. – LESOTHO ALERTS : – .
. FUEL: Nothing to report at the moment …..
. EMERGENCIES : Nothing to report at present ….
. Drive Safely. Have a wonderful trip. Enjoy Lesotho – The roof of Africa ….
. – LESOTHO ALERTS : – .
. FUEL: Nothing to report at the moment …..
. EMERGENCIES : Nothing to report at present ….
. Drive Safely. Have a wonderful trip. Enjoy Lesotho ….
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ABOUT LESOTHO (“The Kingdom in the Sky”)
The Kingdom of Lesotho (also known as “The Mountain Kingdom”), is a beautiful 30, 000sq km enclaved, landlocked country nestled between the Drakensberg and Maloti mountain ranges in Southern Africa. Lesotho (formerly known as Basotholand) is surrounded entirely by South Africa and the name Lesotho means “Land of the people who speak Sotho”. Lesotho is the only country in the world that lies above 1,400 meters in elevation at its lowest point and is therefore also known as “The Kingdom in the Sky”. Spectacular features of Lesotho will include the beautiful mountainous terrain, mountain passes and ranges, towering peaks, traditional communities, the snow blanket seen on the mountains in winter and a rich variety of fauna and flora. Wildlife in Lesotho consists of 60 mammal species including the endangered White-tailed Rat, Servals, Zebras, Wildebeests, Ponies, Lions, Leopards, Ostriches, 339 Bird Species including 10 globally threatened species, 17 reptile species including Geckos, Snakes, Lizards and many more. Tourist attractions for Lesotho will include beautiful National Parks and Reserves, the Maletsunyane Falls, the Katse Dam, the Katse Botanical Gardens, the Maluti Mountains, the Gates of Paradise, the Liphofung Caves, the Sani Pass and the Mohale Dam. Activities to do in Lesotho will include Hiking (world class), Basotho Pony Trekking, Rock Climbing, Fishing, Abseiling, Bird Watching, Mountain Biking, 4×4 Excursions, Skiing, Horseback Riding, Canoeing, Game Viewing and much more.
The Lesotho flag consists of horizontal blue, white, and green tricolour with a black mokorotlo (a Basotho hat) in the centre. The blue represents the sky or rain, the green represents prosperity and the white represents peace. The flag’s design is intended to reflect a nation that’s peaceful both internally and with its external neighbours. Maseru is the capital city of Lesotho. Lesotho’s official language is English, and the primary language is Sesotho (or Sotho). Basotho people are very friendly with an open nature and will come and start a conversation with you to welcome you to their country, while Basotho horsemen in multi-coloured traditional cloaks or blankets, will always wave and greet tourists who pass by with “Khotso” which means “peace”. Crime like mugging, theft, hijacking, sexual violence and rape is present in Lesotho and tourists are advised to not walk alone in isolated areas or after dark, avoid driving to rural areas and always be aware of their surroundings and take the normal and usual travel precautions when travelling to any destination.
Majority of Lesotho religion is Christian. Traditional culture and traditions hold strong value for Lesotho people and elders are highly respected while the traditional dance Ndlamo, is celebrated throughout Lesotho. People live in structured villages consisting of various kraals (a collection of buildings belonging to one family) and a chief. The traditional style of housing in Lesotho is called a Mokhoro, which is huts called rondavels. The walls of the huts are constructed from large stones cemented together with mud while the roofs are built from grass. Some huts are used for sleeping, some for storage and one for cooking meals. Each kraal will also have an enclosure for livestock as animals are very important to the people and Cow in Lesotho is valued above money. The Basotho pony represents the best form of transport in the mountains and donkeys are often used as pack animals.
Lesotho has a rich culture of music, dance and singing and the people like to watch movies, watch and play soccer matches and listen to R&B and their traditional Basotho music, while the children love playing group games, participate in soccer matches and singing and dancing. Musical instruments used for traditional Basotho music is the Lekolulo flute, the Setolo-tolo played by men using their mouths and the woman’s stringed Thomo. The prominent Sesotho Morija Arts & Cultural Music Festival takes place annually in the Morija town and is a huge tourist attraction while most traditions and festivities are centred around the seasons of the year. The Basotho people wear their traditional woollen Basotho blankets with colourful patterns, wrapped around their shoulders or bodies to protect them against the cold, but also as a status symbol and cultural identification. The women love socializing, cooking together and making their famous exquisite and unique arts and crafts including the traditional Basotho Hat called Mokorotlo.
