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Lesotho Geography

    Location: Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa

    Geographic coordinates: 29 30 S, 28 30 E

    Map references: Africa

    Area:
    total: 30,350 sq km
    land: 30,350 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

    Land boundaries:
    total: 909 km
    border countries: South Africa 909 km

    Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

    Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

    Climate: temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers

    Terrain: mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers 1,400 m
    highest point: Thabana Ntlenyana 3,482 m

    Natural resources: water, agricultural and grazing land, some diamonds and other minerals

    Land use:
    arable land: 11%
    permanent crops: NA%
    permanent pastures: 66%
    forests and woodland: NA%
    other: 23% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 30 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: periodic droughts

    Environment—current issues: population pressure forcing settlement in marginal areas results in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, and soil exhaustion; desertification; Highlands Water Project controls, stores, and redirects water to South Africa

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping

    Geography—note: landlocked; surrounded by South Africa

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)