The location will be Lesotho, the Kingdom in the Sky.
Event HQ and accommodation partner is Afriski Mountain Resort: https://www.afriski.net/
International teams must book their flights to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg
LESOTHO GENERAL INFORMATION
Lesotho officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is an enclaved country within the border of South Africa. It is one of only three independent states completely surrounded by the territory of another country, and the only one outside of the Italian peninsula. Lesotho is just over 30,000 km2 (11,583 sq mi) in size and has a population of around 2 million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.
Lesotho was previously the British Crown Colony of Basutoland, but it declared independence from the United Kingdom on 4 October 1966. It is now a fully sovereign state that is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The name Lesotho roughly translates to "the land of the people who speak Sesotho
It is the only independent state in the world that lies entirely above 1,000 metres (3,281 ft) in elevation. Its lowest point of 1,400 metres (4,593 ft) is thus the highest in the world. Over 80 percent of the country lies above 1,800 metres (5,906 ft), hence its nickname, ‘Kingdom in the Sky’.
The original inhabitants of the area now known as Lesotho were the San people. Examples of their rock art can be found in the mountains throughout the area.
Rule of Moshoeshoe I (1822–1868)
The present Lesotho, then called Basutoland, emerged as a single polity under King Moshoeshoe I in 1822. Moshoeshoe, a son of Mokhachane, a minor chief of the Bakoteli lineage, formed his own clan and became a chief around 1804. Between 1821 and 1823, he and his followers settled at the Butha-Buthe Mountain, joining with former adversaries in resistance against the Lifaqane associated with the reign of Shaka Zulu from 1818 to 1828.
Subsequent evolution of the state hinged on conflicts between British and Dutch colonists leaving the Cape Colony following its seizure from the French-allied Dutch by the British in 1795.
Missionaries invited by Moshoeshoe I, Thomas Arbousset, Eugène Casalis and Constant Gosselin from the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society, placed at Morija, developed orthography and printed works in the Sesotho language between 1837 and 1855. Casalis, acting as translator and providing advice on foreign affairs, helped to set up diplomatic channels and acquire guns for use against the encroaching Europeans and the Griqua people.
Trekboers from the Cape Colony arrived on the western borders of Basutoland and claimed land rights, beginning with Jan de Winnaar, who settled in the Matlakeng area in May–June 1838. As more Boers were moving into the area they tried to colonise the land between the two rivers, even north of the Caledon, claiming that it had been abandoned by the Sotho people. Moshoeshoe subsequently signed a treaty with the British Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir George Thomas Napier, that annexed the Orange River Sovereignty that many Boers had settled. These outraged Boers were suppressed in a brief skirmish in 1848. In 1851 a British force was defeated by the Basotho army at Kolonyama, touching off an embarrassing war for the British. After repelling another British attack in 1852, Moshoeshoe sent an appeal to the British commander that settled the dispute diplomatically, then defeated the Batlokoa in 1853. In 1854 the British pulled out of the region, and in 1858 Moshoeshoe fought a series of wars with the Boers in the Free State–Basotho War, losing a great portion of the western lowlands. The last war in 1867 ended when Moshoeshoe appealed to Queen Victoria, who agreed to make Basutoland a British protectorate in 1868.
British rule (1866–1966)
In 1869, the British signed a treaty at Aliwal North with the Boers that defined the boundaries of Basutoland, and later Lesotho, which by ceding the western territories effectively reduced Moshoeshoe's Kingdom to half its previous size.
Following the cession in 1869, the British initially transferred functions from Moshoeshoe's capital in Thaba Bosiu to a police camp on the northwest border, Maseru, until administration of Basutoland was transferred to the Cape Colony in 1871. Moshoeshoe died on 11 March 1870, marking the end of the traditional era and the beginning of the colonial era. He was buried at Thaba Bosiu. In the early years of British rule between 1871 and 1884, Basutoland was treated similarly to other territories that had been forcibly annexed, much to the chagrin of the Basotho. This led to the Gun War in 1881.
In 1884, Basutoland was restored to its status as a protectorate, with Maseru again its capital, but remained under direct rule by a governor, though effective internal power was wielded by traditional chiefs.
Basutoland gained its independence from Britain and became the Kingdom of Lesotho in 1966.
The Lesotho Government is a parliamentary or constitutional monarchy. The Prime Minister, Tom Thabane, is head of government and has executive authority. The King of Lesotho, Letsie III, serves a largely ceremonial function; he no longer possesses any
Because of its elevation, Lesotho remains cooler throughout the year than other regions at the same latitude. Most of the rain falls as summer thunderstorms. Maseru and surrounding lowlands often reach 30 °C (86 °F) in summer. Winters can be cold with the lowlands getting down to −7 °C (19 °F) and the highlands to −18 °C (0 °F) at times. Snow is common in the highlands between May and September; the higher peaks can experience snowfalls year-round. Lesotho sees 300 days of sunshine every year.
There are known to be 339 bird species in Lesotho, including 10 globally threatened species and 2 introduced species, 17 reptile species, including geckos, snakes and lizards, and 60 mammal species endemic to Lesotho, including the endangered white-tailed rat.
Lesotho flora is Alpine, due to the high and mountainous terrain.
