The Kingdom of Lesotho, located in southern Africa, is bordered on all sides by South Africa. It lies about 320 km inland from the Indian Ocean. Lesotho has a total area of 30 355 km2.
In the west, lowlands varying from about 1500 to 1800 m above sea level are the main agricultural areas. To the east, the Maloti (also spelled Maluti) and Drakensberg Mountains rise to heights of more than 3 400 m. The Orange River has its source in north-eastern Lesotho.
Since most of the country is more than 1 500 m above sea level, the climate is mild, with hot summer days in the lowlands relieved by cool nights. Winter can be cold, particularly in the mountains, with occasional heavy snowfall. Precipitation falls mostly from October through April. In Maseru, located in the lowlands, average temperatures range from 14° to 28° C in January and from -1° to 16° C in July. The city averages 690 mm of precipitation annually.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.