Lesotho travel info


Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. The three-prong, round pin South African plug is used.


Sesotho and English are the official languages, but Xhosa and Zulu are widely spoken.


The Lesotho loti (LSL) is the official currency of Lesotho, and is divided into 100 lisente. It has the same value as the South African rand, which is accepted as legal currency. Banks and exchange bureaus are found in Maseru and in most main towns.

Most major hotels, shops, restaurants, and travel agencies accept credit cards, though it is best to check with credit and debit card companies as to their acceptance before leaving home. Local ATMs in Lesotho have the facility to accept international ATM cards but are unreliable.


All service staff, including tour guides and game rangers, are customarily tipped between 10 and 15 percent, which they rely on to boost their low wages.


Lesotho's high altitude and crisp mountain air does not present many health problems for travellers, although the high elevation does make altitude sickness a possibility for recently arrived visitors. Everyone 12 years of age and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before visting; water should not be drunk unless it is boiled or filtered.

There is a lack of good medical facilities, and medical attention is often sought in neighbouring South Africa. Visitors should carry a personal supply of medicine as supplies are limited. Lesotho's Flying Doctor service provides emergency medical services to remote parts of the country. Medical insurance is essential and should include emergency air evacuation coverage, especially if visitors are planning to spend time in remote mountainous regions.


Safety in Lesotho is not generally a serious issue but there has been an increase in opportunistic crime and gun-related crimes, due to a high unemployment rate in the cities. Most incidents occur in Maseru, but visitors should also be alert elsewhere to theft, car hijackings, and muggings. Visitors should avoid walking around with valuables or should keep them out of sight. It's best not to walk alone in isolated areas or in Maseru after dark; driving through rural areas after dark is also not recommended. Sporadic demonstrations are possible and should be avoided if possible.

Local customs

Politeness is very much appreciated in Lesotho, and it is always best to ask before taking pictures of places or people. It is customary to ask permission from the local village Headman or Chief before camping, and to inform him if spending any time within his village. Homosexuality is illegal so visitors should be cautious and discreet.

Doing business

Business in Lesotho tends to follow usual business practices, meaning it's best to be punctual, exchange business cards, and show respect for hosts. However, foreigners should anticipate a generally relaxed atmosphere. Suits and ties are the norm, though a lightweight material is best. Business hours are usually from 8.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4.30pm Mondays to Fridays, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Duty free

Travellers to Lesotho do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes, 20 cigars, and 250g tobacco; 2 litres wine and 1 litre of alcohol; 250ml eau de toilette and 50ml perfume; other gifts to the value of LSL 5000. No liquor may be imported by South African nationals.


The international dialling code for Lesotho is +266, and the outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). Telephone and fax services are available in all main towns and at major hotels. Visitors can purchase local prepaid SIM cards for unlocked phones; WiFi is available in cafes, restaurants and hotels in cities.

Passport & Visa

All foreign passengers to Lesotho must hold return or onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in the country. Visa-exempt visitors who wish to stay in Lesotho for longer than their allotted 14 days, should apply for extensions at the Lesotho Immigration Authorities within the initial 14-day period. It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry requirements

US citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Lesotho. A visa is required.

British citizens must have a passport that is valid for a minimum period of 90 days from the date of exit from Lesotho. A visa is required.

Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date they expect to leave Lesotho. A tourist visa is not required for stays up to 30 days.

Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Lesotho. Tourists can visit for up to 14 days without a visa.

South African citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Lesotho. No visa is required for stays of less than three weeks.

Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Lesotho. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Lesotho. A visa is required for stays longer than 14 days.

Useful contacts

Emergencies: 2231 2934 or 2232 2099. (These numbers are sometimes out of service.)

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Kingdom of Lesotho Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 797 5533.

Kingdom of Lesotho High Commission, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7235 5686.

Kingdom of Lesotho Consulate, Vancouver, Canada: +1 604 681 9887.

Kingdom of Lesotho Embassy, Tokyo, Japan (also responsible for Australia): +81 3 3584 7455.

Kingdom of Lesotho High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 460 7648.

Kingdom of Lesotho Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 676 2233.

Kingdom of Lesotho Embassy, Beijing, China (also responsible for New Zealand): +86 10 6532 6843.

Embassies / consulates in Lesotho

United States Embassy, Maseru: +266 2231 2666.

British Honourary Consul, Maseru: +266 223 13929.

Canadian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa (also responsible for Lesotho): +27 12 422 3000.

Australian High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa (also responsible for Lesotho): +27 12 423 6000.

South African High Commission, Maseru: +266 2222 5800.

Irish Embassy, Maseru: +266 2231 4068.

New Zealand High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa (also responsible for Lesotho): + 27 12 435 9000.