Facts at a glance...
  • Population: 2 million (UN, 2008)
  • Capital: Maseru
  • Major languages: Sesotho, English
  • Currency: Maloti (M) - 100 liesente = 1 maloti
  • Climate: Temperate - cool to cold and dry winters; hot and wet summers
  • Visa: Free two-week entry permit on arrival for most nationalities
  • Time: GMT/UTC + 2
  • International dialling code: +266 International access code 00
  • Voltage: Voltage: 220-240 Volts Socket Type: South African (You may need to buy a plug converter in J'burg airport as the plugs for SA are not widely available) see Internet and Communications below

Other facts and figures - CIA web site and Lonely Planet.

Accommodation...

Accommodation we can recommend

The following 5 lodges are recommended staying in Lesotho. As rates and availability will change please visit their web sites for current details:

Looking further? Try Safarinow or Country Roads

Climate and when to go...

Climate & when to go

Lesotho’s climate is a mixture of temperate and sub-tropical influences, with a few surprises.  In winter (July) temperatures can drop below freezing and snow will been seen on the higher hills and even offers skiing!

In summer (Dec-Feb) temperatures can be over 32°C. The best time to visit is in late October to November, when summer temperatures are yet to arrive but visibility is high after the rains. April to early May is another good time to visit.

Lesotho Public Holidays...

Lesotho Public holidays 2009

Jan 1

New Year's Day Thursday

Mar 11

King Moshoeshoe I's Anniversary Wednesday

Apr 10

Good Friday Friday

Apr 12

Easter Sunday Sunday

Apr 13

Easter Monday Monday

May 21

Ascension Day Thursday

May 25

Africa Day / Heroes' Day Monday

Jul 17

King Letsie III's Birthday Friday

Oct 00

Morija Arts & Cultural Festival This is an annual event in Morija and dates vary

Oct 04

Independence Day Sunday

Dec 25

Christmas Day Friday

Dec 26

Boxing Day Saturday

Visa requirements...

Visa requirements

Passport/Visa: All travellers should have sufficient funds, as well as the necessary documents and tickets required for an onward or return journey. Extensions for visas are possible and must be made at the Lesotho Immigration Authorities within the 14-day period.

Check for specific visa and passport requirements at the World Travel Guide site. Or check your entry requirements with your local Lesotho embassy or consulate.

Money...

Money

The currency is the maloti - 100 liesente = 1 maloti (M). The maloti is fixed at the value of the South African rand and although the rand is accepted everywhere the maloti are not accepted back in South Africa.

Note: the only foreign-exchange banks and ATMs are the Bank of Lesotho, Nedbank 361 Kingsway, Maseru +266 312 696 and Standard Bank 1st Floor Bank Building Kingsway Town Centre Maseru +266 312 423.

Media in Lesotho...

The press

  • Public Eye - weekly, in English
  • Makatolle - weekly, in Sesotho
  • MoAfrica - weekly, in Sesotho
  • Mohlanka - weekly, in Sesotho
  • Mopheme-The Survivor - weekly, in Sesotho and English
  • The Mirror - weekly, in English

Television

  • Lesotho Television - national, state-run

Radio

  • Radio Lesotho - national, state-run
  • MoAfrika FM - private, Maseru-based
  • People's Choice FM - private
  • Joy Radio FM - private
  • Catholic Radio FM - private
  • Khotso FM - operated by National University of Lesotho

News agency

Highlights...

Highlights:

Semonkong and Malealea

Rugged mountainous regions with breathtaking scenery and traditional Basotho villages.

Thaba-Bosiu

The mountain stronghold of King Moshoeshoe I, where the struggle for Lesotho was played out.

Mokhotlong

A more remote Lesotho, where you can step back into an older, more traditional Africa.

Sehlabathebe National Park

The highlight of Eastern Lesotho - rugged and beautiful Sehlabathebe National Park is Lesotho’s first national park.  Remote and rugged with a sense of separation from the rest of the world being the main attraction as there are otherwise few animals to see.

Sani Top

Stunning vistas can be enjoyed and from high atop the Sani Pass.

Books and maps...

Books and maps:

Maps World Wide offer road maps of Lesotho & Swaziland

Lonely Planet also provides 'pick and mix' PDFs from their guidebooks - this is the link to their Lesotho chapter. A cheap way of getting just the info you require, when you require it.

The Africa Guide has a section on their web site devoted to books and maps of Lesotho.

Internet and communications...

Internet and communications in Lesotho:

  • Time: GMT/UTC + 2
  • International dialling code: +266 International access code 00
  • Photo of plug used in Lesotho
  • Voltage and plug: 220-240 Volts. The plugs and sockets are an old British standard (British BS 546) used in RSA, India and Lesotho. You may need to buy a plug converter in J'burg airport as they are not widely available
  • Internet: There are several internet cafes in Maseru - M5 per 30 minutes but a virus scan on any downloaded document is recommended before opening on your own computer. Some hotels offer Wifi.
  • Phone: Lesotho is covered by two mobile phone companies, Vodacom and Lesotho Telecom, both offer pay-as-you-go Sim cards but you will need an unlocked phone - A Lesotho Telecom 'Libertie simpack' will cost you M100.00 with M75.00 pre-loaded calls. Otherwise buy an international phone card and call from a landline or use a public phone kiosk (charged by the minute)

 

Shopping

The Basotho Hat
building in Maseru
Basotho Hat building Maseru Lesotho

Maseru is the capital and enjoys a temperate climate, has well-stocked shops, a selection of restaurants and hotels, and friendly locals.

Souvenirs

Look for the Basotho Hat (Mokorotlo) building in Maseru (near Victoria hotel) and you may find a souvenir at a reasonable price.

 
If you find any shopping places you would like to recommend, please use the contact us page to send us the details.

The details on this page are sourced from a range of sites and is for information purposes only and is provided in good faith - you should therefore check the details before relying on any detail.