Lesotho Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Lesotho: population and cities



According to Countryaah website, around 2.1 million people live in Lesotho, of which 1.8 million belong to the Basotho tribe. Among them are a few thousand Europeans and Asians. However, 3.3 million Basothos live in the Republic of South Africa.

Ethnic composition

About 99% of the population of Lesotho are members of the Bantu people of the Basotho. Small minorities of Zulu, Xhosa, Europeans and Asians also live in the country.


affiliation About 80% of the residents of Lesotho are Christians (about half each Catholic and half Protestants), the remaining 20% are followers of traditional African religions.

National languages

The official languages of the country are Sesotho and English. Zulu or Xhosa are spoken of as minorities.

Capital and other cities


Lesotho’s main city and the only major city with around 270,000 residents, Maseru extends along the Caledon River in the west of the country. The relatively modern city is not necessarily very worth seeing for tourists, because it is more the economic and infrastructural center of Lesotho. But there are some colonial buildings to visit in the city center, of which the Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Victories is certainly the most impressive. In addition to the Royal Palace of King Letsie III, the State House, the modern national stadium and of course the parliament building, the National University of Lesotho and the country’s international airport, Moshoeshoe I. International Airport, can be found in Maseru. Also of interest is the grand stand, which was used for the visit of Pope John Paul II. According to Abbreviation Finder, LSO stands for Lesotho in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.


The capital of the Berea district, which is often simply abbreviated as TY, is located about 40 kilometers from Lesotho’s capital Maseru on a high plateau that is 1,600 meters high. The city, founded in 1886, has a fairly high population growth and is Lesotho’s second largest city with around 80,000 residents. It includes many tapestry weaving mills. In the vicinity of the city you can visit numerous rock caves in which cave paintings of the San have been preserved, mainly depicting hunters and their prey.


The capital of the district of the same name, founded in 1874, spreads around 75 kilometers southwest of Maseru. It is Lesotho’s third largest city with an estimated 65,000 residents and includes the company Lesotho Pharmaceutical Corporation, which manufactures pharmaceuticals that are exported to several South African countries. Other larger cities are:

  • Maputsoe with around 20,000 residents,
  • Leribe with around 10,000 residents,
  • Hlotse with around 10,000 residents.

Lesotho: geography, map

The Kingdom of Lesotho is completely enclosed by South Africa. It is the only independent country on earth whose entire national territory is at an altitude of over 1,000 m, with about 80% of the area even being over 1,800 m high. Most of the country lies on a high plateau, the “Lowlands”, from around 1,400 to 1,600 m altitude. The eastern plateaus, the “Highlands”, are up to over 2,000 m high Crossing the country, reaching an altitude of almost 3,500 m. Lesotho borders only on South Africa for a length of 909 km. The country covers an area of 30,344 km²: Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Lesotho.

  • Meadow and pasture landAround 66% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Fields and fieldsAround 11% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing maize, wheat and other types of grain.
  • MountainsAround 23% are pure (unused) mountain landscapes.

Lesotho has no access to the sea and therefore no coast.

Longitude and latitude

Lesotho extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from 28 ° 30 ‘to 30 ° 30’ south latitude Δλ = from 027 ° to 029 ° 30 ‘east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Time of the country

For Lesotho, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time). A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δ t (CET) = +1 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Maseru

Maseru lies at a southern latitude of around φ = 29.5 °.

If the sun or its image point is at the southern tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, summer starts in Maseru, this is December 21st. Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun):

-29.5 ° = – (90 ° – h) + -23.5 °


H = 84 °

With 84 ° the sun in Maseru has the highest level of the entire year above the horizon (more precisely: above the horizon).


The image point of the sun and thus its declination is north of the latitude of Maseru all year round. Therefore the sun is not there at noon in the south, as in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.


The highest mountain in Lesotho is the Thabana Ntlenyana with a height of 3,482 m.

Other high mountains are:

  • Mount Aux Sources at an altitude of 3,300 m
  • Thaba Putsua Range with an altitude of 3,096 m


The Orange River, Caledon and Tugela rivers have their source in Lesotho.


The Katse reservoir has existed in Lesotho since 1997.

Lesotho Population