LESOTHO

Lesotho                                
Lesotho was recognised as an independent nation and kingdom on 4 October 1966, governed by a constitutional monarchy and a bi-cameral parliament. The history of the kingdom Lesotho starts with the first King Moshoeshoe I. Who was the founder of the kingdom and it´s newly formed tribe , Basotho. The Basotho people are friendly, and welcoming travellers to the kingdom. The country characterises of a rough terrain, with rocky mountaine ridges, inaccessible and untamed. Travellers have to be prepared for some hardship befor going to Lesotho. It is advisable to organise your tour through any of the local tour operators. They know the terrain better than any one else, and you will appreciate their knowledge and experience when you are high up in the mountaines. Visitors have to be prepared for four-wheel driving in moutains with snaking roads at high altitude and steep slopes. The scenery from the peaks of the mountains is fantastic and monumental. During the winter season you will find snow on the moutains, and down hill skiing. It resembles the alps, in Europe.

F
amous for
Lesotho is known for the Basotho pony and the traditional Basotho blanket. The blanket plays a symbolic role in the tradional belief of the Basotho people. The country can best be navigate on horse back, by trekking or four wheel drive. Bird-Watching, abseiling, hiking and fishing are some of the populare activities. 



More Information

General Information                               

Currency
    M ,  Maloti.
The value of the Maloti is Fixed to the South African Rand ( ZAR ). Rand can be used anywhere in
Lesotho, but Maloti can not be used in South Africa. ATM machines are available in the towns, and lodges and tour operators can often help you out with the exchanging of foreign currencies into local currencies.

Cards
Debit / Credit Cards can be used for payments at lodges and hotels. Services in the remote areas have to be paid in cash. Always bring an amount of ZAR in smaller denominations. A common scam is to apology for not having any changes of ZAR, to return.

Time
GMT +2

Electricity
220 - 230 Volts, 50Hz. Plugs has three round pins , similar to
South Africa.

Language
English and Sotho are the official languages in the country.

 

Climate  ( Visits are possible year around )

The climate in Lesotho varies with the places you plan to visit. The valleys can be warm and rainy, when the mountains are frosty and cold. You have to prepare for both, by bringing warm clothes and top of the class trekking shoes.

The winter starts in April and lasts into October, and the summer begins in November and ends in March.

 

Emergency ( Ambulance +266 2231 2501, Fire +266 115 and Police +266 9900 )
The above emergency number only works in the Capital Maseru. Mobil-phones  have limited coverage in the country.

Health
Health Certificate is required if you are coming from a country with yellow fever. Health insurance for visitors is always recommended. Bring your medical drugs in the original container or box, with the prescribed label on, This will make it easier for you when the custom officers are searching your luggage, for any illegal drugs. You are also recommended to bring spae lenses or glasses ,or bring your latest optical prescription with you.

 

Tipping
Tipping varies depending on where you are in the country. The standard recommended is 10 % on the bill, provided the service has been to your satisfaction.

 

Safety

Lesotho is quite  safe for travellers. Petty crime like mugging or bag snatching exists. Begging for money  is common on the country side. But most of all disturbing is young boys that are throwing stones at cars.    

 

Communications  Country code  +266
The international access code for
Lesotho is +266. No area code is used. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa).

 

Tourist Information
General information can be obtained from
Maseru, Tourist Information Office. Mail address;  touristinfo@ltdc.org.ls  or phone +266 2231 2427. The website address is www.ltdc.org.ls . Brochures and maps can be obtained from this office.

 

How to get there
By Air; There are scheduled flights between
Johannesburg and Maseru.
By Road; Scheduled bus connection from
South Africa to Maseru is commonly used by travelers.

 

Getting around
The best and most safe way to see the country is by using local tour operators. They know the problems you might run into, unexpectedly. Biking and motor biking is also common.

More Country Information from Foreign & Commonwealth Office.