Transport in Lesotho

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This article concerns systems of transport in Lesotho. As a landlocked country, Lesotho has no seaports or harbours, but does possess road, air, and limited rail infrastructure.

Contents

Roads

Prior to Lesotho's independence in 1966, the only paved road in the country was the Kingsway in the capital, Maseru, between the Mejametalana Airport and the Royal Palace. Since the early 1970s, the road infrastructure has been substantially developed.[1] In 1999, Lesotho had a road network measuring at 5,940 kilometres (3,690 mi) in length, of which 1,087 kilometres (675 mi) were paved.[2] The most weight has been given to connecting the district centres, but the roads within central Lesotho have also been improved, as part of the construction needs of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.[1]

Railways

The only railway line in Lesotho is the Maseru branch line, which connects the capital city Maseru to the BloemfonteinBethlehem line in the railway network of South Africa. The final 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mi) of this line, which opened on 18 December 1905, lies within the borders of Lesotho, running from the border bridge on the Mohokare River through the northern industrial district of Maseru to that city's station, the only railway station in the country.[3]

As of 2008, there have been talks of building new railways to connect Lesotho to Durban and Port Elizabeth.[4]

Air transport

There are a total of 28 airports in Lesotho, of which 3 have paved runways.[2] The only international airport is the Moshoeshoe I International Airport in Mazenod, a short distance southeast from Maseru. The main runway of the Moshoeshoe Airport is the only one with a runway longer than 1,523 meters; it measures at 3,200 meters.

Of the other airports, one has a paved runway between 914 and 1,523 meters in length and one a paved runway with a length of under 914 meters. Four of the airports have unpaved runways of between 914 and 1,523 meters in length, and the others have unpaved runways of less than 914 meters.[2] All of the classifications are made by the length of the longest runway on an airport.

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