When you are packing your clothes for your holiday in Lesotho, pack casual clothing that caters for the season in which you are visiting Lesotho. Due to the high rape statistics for Lesotho, women are advised to pack their clothes with modesty in mind, instead of short and revealing clothes. Women can wear jeans, shorts, dresses, skirts and blouses that aren’t too short or revealing while men can wear casual trousers and shorts. Pack warm hats for when its chilly and sun hats for when its warm. If you are planning on exploring the mountains, take thick jackets and good quality hiking boots with you. When going on safari, its best to wear colours like beige and brown instead of bright or light colours. The standard Lesotho time is the South Africa Standard Time (SAST) in UTC+2 offset.
The hospitality in Lesotho is amazing and there are a variety of Hotels, Lodges, Bed & Breakfast, Self-Catering Chalets, Guesthouses and Backpacking facilities available for accommodation that caters for all tastes and budgets. Lesotho is a great destination for outdoor adventures and to go on holiday.
To view all types of available accommodation in Lesotho such as Backpackers, Bed and Breakfast, Cabins/Chalets, Camp Sites, Caravan/RV Sites, Cottages, Dormitories, Gameparks/Reserves, Hotels, Lodges, Motels, Tented Accommodation, Villa and to make booking reservations, use our mobile app or visit our booking page on the following link https://www.chilikutiafrica.com/bookings/
BANKING & CURRENCY
The official currency used in Lesotho is the Loti (LSL) (plural: Maloti) which is subdivided into 100 lisente (singular:sente). Lesotho is a member of the Southern African Common Monetary Area, and therefore the Loti is pegged 1:1 to the South African Rand (ZAR). Both the Loti and Rand are legal tender in Lesotho, though change will usually be given in Loti and Loti is not accepted as a currency in South Africa. You can click on the link for the current rate check www.xe.com. The Loti offers very good exchange rates for foreigners thus allowing your travel budget to go far. There are 3 commercial banks in Lesotho namely First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Lesotho Bank and they offer exchange services in their main Maseru branches and Saswitch Atm’s and their operating hours are Monday – Friday from 08:30am to 15:30pm and on Saturdays from 08:30am to 12:00pm. Traveller’s Cheques and Credit Cards are accepted in most parts of Lesotho and there are no restrictions on foreign currency, but all transactions must be conducted in Maseru. There are ATMs available at banks in most towns, but not in the countryside. Most banks will change travellers’ cheques for you, but it can be a very lengthy process if they are in another currency apart from ZAR. Credit cards are mostly accepted in Shoprite and the main hotels, but not elsewhere or in most restaurants in or outside of Maseru. Your cash card from home may work in some Maseru cash machines (FNB or Standard Bank), but it is best to get cash out in South Africa beforehand.
Lesotho cuisine features styles from Lesotho, Britain and South Africa. The Basotho people use their own vegetable gardens and livestock for food supplies. The national dish of Lesotho is Motoho, a fermented sorghum porridge that is eaten throughout the country. The staple food of Lesotho is Pap-pap or papa which is a cornmeal porridge (made with cornmeal that is boiled in water or milk) that is covered with a sauce made with various chopped greens and vegetables. The people enjoy eating papa, potatoes, rice, steamed bread and children love eating “fat cakes” (flour fried in fat like a doughnut without the glaze) and various vegetables, beans, greens and fruits. Meat is a “luxury” and is only eaten if the family can afford it. If the family has livestock, cows and goats provide milk and chickens provide fresh eggs. People also like to eat Oxtail Stew, Seafood dishes and Braai’s (BBQ), while tea and fried cakes and locally brewed beer are also very popular. There are various soft drinks and alcoholic beverages such as Beer, Spirits and Wines available at reasonable prices in Lesotho. It is advised to purify tap water or rather drink bottled water in Lesotho.
