Everywhere in Lesotho one will see the small, sturdy Sotho pony, adept at negotiating the steep mountains and gullies and indispensable for carrying the grain to the mill for grinding.
The homogeneous makeup of the country has allowed Lesotho to avoid much of the civil unrest that has plagued other African nations with more ethnically diverse populations.
Over 80 percent of the population live in the lowlands where soil conditions are more favorable for agriculture.
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.
Most Asians are traders while the Europeans are businessmen, technicians, government officials, missionaries, and teachers.
The highlands are sparsely populated with most of the administrative headquarters and towns located in the lowlands area. Sesotho, or Southern Sotho, is spoken in Lesotho as well as in parts of South Africa.
A long rainy season during the summer months (December to February) combined with freezing conditions in the winter (June to August) creates adverse travel conditions which isolate much of the highland areas.
A wealth of rivers and waterfalls makes Lesotho valuable to the surrounding arid industrial areas of South Africa.
Survivors of the wars fled into the highlands of what is now Lesotho and, under the leadership of an African chief named Moshoeshoe, formed the current Basotho ethnic group.