Lesotho has a dinosaur named after it. The Lesothosaurus evolved in the early Jurassic period, just over 200 million years ago. Early fossils were uncovered in Lesotho.In 2017, one of the largest dinosaur footprints ever found was discovered in Lesotho. Measuring 57cm, the footprint comes from a dinosaur named Kayentapus ambrokholohali. A relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex, it is estimated to be 2.7m tall and 9m long, making it one of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam Africa.
Lesotho is geographically surrounded by South Africa and economically integrated with it. The economy of Lesotho is based on agriculture, livestock, manufacturing and mining, and depends heavily on inflows of workers' remittances and receipts from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The majority of households subsist on farming. The formal sector employment consists mainly of female workers in the apparel sector, male migrant labour, primarily miners in South Africa for three to nine months, and employment by the Government of Lesotho (GOL). The western lowlands form the main agricultural zone. Almost 50 percent of the population earn income through informal crop cultivation or animal husbandry with nearly two-thirds of the country's income coming from the agricultural sector.
Lesotho has taken advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to become the largest exporter of garments to the US from sub-Saharan Africa. US brands and retailers sourcing from Lesotho include: Foot Locker, Gap, Gloria Vanderbilt, JCPenney, Levi Strauss, Saks, Sears, Timberland and Wal-Mart.
Water and diamonds are Lesotho's significant natural resources. Water is used through the 21-year, multibillion-dollar Lesotho Highlands Water Project(LHWP), under the authority of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority. The project commenced in 1986. The LHWP is designed to capture, store, and transfer water from the Orange River system to South Africa's Free State and greater Johannesburg area, which features a large concentration of South African industry, population, and agriculture. Completion of the first phase of the project has made Lesotho almost completely self-sufficient in the production of electricity and generated approximately US$70 million in 2010 from the sale of electricity and water to South Africa. The World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and many other bilateral donors financed the project.
Diamonds are produced at the Letšeng, Mothae, Liqhobong, and Kao mines, which combined are estimated to produce 240,000 carats of diamonds in 2014, worth US$300 million. The Letšeng mine is estimated to produce diamonds with an average value of US$2172/carat, making it the world’s richest mine on an average price per carat basis.
In 1957, a South African adventurer, colonel Jack Scott, accompanied by a young man named Keith Whitelock, set out prospecting for diamonds. They found their diamond mine at 3,100 m elevation, on top of the Maluti Mountains in northeastern Lesotho, some 70 km from Mokhotlong at Letšeng. In 1967, a 601-carat (120.2 g) diamond (Lesotho Brown) was discovered in the mountains by a Mosotho woman. In August 2006, a 603-carat (120.6 g) white diamond, the Lesotho Promise, was discovered at the Letšeng-la-Terae mine. Another 478-carat (95.6 g) diamond was discovered at the same location in 2008.
The official currency is the loti (plural: maloti), but can be used interchangeably with the South African rand.
Lesotho has a population of approximately 2,203,821. The population distribution of Lesotho is 25 percent urban and 75 percent rural.
The main language, Sesotho, is also the first official and administrative language, and it is what Basotho speak on an ordinary basis.
The population of Lesotho is estimated to be more than 95 percent Christian. Protestants account for 50 percent of the population. Roman Catholics represent nearly 40 percent of the population.
Education and literacy
According to recent estimates, 85 percent of women and 68 percent of men over the age of 15 are literate. As such, Lesotho holds one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, in part because Lesotho invests over 12 percent of its GDP in education. Unlike in most other countries, in Lesotho female literacy (84.93 percent) exceeds male literacy (67.75 percent) by 17.18 percentage points.
Life expectancy at birth in Lesotho in 2016 was 51 years for men and 55 for women.
Traditional musical instruments include lekolulo, a kind of flute used by herding boys, setolo-tolo, played by men using their mouth, and the woman's stringed thomo.
The national anthem of Lesotho is "Lesotho Fatše La Bo-ntata Rona", which literally translates into "Lesotho, Land of Our Fore-Fathers".
The traditional style of housing in Lesotho is called a mokhoro. Many older houses, especially in smaller towns and villages, are of this type, with walls usually constructed from large stones cemented together. Baked mud bricks and especially concrete blocks are also used nowadays, with thatched roofs still common, although often replaced by corrugated roofing sheets.
Traditional attire revolves around the Basotho blanket, a thick covering made primarily of wool. The blankets are ubiquitous throughout the country during all seasons, and worn differently by men and women.
The cuisine of Lesotho includes African traditions and British influences. The national dish of Lesotho is Motoho, a fermented sorghum porridge eaten throughout the country.
Because Lesotho has limited food resources, a majority of families in the country raise their own food and livestock to support themselves and their families.
Some staple foods include pap-pap, a cornmeal porridge covered with a sauce consisting of various vegetables. Tea and locally brewed beer are popular choices for beverages.
In popular media
2018 film Black Panther director Ryan Coogler stated that his depiction of Wakanda was inspired by Lesotho. Basotho blankets also became more known as a result of the film.
An episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? had Lesotho as the correct answer to the $1 million question. ("Which of the following landlocked countries has its borders completely contained in another country?")