EMBASSIES & CONSULATES
Lesotho Embassies & Consulates
|Embassy of China|
United Nations Road
P.O. Box 380
(T) (+266) 22 316 521
(F) (+266) 22 310 489
|Embassy of Ireland
(T) (+266) 22 314 068
(F) (+266) 22 310 028
|Embassy of Libya |
173 Tona-Kholo Road
P. O. Box 432
(T) (+266) 22 320 148
(F) (+266) 22 327 750
|Embassy of South Africa
Cnr Kingsway & Old School Road
Private Bag A266
(T) (+266) 22 225 800
(F) (+266) 22 325 228
|Embassy of the United States|
254 Kingsway Avenue
P.O. Box 333
(T) (+266) 22 312 666
(F) (+266) 22 310 116
|Consulate of Canada
P.O. Box 0813,
Maseru West, Lesotho
(T) (+266) 22 316 555
(F) (+266) 22 310 472
Maseru Book Centre Building, Room 23
Kingsway Road, Maseru, Lesotho
(T) (+266) 22 316 937
(F) (+266) 22 322 794
|Consulate of France
Corner Pioner Road and Kingsway, Maseru, Lesotho
(T) (+266) 22 325 722
(F) (+266) 22 310 475
|German Consulate |
P.O. Box 75, Maseru, Lesotho
(T) (+266) 22 325 722 / 22 332983
(F) (+266) 22 334 198
|Consulate of Guinea
Bank Tower, 9th Floor
Box 780, Maseru,
(T) (+266) 22 312 821
(F) (+266) 22 312 821
|Consulate of India|
243 Koekoe Street & Manong Street,
(T) (+266) 22 326 461
(+266) 58 868 830
Lancers Inn, Private Bag A 216
(T) (+266) 22 312 114
(F) (+266) 22 310 223
(+266) 22 325 961
|Consulate of Norway |
Maseru Book Centre Building, Office No. 23
(T) (+266) 22 316 937
(F) (+266) 22 322 794
|Consulate of Pakistan
314 Matlalca Road, Box 9421, Maseru, Lesotho
(T) (+266) 22 312 261 (+266) 22 325 359
Cell (+266) 588 53456
|Seychellois Consulate |
P.O. Box 10024
Maseru 100, Lesotho
(T) (+266) 22 326 498
(+266) 22 628 008
|Consulate of Spain
c/o Lancers Inn,
Corner of Kingsway and Pioneer Road,
(T) (+266) 22 312 114
|British Consulate |
Sentinel Park, United Nations Road, Maseru, Lesotho
(T) (+266) 22 313 929
(F) (+266) 22 310 254
You can travel to Lesotho by commercial flight or by road. Lesotho has a total of 28 airports of which 3 have paved runways. The Moshoeshoe I International Airport in Mazenod (southeast from Maseru) is the only international airport in Lesotho. The railway line in Lesotho is the Maseru Branch Line which connects Maseru to the Bloemfontein-Bethlehem line in the railway network of South Africa. Majority of the main roads in Lesotho are tarred, while there are still many gravel roads in the country of which some are in good condition while others are challenging 4×4 roads with narrow windings and potholes. There are car and 4×4 rental agencies available in Lesotho. Public transport in Lesotho is not good but tourists can use private telephone taxis and shuttles for any transportation needs.
The Lesotho communication infrastructure caters for cell phones, fixed landline/public telephones, fax, internet connections, international roaming, print and online newspapers, television and postal services while radio is the most popular form of media in the country. The telecom operators in Lesotho are Econet – Ezi Cel (Pty) Ltd, Tele-Co Tele-Com Lesotho Ltd and Vodacom Lesotho. The cellphone network is OK in the towns, but pretty poor out in the countryside. Vodacom has the widest coverage outside the towns. You can buy a Vodacom or Ezicel Buddie pay as you go sim card for under LSL50 in Maseru which is worthwhile if you are staying for a while. Cell phones are available for hire in Maseru and Lesotho uses GSM900. Vodacom and MTN South Africa both offer roaming services in Lesotho. There are several internet cafes in Maseru, although fairly cheap (usually LSL0.20-0.50 per min) they are pretty slow at best. The calling code for Lesotho is +266 and the international call prefix is 00. Data rates are reasonable, but it is always best to do downloads and updates when Wi-Fi is available to save on data costs. Lesotho has its own national television station called Lesotho Television (LTV) and Multichoice DSTV based in South Africa, broadcasts to the whole of Africa. Lesotho has 2 state owned radio stations and broadcasts are done in both English and Sesotho while the country also receives radio broadcastings from South Africa. There are postal services and courier companies operational in Lesotho.
