Maseru is the capital of Lesotho

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Maseru is the capital and largest city of Lesotho. It is also the capital of the Maseru District. Located on the Caledon River, Maseru lies directly on the Lesotho-South Africa border.

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Maseru is Lesotho's capital city with a population of approximately 227,880 (2006). The city was established as a police camp and assigned as the capital after the country became a British protectorate in 1869. 

When the country achieved independence in 1966, Maseru retained its status as capital. The name of the city is a Sesotho word meaning "red sandstones".

There is not a huge deal to see in Maseru, as the city is essentially a base for expeditions and travels deeper into Lesotho.

The Basotho Hat. Probably Maseru's most iconic building, in the shape of the ubiquitous national symbol.

 Unmissable at the entrance to town, at the intersection of Kingsway and Mpilo Boulevard/Kingsway Bypass. Inside is a gift shop selling a (regrettably small) selection of items made in Lesotho; there are also plenty of generic 'African' carvings, baskets, and beads on offer. 

Unfortunately, the Mokorotlo - the traditional hut built in a modern sophisticated style which served as a virtual cultural museum, and which sat in front of the Basotho Hat - burned down some years ago.

Thetsane is worth having a wander around on a weekday - two kilometers south of Maseru on Pioneer Road (past the Pope's Podium) are a cluster of factories that churn out t-shirts and jeans for numerous US chain stores, including Kmart, Children's Place and GAP (if you've ever bought an Old Navy top chances are it was stitched together here).

 The chaotic hustle and bustle of Thetsane contrasts sharply with the slow pace of life elsewhere in Lesotho, and its a facinating place to see what African 'industrialisation' looks like.

For an impressive vista over Maseru, drive or take a minibus taxi up Lancer's Gap. After reaching the top of the plateau, turn either right or left and wander about until you find a good place to sit and relax. Especially recommended for picnics and sunset views.