15 Fun Facts You Should Know About Lesotho

lesotho fun facts

The Kingdom of Lesotho is nestled between the Maluti mountain and the Drakensberg mountain ranges and surrounded by Southern Africa.

Here we have some interesting and unique facts about Lesotho.

1. Lesotho: A Country Rich In Art

Lesotho is famous for its tapestries, wool and mohair rugs, beadwork, pottery, and basketry. The country is also known for its traditional straw hats and decorated Basotho blankets, also known as Kobo, which are a part of local attire.

If you plan to visit the country, October is the best time as the Morija Arts and Cultural Festival takes place during the month.

2. Lesotho Has Continental Temperatures

The landlocked country experiences continental temperature climates. The average temperature ranges between 26°F to 64°F in the winter months, while in summer, the temperature exceeds 50°F.

There is snowfall in the mountainous region between May and September. It is a great tourist destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

Maluti mountains in Lesotho
Maluti mountains in Lesotho

3. Lesotho Is Rich In Natural Resources

Although Lesotho is a small country with 11,720 square miles, it is rich in natural resources. The country is famous for diamonds and water. 

Other than these, Lesotho also exports clothing, wool, mohair, and footwear. An interesting fact is that the global brand Levi’s has a manufacturing industry located here.

4. ‘Basotho Blanket’ Is Common In Lesotho

The warm, colorful Basotho blanket is a strong textile tradition of Lesotho.

The people of the mountain region wear the exuberant blanket. The blanket is also known as Seana Merana and represents family, fertility, and fortune.

Basotho women wearing blankets
Basotho women wearing blankets

5. Lesotho Is Commonly Known As The ‘Kingdom Of Mountains’

Lesotho has a base altitude of 4593 ft. 80% of the country is located 1800 meters above sea level.

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The mountainous country is known as the ‘Roof of Africa,’ ‘The Kingdom of the Sky,’ and ‘The Mountain Kingdom.’

6. Lesotho Houses The Highest Dam In Africa, the ‘Katse Dam’

The highest dam in Africa, the Katse Dam, is located in Lesotho. When at 100% sea level, the surface reaches 2050 meters. It also has the second tallest wall of African dams.

The dam was built under the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. It is a bilateral project between the governments of Lesotho and South Africa. The gravity transfers the water towards South Africa and is used mainly in the Gauteng province.

Katse Dam, a 185m high concrete arch dam on the Malibamat'so River in Lesotho
Katse Dam, a 606ft high concrete arch dam on the Malibamat’so River in Lesotho

7. Three Main Rivers Originate From Lesotho

Lesotho is home to three major river sources. These rivers are the Orange river, the Caledon river, and the Tugela river. 

All these flow into South Africa and develop into the tallest waterfall known as the ‘Tulega falls.’

8. The Daily Common Food Of Lesotho Is Pap

The dish is a cornmeal porridge that consists of oats boiled in milk or water. The porridge is eaten with a thick sauce made from peas, chopped greens, and vegetables.

African porridge, known as pap, or isidudu, with chakalaka chicken livers, a spicy, chili infused sauce
African porridge, known as pap, or isidudu, with chakalaka chicken livers, a spicy, chili infused sauce

9. Cows Hold Value In Lesotho

One of the most important meals among the population of Lesotho is cow meat. Similarly, goats and sheep are raised for milk, wool, and meat.

The chicken is bred to get fresh eggs and is eaten for breakfast.

10. Lesotho Is Well-Known For Mining Diamonds

Diamond mines account for 9% of the total GDP of Lesotho. Among 20 large diamonds, four were discovered in the country.

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One of the largest diamonds in the world was found in Lesotho in 2018. The diamond weighs 910 carats and is also the largest in the history of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

11. Water Is Also Known As ‘White Gold’ In Lesotho

Water is also known as white gold, as the country’s water is pure and clean. South Africa largely depends on the water supply from Lesotho in several regions. Thus, water is a lucrative trade. 

12. A Dinosaur Is Named After Lesotho

Over 200 million years ago, in the early Jurassic period, Lesothosaurus evolved in the now South African country of Lesotho.

The creature’s fossils were found in Lesotho, hence the name ‘Lesothosaurus.’

Life restoration (reconstructed with filaments) of Lesothosaurus.
Life restoration (reconstructed with filaments) of Lesothosaurus.

13. March 11 Is Celebrated As ‘Moshoeshoe Day’

March 11 commemorates the death of the founding father of the country Moshoeshoe I. He died on March 11, 1870.

He successfully appealed to Queen Victoria to develop the country as a British Protectorate and defend it from the neighboring Boer and Zulu forces.

The founding father worked hard to preserve the country’s language, arts, rich heritage, and culture.

14. Don’t Forget To Visit The Sehlabathebe National Park

One of the oldest nature reserves in Lesotho, the Sehlabathebe National Park is famous for its magnificent beauty and peace. The park is situated at an altitude of 7850 ft, between the borders of the southern reaches of Drakensberg and South Africa.

It is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with trout fishing, rock paintings, waterfalls, rock paintings, hiking trails, and much more.

Sehlabathebe National Park
Sehlabathebe National Park (source: seelesotho.com)

15. Houses The Highest Pub In Africa At Sani Pass

The Sani Mountain Lodge between South Africa and Lesotho is the highest pub in Africa.

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The pub is located on top of the Sani mountain pass at 9429 ft. The pass is home to the legendary bearded vultures and Basotho shepherds.


Since discovering how much fun and learning are to be had traveling, Alex has made it a point to tour his home country and continent while still in his heydays. His ultimate desire is to travel farther afield to see the wonders of Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. When he isn’t traveling, he takes his time to write about various places to share his experiences with other global citizens.

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