Most of Lesotho’s power comes from hydroelectricity. The standard electricity supply in Lesotho is 220 V running at 50 Hz and the power sockets are South African Type – M plugs. Foreign appliances may need a power plug adapter but will depend on the power plugs used in your own country. You can use your electric appliances in Lesotho if the standard voltage of your country’s appliances are in between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). If the voltage of your appliance is not in this range, you will need a voltage converter, but you can check the label on the appliance to be sure as some appliances don’t need a converter. The appliance can be used in all countries in the world if the label states ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’. There are supermarkets, regional chain stores and shopping centres available in all major towns of Lesotho and all basic commodities can be easily purchased. Shopping hours are usually on Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 18:00pm, 09:00am to 15:00pm on Saturdays and from 09:00am to 13:00pm on Sundays while there are many operational 24-hour convenience shops at most of the fuel service stations in Lesotho. There are various local arts and crafts for sale to tourists throughout Lesotho and the conical shaped Basotho Hat (Mokorotlo) made out of grass, is a must buy for every tourist as it is a recognised symbol of Lesotho and it has the shape of many of the mountains seen in the country. Tipping in Lesotho is common and follows closely to the customs of tipping in South Africa. Remember that gratuities are not included in bills and it is common courtesy to add a tip, depending on the level of service your received. At a restaurant, you will usually add a 10% tip for your waiter/waitress and you can tip your hotel staff (bell boy and maid) about 5-10 M per bag or per night.
Lesotho has beautiful national parks and game reserves to go and visit namely the Sehlabathebe National Park, the Ts’ehlanyane National Park, the Bokong Nature Reserve and the Liphofung Nature Reserve. With plenty of sunlight and pleasant weather, the summer months of October to April are a great time to visit Lesotho to do game viewing as most of the animals will be near rivers, pools and waterholes. Game drives are recommended in the early mornings and late afternoons. For your own safety it is always advised to approach big game with caution and don’t make any unnecessary movement or noise and be prepared to drive on quickly if warning signs appear for example if an elephant turns head-on to you and flaps its ears. Always try to keep down-wind and remember any wild animal can be dangerous if startled, irritated or cornered. Never cut off a wild animal’s line of retreat, no matter what the circumstances.
The Sehlabathebe National Park (Maloti Drakensberg Park)
The Sehlabathebe National Park (also known as the Maloti Drakensberg Park) is a breathtakingly beautiful nature reserve situated in the Drakensberg escarpment in Lesotho. The park with its unique wild flowers, alpine flora, clear rivers, rock pools, rocks of different formations, waterfalls, bird sanctuary, ancient Basotho stone dwellings and San rock paintings, was established in 1970 and is 6500 hectares big. The Sehlabathebe National park and the uKhahlamba National Park in South Africa makes up the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage site. Wildlife in the park includes Rheebuck oribi, a few Antelope Species, Mongoose, Wild cats, Jackals, Baboons and prolific birdlife including the rare Bearded Vulture (or lammergeier). Accommodation in the park consists out of the Sehlabathebe National Park’s lodge and campsite. Activities to do at the Sehlabathebe National Park will include Game Viewing, Bird Watching, Hiking, Swimming in the streams and rock pools and enjoying the serenity and tranquillity of the park. The best time to visit the park is during the summer months of October to April.
The Tse’hlanyane National Park
Located deep in the front range of the Maluti mountains at the foot of the Holomo Pass in Lesotho, lies the spectacular 5600-hectare Tse’hlanyane National Park with its rocky wilderness, fynbos, indigenous forest and rare undergrowth plants. The park is the largest in the country and boasts wildlife such as Black-backed Jackals, Rock Dassies, Smith’s Red Rock Hares, Porcupines, Caracals, Rhebok, Cape Clawless Otters, Sloggett’s Vlei Rats, Mountain Reedbucks, common Eland, Serval Cats, Baboons and several bird species such as Black Crows, Cape Sparrows, Rook Pigeons, Spotted Eagle Owls, Rock Kestrels, Hamerkop, Bearded Vultures, Alpine Swift and many more. Maliba Lodge offers accommodation in the park. Activities to do in the park will include Game Viewing, Bird Watching, Hiking, Basuto Pony Rides, Swimming in the streams and rock pools and enjoying the picturesque and serene landscapes. The best time to visit the park is during the summer months of October to April.
