Geographical Association

Join the GA

The leading subject association for all teachers of geography

Images of Southern Africa - Lesotho scenery

Lesotho scenery

Lesotho (small landlocked mountain state) gained its independence from the UK in 1966, previously being known as Basutoland. It lies between 1400 and 3482m above sea level and has a population of 1.8 million. The population statistics for 2003 make interesting reading: the birth rate is 27.3 per thousand, the death rate 24.6 per thousand and the net migration rate is -0.74 per thousand. This gives it a population increase rate of 0.196%. Compare these data with South Africa’s: 18.87, 18.42 and -0.35 per thousand respectively, giving a rate of increase of 0.1%. At 83%, the literacy rate in Lesotho is amongst the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, at 93% the female literacy rate is well above that for men (72%).

The government of Lesotho relies on remittances from miners employed in South Africa and customs duties for most of its revenue. The controversial Lesotho Highlands Water Project has, since 1998, provided water for South Africa for which Lesotho receives royalties. Eventually the project will also provide electricity for Lesotho. (See www.lhwp.org.ls and Collecting water 2.)

Lesotho is known as the ‘land of the people of the blanket’, which this image aptly illustrates. The mean temperatures for Maseru (altitude 1970m) range from 10°C in winter (June/July) to 25°C in summer (December/January). The photograph was taken in late July when minimum temperatures regularly fall to below freezing.


Ideas for further exploration:

Detailed information on Lesotho is provided at World Resources Institute.

  • Why do you think there are no trees in this photograph? Can you find out whether this area has always been treeless and, if so, why?
  • There are no signs of any energy supplies such as firewood, electricity and dung cakes, so how do you think the villagers cook their food?
  • What single energy source might make the most difference to the lives of these villagers?
  • The settlement in the photograph is predominantly inhabited by shepherds and their families. How might you explain their presence in this isolated area in winter?
  • What is the link between this village and the Lesotho Highlands Water Project mentioned above?
  • According to the World Resources Institute, only 18 out of 134 countries in the global South have female literacy rates that are higher than male. The female-male difference is greatest in Lesotho. Can you suggest reasons for this?


<<< back to image menu

Comment on this page

Comments made by GA members appear instantly and don't require security words to be entered - make sure you're logged in!   Guest comments will be sent to a moderator for approval.

GA members can add a profile picture and their comments appear instantly

Join the GA

Please complete all fields

Page Tags

Africa

Journals - Free Access for GA Members

The Summer 2014 issue of Primary Geography focuses on 'Cor!' geography, celebrating geography's unique ability to link with every subject in the curriculum and combine this with the subject's awe and wonder

The focus of this issue is 'health geography'. Besides the focus articles it includes many articles that will be useful to teachers planning a new key stage 3 for the autumn.

The Summer 2014 issue of Geography

Online Shop - Up to 30% Discount for all GA Members

SuperSchemes: Barnaby Bear Investigates the World

£14.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

United Kingdom Wall Map and Countries of the World Wall Map

£18.99 / £15.99 *

Add to basket

The Alps: Opportunities and Challenges (DVD)

£61.99 / £50.99 *

Add to basket

SuperSchemes: Investigating Rivers

£14.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

Climate Change (DVD)

£61.99 / £50.99 *

Add to basket

SuperSchemes: Barnaby Bear Investigates the UK

£14.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

The Everyday Guide to Primary Geography: Story

£15.99 / £10.99 *

Add to basket

Countries of the World Wall Map

£10.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

United Kingdom Wall Map

£10.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

Geography Through Enquiry: Approaches to teaching and learn..

£31.99 / £22.99 *

Add to basket
<-- -->

Your shopping basket is empty.

Items in basket 0

Basket Total £0.00

View/Edit Basket

* Applies to Full Personal, Group and
Concessionary members only

Resource Finder

Enter a keyword below or click 'advanced search' for more options


Advanced Search





Resources section
  • Visit the Discover the World website for geography resources
  • Advertisement: Geography Education at the IOE
  • Find out more

© Copyright The Geographical Association 2013

Charity No: 1135148 Company No: 07139068

Website design and development by Ledgard Jepson