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A map of LesothoA map of Lesotho The tiny, mountainous country of Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa—it is an enclave. The River Caledon runs along its northern border, while the Orange River winds its way across the southern plateau. These two rivers provide Lesotho’s most important natural resources: water and hydropower. Lesotho has a rugged, upland landscape. Because the altitude is so high, the climate in Lesotho is cool and continental. Summers are hot and dry, while winters can be cold and snowy. Sometimes temperatures in the highlands fall as low as -10°C (14°F).

A map of LesothoA map of Lesotho
Katse DamKatse Dam


Even though very little of Lesotho is suitable for cultivation, a large number of its people farm small pockets of land in the foothills between the mountains. They grow corn, wheat and sorghum and raise cattle and goats. Many of the others work in mines and textile factories, or on large farms in neighbouring South Africa. These migrant workers send money home to their families—an important source of income. The rivers that run through Lesotho are vital to its economy. Dams on these rivers provide enough hydro-electric power for the country to be self-sufficient in energy. There is some left over to export to South Africa.

The Basotho blanket is a traditional and popular item of clothing in Lesotho. Men, women and children wear this woollen, colourful blanket like a cape.  

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