Bokong Nature Reserve
The Bokong Nature Reserve lies at the top of the Mafika-Lisiu Pass in Lesotho and is one of the highest reserves in Africa with an altitude of 3090m above sea level. The picturesque reserve consists out of crisp, clear mountain air, an amazing variety of fauna and flora, afro-alpine wetlands at the Bokong river and Lepaqoa stream, beautiful highlands, plateau grass, heartlands and the mesmerizing Lepaqoa waterfall that freezes in winter to form a column of ice. The spectacular Bokong Visitor’s Centre (open daily between 08:00am and 17:00pm) is impressively perched on the edge of a 100m cliff overlooking the Lepaqoa watervall and valley. The visitor’s centre is definitely worth a visit, as it was constructed to educate visitors about the geological, palaeontological history and ecology of the Lesotho Highlands. There are rock shelters, overhangs, three stone buildings and cattle posts (Metebo) which are the ruins of interconnected cattle shelters and kraals for stock that were built from stone situated close to the visitors centre. The reserve encompasses reasonable populations of Rhebuck, endemic Ice Rats and various small and medium mammalian carnivores, avian raptors and many bird species endemic to the afro-alpine zone including the Bearded Vulture. Accommodation in the reserve consists out of various Accommodation Facilities, Campsites, Self-Catering Units, Overnight Huts and Hiking Camps. Activities to do in the reserve will include Game Viewing, Bird Watching, Pony Trekking and Hiking. The best time to visit the park is during the summer months of October to April.
Liphofung Nature Reserve
The small 4-hectare Liphofung Nature Reserve and Cave known for its high mountains and beautiful scenery (typical features of the Lesotho lowlands region), lies in the tributary stream valley of the Hololo river in Lesotho. The Liphofung Cave (also known as “place of the eland”), is a large overhang in the Clarens sandstones that plays an important part in Lesotho history as the cave has been used by people since prehistoric times, concluded by the San rock art on the walls and the rich archaeological deposits of Stone Age implements on the floor. The cave was used by the first Basotho monarch, King Moshoeshoe the Great, as a place to stay when he was visiting that part of his kingdom. There is a small visitor’s centre with a small shop and ablution facilities at the cave, that incorporates a display of Basotho culture and San rock art. The people of the nearby Moteng Valley still live very much like they did 100 years ago and enjoy showing their traditional way of life to visitors. Accommodation facilities at the reserve consists out of two Self-Catering Huts and Campsites but there is also alternative accommodation offered at nearby villages. Activities to do at the reserve will include Quad Biking, Pony Trekking, Bird Watching, visiting the Visitor’s centre and various Rock Art sites, and purchasing keepsakes consisting of an assortment of handiwork made by members of surrounding communities from the small craft outlet there.
Lesotho has basic state-owned and private hospitals, practises and facilities available, but it is advisable to carry some sterile needles and dressing in your first aid kit as some of the hospitals throughout Lesotho aren’t of a very high standard. Expatriates use medical facilities in Bloemfontein, South Africa as it’s only a 90-minute drive (140km) from Maseru. Lesotho has one of the highest incidences of AIDS in the world, thus its important to exercise regular universal precautions when dealing with any bodily fluid and wear rubber gloves when dressing other adults and children’s cuts. Tropical diseases such as Malaria, Yellow Fever and Bilharzia aren’t present in Lesotho, but it is advisable to speak to your doctor as vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid Fever and Rabies are required before your trip. Lesotho is at a very high altitude, and the air is very thin especially in the Highlands, thus you may suffer from altitude sickness when you first arrive. Drink a lot of water and keep your skin covered up and treated with SPF35+ lotions as skin burns quickly in the thin mountain air, and it gets very hot in the sun in the summer. Don’t drink water from the tap before purifying it first or drink bottled water. Be warned about street vendors who sell fizzy drinks as these are usually in unclean reused glass bottles. It is extremely important to visit your doctor ideally 4-6 weeks before your trip to get your vaccines or medicines you may need. These health tips are just a guideline; thus, we recommend that you always seek up to date advice from your doctor before traveling to any destination.
Vaccines and Medicines:
For your own health and safety, it is best to check the vaccines and medicines list for the country you are traveling to and visit your doctor (ideally 4-6 weeks) before your planned vacation or trip to get vaccines or medicines you may require. It is best to ensure that you are up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. You can ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from any country other than the U.S. Some vaccines like Yellow Fever is a compulsory vaccine and also a legal requirement in many African countries, and you will be refused entry if you don’t have proof of the vaccine with you, thus it is always good practice to check with the embassy of your chosen destination to find out what vaccines are compulsory. Some vaccines may also be required for your travel, for a full list of medical requirements, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Stay Healthy and Safe during your Travels
Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Lesotho, so your behaviors are important.
