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Lesotho History

History and Culture of Lesotho: People and Tradition

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The area now called The Kingdom of Lesotho (pronounced le-Soo-too) was originally Basutoland. Both names derive from the common language, Sotho, which was spoken by the many groups which united to form the nation in the early 1800s. History and Culture Information and Travel Guide.  Vacation package Book. Lesotho is often referred to as "The Kingdom in the Sky" or "The Switzerland of southern Africa" because of the stark beauty of its rugged mountainous terrain. It is also described as "The Hostage State" due to the unfortunate situation of being completely surrounded by and dependent upon the Republic of South Africa. Location and Geography: Covering 11,718 square miles (30,355 square kilometers), the Kingdom of Lesotho is approximately the size of Maryland. The area is ruggedly mountainous, landlocked, and completely surrounded by The Republic of South Africa. It lies between latitudes 28 degrees and 31 degrees south and longitudes 27 degrees and 30 degrees east. The lowlands in the west and south rise from forty-five hundred feet (fifteen-hundred meters) to the highlands of the Maluti and Drakensberg mountain ranges whose highest point, Thabana Ntlenyana, is approximately 10,400 feet (thirty-five hundred meters). Lesotho is unique as being the only nation in the world with all of its land situated more than 3,280 feet (one thousand meters) above sea level. The terrain consists of high veld, plateau, and mountains. The climate is temperate with hot summers and cool to cold winters