country in SE Africa, surrounded by South Africa: formerly the British protectorate of Basutoland, it became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1966: 11,720 sq mi (30,355 sq km); cap. Maseru
A country of southern Africa forming an enclave within east-central South Africa. Inhabited originally by the San and later by a variety of Sotho-speaking peoples, the area became a British protectorate in 1868 and achieved its independence in 1966. Maseru is the capital.x
- Basutoland, or Lesuto (Lesotho) as the natives call it, forms the south-eastern edge of the interior tableland of South Africa, and has a rugged and broken surface with a mean elevation of 6000 ft.