Eat and drink safely:
Unclean food and water can cause travelers’ diarrhea and other diseases. Reduce your risk by sticking to safe food and water habits.
Food that is cooked and served hot
Fruits and vegetables you have washed in clean water or peeled yourself
Pasteurized dairy products
Food served at room temperature
Food from street vendors
Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs
Raw or undercooked (rare) meat or fish
Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables
Unpasteurized dairy products
”Bushmeat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game)
Bottled water that is sealed
Water that has been disinfected
Ice made with bottled or disinfected water
Hot coffee or tea
Tap or well water
Ice made with tap or well water
Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
Talk with your doctor about taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs with you on your trip in case you get sick.
Prevent bug bites:
Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Lesotho. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.
What can I do to prevent bug bites?
Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.
For more information on how to stay safe during your travel to Lesotho, please see the following page: Staying Healthy and Safe in Lesotho.
Healthy Travel Packing List for Lesotho
Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Lesotho for a list of health-related items you should consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.
Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?
It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.
Travel Health Notices
There are no notices currently in effect for Lesotho.
After Your Trip
If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic. Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.
For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel.
Please note that when traveling on Lesotho Roads, driving is on the left-hand lane of the road. All road traffic signs in Lesotho are in English. The legal age to drive in Lesotho is 18 and 21 if you want to rent a vehicle. Majority of the main roads in Lesotho are tarred, in fair condition, and provide good driving conditions. Four-wheel drive is required when travelling on gravel roads in the rainy season as some of the roads can wash away completely. There are a number of international and local car rental companies in Lesotho that offer Car and Four-wheel Drive rental services. It is extremely important to obtain permission from the car rental company when renting a car in South Africa to take the car into Lesotho, as you will need to show written permission from the rental company at the border controls. Always ensure that you are clear with your rental company about what is covered and what is not covered to avoid unpleasant surprises as full coverage doesn’t always mean full coverage. The speed limits for Lesotho are listed as: 50km/h in villages and 80km/h on main roads. Drive carefully and when in doubt, obey any law that may apply. One should have triangles, high viability vests and at least on fire extinguisher per vehicle. In Lesotho it is law to wear seat belts (driver and front seat passenger) and you must have your international drivers’ license (required other than for SADC countries), driving permit, original driver licence, vehicle registration documents and car insurance certificate available with you at all times.
Fuel is available throughout the country, but rather fill up your vehicle in South Africa or Maseru when you get the chance to prevent getting stranded without fuel. It is advised to use toilets that are available at fuel stations when you stop to fill up your vehicle, as the next toilet might be very far from your current stop. Remember to take toilet paper with you as some toilets might not have toilet paper available. Be careful of wildlife and domestic animals, unlicensed and unroadworthy vehicles and local people walking on the roads especially when driving at night in Lesotho as there won’t be street lights in remote destinations. It is important to be extremely cautious when and where you drive at night and always keep your doors locked and your windows closed. Always try to park in an attended parking lot at night and don’t leave any valuables in an unattended vehicle as you may be subject to a break-in.
While on vacation in Lesotho you can visit the beautiful National Parks and Reserves, the Liphofung and Ha Kome historical caves, the Bokhopa Pinnacle, the Kome Crafts and Information Office, the Leribe Craft Centre, the Mohale Dam, the Katse Botanical Gardens, the Thaba Bosiu Mountain stronghold and National Monument, the Gates of Paradise Pass, the Sani Pass and Sani Top, the Morija Museum & Archives, the Lesotho Sun Casino, the Subeng Dinosaur Footprints, the Royal Archives- Museum and Information Centre in Matsieng and many more. Activities to do in Lesotho include Hiking, Climbing the Maluti / Drakensberg Mountains, Game Viewing, Bird Watching, Horse Back Rides, Fishing, Swimming in rock pools, Quad Biking, 4×4 off-road Adventures, Doing the Roof of Africa route running between Oxbow and the South African border, Pony Trekking at either Malealea or at the Basotho Pony-Trekking Centre and much more. If you want to do Hiking in the Highlands, you can contact the Department of Tourism, who will find you a guide, and then you can fly into a completely cut off village and hike your way out, staying in remote villages overnight. If you are an experienced hiker, you can purchase 1:25,000 topographical maps for about 25LSL from the office of Lands, Surveys, and Physical Planning in downtown Maseru.
