Lesotho is enclosed by South Africa.
Three distinct geographical regions, demarcated by ascending altitude, expend approximately north-south through the country. The western quarter of the country, a plateau averaging 5,000 to 6,000 ft, ranges from a thin strip of 6 miles in width to a zone 40 miles wide. The soil of this zone is derive from sandstone and, particularly in the western most region, is poor and badly eroded.
The reminder of the country is highland. A zone of rolling foothills, ranging from 6,000 to 7,000 ft, forms the border between the lowlands and the mountains in the east. The Maluti Mountains, spurs of the Drakensberg range, extend north and south. They form a high plateau from 9,000 to 10,000 ft in height. The highest point is Thabana Ntlenyana (11,425ft) in the east. The rich volcanic soils of the foothills and mountains are some of the best in the country.
The sources of two of the principal rivers in South Africa, the Orange and the Thukela, are in these mountains. Tributaries of the Caledon River, which forms the country's western border, also rise here.