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Country (long form) Kingdom of Lesotho
Capital Maseru
Total Area 11,720.13 sq mi
30,355.00 sq km
(slightly smaller than Maryland)
Population 2,177,062 (July 2001 est.)
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Estimated Population in 2050 2,849,325
Languages Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
Literacy 83% total, 72% male, 93% female (1999 est.)
Religions Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%
Life Expectancy 47.97 male, 49.74 female (2001 est.)
Government Type parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Currency 1 loti (L) = 100 lisente
GDP (per capita) $2,400 (2000 est.)
Industry food, beverages, textiles, handicrafts; construction; tourism
Agriculture corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley; livestock
Arable Land 11%
Natural Resources water, agricultural and grazing land, some diamonds and other minerals
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Geography of Lesotho

Lesotho, or Kingdom of Lesotho, an independent country in southern Africa, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa.

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History of South Africa

Discovery of the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias opened the way for Portugal's trade with the East Indies.