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During the middle of the 1800s, the Basotho nation lost much of its territory to the Boers in a series of wars.Moshoeshoe appealed to Great Britain for protection and the remaining area became a British protectorate. The area now called The Kingdom of Lesotho (pronounced le-Soo-too) was originally Basutoland.Both names derive from the common language, Sotho, which was spoken by the many groups which united to form the nation in the early 1800s.The terrain consists of high veld, plateau, and mountains.The climate is temperate with hot summers and cool to cold winters.The area is ruggedly mountainous, landlocked, and completely surrounded by The Republic of South Africa.
It depicts a mountaintop, conical and topknotted, which is visible from the fortress and tomb of Moshoeshoe I (pronounced mo-SHWAY-shway) near Masaru.
The national anthem is "Lesotho, Land of our Fathers" ( Lesotho fatse la bontat'a rona ). Lesotho was originally inhabited by the Bushmen who roamed southern Africa, as evidenced by the Bushmen drawings and paintings in the river gorges.
During the 1700s and 1800s, tribal wars in southern Africa decimated many tribes.
Lesotho is often referred to as "The Kingdom in the Sky" or "The Switzerland of southern Africa" because of the stark beauty of its rugged mountainous terrain.
It is also described as "The Hostage State" due to the unfortunate situation of being completely surrounded by and dependent upon the Republic of South Africa. Covering 11,718 square miles (30,355 square kilometers), the Kingdom of Lesotho is approximately the size of Maryland.