Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Lesotho is the country in southern Africa that makes the
most reason for the term mountain country. Drakensberg in
the east reaches on the border of Kwa Zulu-Natal in South
Africa up to 3,482 m asl. at the top Thabana Ntlenyana. From
this highland, which is mainly made up of basalt lava in an
up to 1,600 m thick warehouse, the country slopes west
towards the Orange River. The Maloti Mountains further west
and Thaba Putsoa in the south-west separate the valley of
the Orange River from the lowlands at the capital Maseru.
Outside the highlands, the bedrock is dominated by
sedimentary rocks of the Carro formation (about 300–200
million years old), mainly sandstone and shale.
The average temperature in the lowlands around Maseru is
around 16 °C during the year and in the highlands around 6
°C. The rainfall, which mainly falls during the summer
months of November to March, varies between 650 mm per year
in Maseru and 1,200 mm in the north. The country shows
marked temperature differences between the chilly winter,
when it often snows in the mountain regions, and the hot
Plant-and animal life
Most of the natural vegetation is made up of grasslands
that in some areas are affected by annual fires. In
Drakensberg in the east there are many endemic plant
species. On lower slopes there are shrubs with a rich
dryland flora, similar to the one in Karroo in South Africa
but with other species. Tree water and lush bushlands by the
watercourses existed until the 19th century but are now lost
due to the intensive use of the land. In total, there are
about 1,600 species of flowering plants.
Wildlife is also depleted with about 35 species of
mammals and 60 species of nesting birds. Among ungulates can
be mentioned rock-clippers and rock antelope (Raphi ʹ
cerus campe ʹ stris) and among predators scabraches,
caracal and a few leopards. South African hussnok (La '
mprophis fuligino ' sus) and puffadder are among the
more common snakes.
Lesotho had two national parks in 2010. Sehlabathebe
National Park, located in the south-eastern parts of the
country, is a mountainous area dominated by grass water with
rising sandstone cliffs. Tsehlanyane National Park is
located at the confluence of the Tsehlanyane and Holomo
rivers in the country's northeastern parts. The National
Park consists of a hilly mountain landscape in the foothills
of the Maloti Mountains.