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Lesotho

Population: 1.88 million. Capital City: Maseru

Lesotho is often called the Mountain Kingdom. The country is landlocked and surrounded by South Africa.

The role of the king is largely ceremonial. Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy. It has a prime minister who serves as the head of government and head of the armed forces. There's also a parliament, which consists of an elected and an appointed chamber.

Lesotho holds one of the highest literacy rates in Africa. Its population speaks Sesotho. An estimated 99.7% of the people identify themselves as Basotho.

The Lesotho Highlands Water project exports water to South Africa and produces hydroelectric power for Lesotho.

In Lesotho villages you can see modern and traditional dances. For example, the 'mohobelo' has men stomping and kicking. Women perform their own dance, kneeling in a line and beating the ground with their knees.

The Sehlabathebe National Park protects birds such as raptors. Lesotho is the last stronghold in southern Africa of the magnificent bearded vulture.

Footballer Montoeli Sonopo was the first player from the kingdom to join a European club, when he moved to Atletico Madrid in Spain.

Lesotho became a member of the Commonwealth in 1966.

It made its debut in the Christchurch 1974 Commonwealth Games. Since then the country has taken part in every Games apart from 1982.

Lesotho won its first medal at the Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games, taking the Gold in the Men's Marathon. A Boxing Silver followed four years later.

Another Silver from the boxing ring came at Melbourne 2006. At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Lesotho took part in Athletics, Boxing, Swimming and Tennis.

The Glasgow XX Commonwealth Games are now over. This website is closed and for reference purposes only. Some external links may no longer work. For the latest news and information, please visit the Commonwealth Games Federation website.