Maseru, Lesotho

Maseru, Lesotho

According to abbreviationfinder, Maseru is the capital of Lesotho and the district of the same name. It is located in the northwestern part of the country, on the banks of the Caledon River, very close to the border with South Africa. The population according to the 2010 estimate is 253,874 residents. This city is the headquarters of the Lesotho Agricultural University (1955).

Lesotho

Country located in South Africa that is completely surrounded by the South African Republic. Most of its population is concentrated in rural areas and this fact means that the highest percentage of workers is concentrated in the primary sector.

History

Maseru grew from a settlement of settlers during the 19th century, under the reign of Moshoeshoe, the founder of the Basuto nation. Officially, the city was founded in 1869, after the British declared Basutoland a protectorate and established their administrative capital at the top of Griffith Hill, the current center of Maseru. Originally, the capital housed only the home of the government delegate, James Henry Bowker. When Basutoland became a British colony in 1884, Maseru remained its administrative capital, but did not begin to prosper as a major city until 1905, when the railway line connecting Bloemfontein arrived at the enclave.and Natal. At that time barely a thousand people lived in Maseru.

In the 1920s the population grew a lot due to the rural exodus. Like many other colonial cities in southern Africa, Maseru maintained a segregationist regime of government for much of the 20th century through various laws that had its greatest exponent in the existence of two clearly differentiated areas in the city that were known to the expressive names for “Dark City” and “White City”. With the arrival of independence, Maseru became the only relevant urban center in the new state of Lesotho.

Geography

The territory of Lesotho is very mountainous and is framed in the western part of the Drakensberg Mountains; Among them is the Thabana Ntlenaya, at 3,482 m, it is the highest mountain in southern Africa. The largest watercourse is the Orange River which, together with its tributaries, endows the country with enviable water resources

Location

Maseru is located in the north-western part of Lesotho, on the banks of the Caledon River, very close to the border with South Africa

Climate

The climate is subtropical, with mild and even cold temperatures, due to the high altitude. Continentality causes large thermal oscillations. Rainfall is abundant, especially in the wet season, which corresponds to the southern summer

Population

The city is the largest urban nucleus in the country, and practically the only one. According to the 2006 census, it had 227,800 residents. The 2010 estimate refers to 253,874 residents. See population of Lesotho.

Economic development

Maseru’s economy is focused on the export of farm and agricultural products in general; It is a commercial center for the sale of cattle, hides, wool and cereals that are produced in the region, another resource of many of the residents of the city is the remittances of money by migrant relatives who work in South Africa

Tourist attractions

Nightlife is scarce in Maseru, but the traveler will find some places where they can have fun, especially in the hotels themselves. Lesotho, being a mountain country, offers the traveler the possibility of practicing all kinds of mountain and adventure sports such as trekking, climbing, mountaineering or hiking. The visitor can also swim in one of the lakes in the country.

Culture

Crafts

Typical Lesotho crafts produce utensils made of leather, copper or brass and basketry. They are also made in precious metals like gold and silver. Finally, wool tapestries with traditional motifs are highly appreciated.

Religion

Most of the population are Christians (Catholic, Evangelical or Anglican) another part profess traditional religions and a Muslim minority

Languages

The official languages are Sesotho and English.

Holidays and traditions

The 4 October is a national holiday celebrating independence day

Heritage

In Maseru you can see some colonial churches built by French missionaries at the beginning of the 20th century

Transport

Lesotho Airways is the company in charge of chartering domestic flights departing from Maseru. There are no trains. The buses are very cheap, although the comfort is spartan. You can rent cars in Maseru. Only part of the road network is paved (around 600 km in total).

Maseru, Lesotho