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Detailed history

Short summary

Although it is a young independent nation, Lesotho’s history goes back millions of years.

Fossilised dinosaur trails and discoveries of petrified wood testify to a long natural history, while later the San (bushmen) have left their cave paintings as relics of their later occupation.

A very rural country, the land that is Lesotho was first inhabited by small groups of people from the Nguni branch of the Bantu family, the Mapolane, the Maphetla and the Baphuthi.

The first Sesotho- speaking people were the Bafokeng, who lived side by side with their San neighbours.

Between 1815 and 1829 King Moshoeshoe the Great gathered the remnants of tribes scattered by Zulu and Matabele raids and established a stronghold at Butha-Buthe and later at Thaba Bosiu, less than 30 km from modern Maseru. King Moshoeshoe established the Kingdom of Lesotho and ensured the birth of our modern nation.

In 1966 the Kingdom of Lesotho became a fully independent nation, and the present monarch, King Letsie III is a great grandson of King Moshoeshoe I.

1940 Lesotho z05-shopv.jpg


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