicted By HIV/AIDS
According to one report, nearly 50% of the women below the age of 40 in Lesotho suffers from HIV/AIDS. HIV is one of the biggest barriers to development in the country. The government here is constantly striving to overcome this obstacle that reduces the workforce of the nation and causes great economic losses due to increased expenditure on healthcare.
8. Water And Diamonds Are Lesotho’s Biggest Treasures
Lesotho is rich in both water and diamonds. Being a mountainous country, Lesotho has many mountain streams with a potential to generate hydroelectric power. The country is nearly self-sufficient in electricity production. It also sells water and electricity to neighboring South Africa. In 2010, the country earned nearly US$70 million from its sale of both the resources to South Africa. Lesotho also has large diamond reservoirs and diamond export also earns great revenue for the nation.
7. Lesotho Is Completely Surrounded By South Africa
Lesotho is one of three enclaved countries in the world. The other two countries of this kind are San Marino and Vatican City. South Africa surrounds Lesotho on all sides. Thus, Lesotho is the world’s southernmost landlocked nation.
6. Lesotho Is Cooler Than Most Other Countries At The Same Latitude
Due to its high altitude, Lesotho experiences a cooler climate than most other places located on the same latitude.
5. Lesotho Has One Of The Scariest Runways In The World
The Matekane Air Strip is an airstrip in a remote part of Lesotho that is often used by doctors and aid organizations to reach Lesotho’s remote villages. However, take-offs at this airstrip are reported to be quite scary. The runway here is a mere 400 m long and ends in a precipitous drop of about 1,600 ft. Thus, it is regarded as one of the scariest runways in the world.
4. The Highest Pub In Africa Is Located Here
The Sani Mountain Lodge in the Sani Pass is regarded as Africa’s highest pub. Here tourists enjoy a drink above the clouds. The pub is, in fact, located at the border between Lesotho and South Africa. The Sani Pass connects these countries. The pub has an elevation of 2,874 m or 9,429 ft. Drinking here is like drinking in two countries at the same time.
3. Lesotho Has One Of The Largest Dinosaur Footprints Ever
Lesotho is highly popular among paleontologists and archeologists since one of the largest dinosaur footprints in the world has been discovered here. The earliest discoveries of dinosaur fossils in Lesotho were made by the early explorers and missionaries who arrived in Lesotho. A treasure of bones, shells, and fossils of the pre-historic times are located here.
2. The “Leosthosaurus” Dinosaur Is Named After Lesotho
The “lizard from Lesotho” or the “Leosthosaurus” was a dinosaur that inhabited South Africa and Lesotho in the Jurassic period. It was an omnivorous dinosaur with a length of about 6.6 ft. It was named so by Peter Galton, a renowned American paleontologist.
1. Cave Dwellers Still Exist In Lesotho
In the district of Berea in Lesotho, a group of people still live in mud caves in the mountains. The cave dwellings found here were built in the first half of the 19th century by a local tribal chief named Chief Teleka. He belongs to the Basia clan residing in the region. The caves were built so that his people could hide from the invading Basotho people. The Basotho had resorted to cannibalism following a late 18th-century drought in their area of living. Today, the Kom Caves are also visited by tourists from all corners of the globe.