Must see attractions in Lesotho would include:
The Afriski Mountain Resort
Generally, you won’t associate Africa with snow, yet Lesotho is home to the highest ski resort in Africa. The magnificent Afriski winter sports enclave is situated at 3222 metres above sea level in the heart of the Drakensberg-Maluti Mountains near the northern border of Lesotho and South Africa. The Afriski Mountain Resort provides a gateway to the largely untapped world of high-altitude adventure allowing for the perfect escape for sport and outdoor enthusiasts, families and corporate parties. The Afriski resort offers various accommodation options for up to 250 people and there is a range of on-site facilities and restaurants available. Afriski is a top snow-sport destination attracting thousands of skiers and snowboarders, offering three slopes, two ski lifts, a 1km downhill ski slope, a beginner’s slope and they also rent out skis and boots. The Afriski Mountain Resort offers Mountain and Adventure Sports such as Mountain Biking, Trail-Running, Hiking, Fly Fishing, Enduro Racing and Off-Roading in the Summer months of October to April and when the season turns and the cold Winter months of June – August descends, the ski slopes come to life.
The Maletsunyane Falls
Lesotho’s own grand cascade, the Maletsunyane Falls situated in Semonkong, is the highest single drop waterfall in Southern Africa, plummeting with a drop of 192 metres into a breath-taking gorge, creating a site of world wonder with clouds of spray visible from far. The longest commercially operated single-drop abseil of 204m (670ft) according to the Guinness book of records, happened down the magnificent Maletsunyane Waterfall. Activities to do at the Maletsunyane Falls includes pony trekking with guides provided by the local community, swimming in the pond below the fall in summer and much more.
The Katse Dam
Constructed in 1991, the 185m high and 710m length Katse Dam containing 92 000 cubic metres of concrete, is described as “a striking piece of modern engineering” because of its altitude at 2000 meters above sea level. The Katse dam is one of the world’s largest double curvature concrete arch dams in terms of its volume and it is the highest dam in Africa. The dam is a result of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and the surface of the dam reaches 2050 metres when at 100% full. The Katse dam is located on the Malibamatso River in the Lesotho Highlands and its one of the most spectacular water features in Lesotho. The Katse dam was named after the Katse area who was named after a wealthy man called Katse who used to have a lot of livestock and provided agricultural produce to the local communities. The congenial Katse Village is a popular tourist destination providing magnificent views of the Katse reservoir as well as the country’s beautiful mountainous scenery.
TRAVEL ADVISORIES AND ALERTS
US Department of State Travel Advisories
UK Government Site
Radio Lesotho 1050AM or 93.9 – 99.3FM
Ultimate Radio 950AM or 99.8FM
Bokamiso FM 97.1FM
Useful Environmental and Nature Links
Department of Environment
Official website of The Department of Environment the lead agency for environmental management and promotes socio-economic and environmental sustainable development.
Lesotho Council of NGO’s
Established with the objective of providing supportive services to the Lesotho’s NGO Community, the site also lists NGOs working in Lesotho.
BirdLife Lesotho strives to conserve Lesotho’s birds and their habitats.
Lesotho environmental conservation
USEFUL PHRASES IN LESOTHO
Notes: Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).
Useful phrases in Sesotho
|Welcome||Kena ka kgotso! (sg)
Kenang ka kgotso! (pl)
|Hello (General greeting)||Lumela
|How are you?||O kae? (Where are you?)
O phela joang? (How are you living?)
|Reply to ‘How are you?’||Ke teng, wena o kae?
(I’m here, where are you?)
Ke phela hantle, wena o phela jwang?
(I’m living fine, how are you living?)
|Long time no see|
|What’s your name?||Lebitso la hao ke mang?|
|My name is …||Lebitso laka ke …|
|Where are you from?||O tswa kae?|
|I’m from …||Ke tswa …|
|Pleased to meet you|
|Mmoro (sg) Mmorong (pl)|
|Fonane (sg) Fonaneng (pl)|
|Good night||Fonane (sg) Fonaneng (pl)|
|Sala hantle (to person staying)
Tsamaya hantle (to person leaving)
|Good luck!||Ke u lakaletsa lehlohonolo|
|Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
|Have a nice day|
|Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
|Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
|O tsamaye hantle; Tsela tsweu (white road)|
|I don’t know||Ha ke tsebe|
|I don’t understand||Ha ke utlwisise|
|Please speak more slowly|
|Please say that again|
|Please write it down|
|Do you speak Sesotho?||O a bua Sesotho?
