What is the terrain and geography like in Lesotho?
Maseru (Muh‑SEH‑roo), the capital, has an estimated population of 150,000. It is located 5,000 feet above sea level on the Caledon River, which forms the western boundary between Lesotho and the Free State in South Africa. Surrounded by scenic bluffs and mesas, Maseru has a small central business district and several neighborhoods with good housing. Beyond that, the city sprawls for miles with collections of small tin‑roofed houses and roadside businesses. The surrounding countryside is severely affected by soil erosion, and despite sufficient water, the lowlands have little natural vegetation for much of the year. The landscape, mountainous, bare, dotted with picturesque villages, is starkly beautiful.
Average daytime temperatures are in the high 80°F in summer and can reach 100°F in Maseru. In winter, daytime temperatures average in the mid 60°F and at night sometimes drop to the teens in Maseru. Nighttime temperatures are regularly below freezing in June, July and August. Temperatures in the mountains are even more extreme with snowfalls common in winter. The humidity year round is quite low.