The Kingdom of Lesotho is a country made up mostly of highlands, where many of the villages can be reached only on horseback, by foot or light aircraft. The mountainous country is completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa.
Lesotho has an existing monarch, King Letsie III who has no legislative powers. The Kingdom has a history of internal political unrest involving the armed forces. Due to its geographical location, the Kingdom is heavily dependent on South Africa for trade, resources and security purposes and has suffered extreme drought and food shortages in recent history.
Constitutional Democracy and Monarch
Sesotho and English
Basotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and Other 0.3%
Protestant 47.8% (Pentecostal 23.1%, Lesotho Evangelical 17.3%, Anglican 7.4%), Roman Catholic 39.3%, Other Christian 9.1%, Non-Christian 1.4%, None 2.3%
Tourism is a growing industry in the country. In 2013, travel and tourism contributed about 5.5% to the GDP of Lesotho, with this proportion expected to increase to 6.1% of GDP by 2024. The sector employed 25,000 people in 2013, 4.6% of total national employment. Residents of South Africa, which completely surrounds Lesotho, make up over 90% of the visitors to the country. Many trips are to visit friends and family. Various outdoor pursuits form the most popular leisure activities for tourists in the country. The mountainous terrain draws tourists for hiking, pony trekking and skiing, as well as the use of four-wheel drive trails. The Afriski ski resort operates during the winter months. The most used entry-points into Lesotho include Moshoeshoe International Airport and the land border crossing points of Maseru and Maputsoe. Tourism in the country is overseen by the Ministry of Tourism, Environment & Culture, based in the capital, Maseru.
Migration in Lesotho shares a unique historical and cultural link with South Africa. Residents of South Africa make up over 90% of the visitors to Lesotho, many trips are to visit friends and family. These factors determine significant migration flows between the two countries. In particular, Lesotho plays a major role in supplying workers to South Africa, especially in the mining industry.