Na o a bua Sesotho?
|Yes, a little
(reply to ‘Do you speak …?’)
|Do you speak English?||O a bua Senyesemane?
Na o a bua Senyesemane?
|How do you say … in Sesotho?|
|How much is this?||Ke bokae?|
|Thank you||Ke a leboha
Ke a leboha haholo
|Reply to thank you||O amohetswe|
|Where’s the toilet / bathroom?||Ntloana e kae?
Batekamore e kae?
|This gentleman will pay for everything|
|This lady will pay for everything|
|Would you like to dance with me?|
|I love you||Ke a o rata|
|Get well soon|
|Leave me alone!||Ntohelle kele notsi!|
|Help!||Ke kopa thuso!
|Call the police!|
|Christmas greetings||Keresemese e monate le mahlohonolo a selemo se setjha|
|Birthday greetings||Letsatsi le monate la tswalo|
|One language is never enough|
|My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.
Please be aware that the information noted below is applicable to tourist visas only. If you’re planning on working, studying, volunteering or living in Lesotho, you’ll need a different type of visa altogether that requires additional documentation and must be applied for in advance. You can contact your embassy for more information or see the following link http://evisalesotho.com/visa-categories/. Currently, tourists wanting to enter Lesotho will need a passport still valid for 3 months upon exiting Lesotho with at least 2 blank pages and a return ticket. Travelers are advised to check their entry requirements into any country with their embassy as passport and visa requirements change at short notice. Tourists and applicants are no longer required to schedule appointments at the Kingdom of Lesotho’s embassies and consulates to obtain a visa as you can apply for a Visa on Lesotho’s E-Visa application platform by visiting the following link http://evisalesotho.com
Visa Free entry available for up to 90 days:
Visa Free entry available for up to 14 days:
No visa Required:
Visa Application Fees (USD):
- The Application Fee for a Multiple Entry Visa is $250
- The Application Fee for a Single-Entry Visa is $150
- Passport valid for travel with a validity date of at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
- Itinerary stating the purpose of your trip whether for a temporary visit such as business, pleasure, or schooling.
- Invitation Letter requesting your presence in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
- An introduction letter from your employer detailing your position, salary, how long you have been employed, any authorized vacation, and the business purpose, if any, of your trip.
- Bank Statement/Evidence of funds to cover your expenses while in Lesotho.
- A yellow fever certificate from travellers coming from an infected area where HIV/AIDS is prevalent.
- Travel Insurance.
Other documents as requested can include:
- Address where you will be staying – if known.
- If booking for a tour group, the name and address of tourist agency will be required
- If you are traveling with a minor aged 16 and below, you must provide the following:
- Names must be the same, family or birth certificates must be supplied.
- If not of the same family, a letter from birth parent, guardian – with documentation showing guardianship, allowing the minor to travel to Lesotho.
NB! If you are traveling with minor children to or from South Africa or even if your travels are just “in transit” through South Africa, then please read the following guidelines on the link below.
Lesotho is based in the Southern Hemisphere and has a temperate continental climate, where winter months are the driest and summer months are the rainiest. The cold winter months are from June to August with temperatures ranging anything from −18 °C (0°F) and the rainy summer months are from October to April with temperatures reaching up to 30 °C (86 °F). Winter months in Lesotho has mild temperatures during the day with very cold nights and snow and frost can be found in the mountains and the Lesotho highlands from May to September. Overall Lesotho’s temperature is cool due to its higher altitude, but the weather tends to be warmer and more temperate in the lower altitudes of Lesotho as opposed to the higher altitudes where the weather is cooler. Lesotho experiences about 300 pleasant days of sunshine every year and summer months (October to April) are warm in the day and cool at night.
Visitors are advised to pack gloves and extra layers of clothing for the winter evenings. Lesotho is an all year round tourist destination and the best time to visit Lesotho will vary according to personal taste and preference, as some might love the cold and magical snow covered winter months that caters for skiing at its best, where others might prefer the warmer sunny days when many outdoor adventures can be done in the sun while others again might prefer the time of the year where the mountains are covered in exquisite beautiful flowers and the valleys scattered with various blossoms and unique fragrances. For updated current weather reports, check the Lesotho meteorological service on the following link https://www.lesmet.org.ls/
WHAT! NEED TO KNOW MORE?