Lesotho

Nestled Switzerland-like in the heart of South Africa, Lesotho is the ‘Kingdom in the Sky’. This little landlocked country offers a pocket-sized package of stunning mountain scenery, hiking opportunities and wildlife spotting. With a fascinating cultural heritage and ample opportunity to get back to nature, Lesotho is a slice of mountain paradise.

Lesotho Tours & Travel

Articles on Lesotho

What happens when a group-tour skeptic goes on a tour?

Posted on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 by Torre DeRoche

A seasoned adventurer gives group travel a try for the first time. What happened next?

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Soup is for life, not just for lunch: five Asian soups that will change the way you feel about soup

Posted on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 by Eliza Eliott

Everyone knows soup is a great lunch option, but it's often overlooked for dinner. This article hopes to change that.

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Seven essential things to do on any Chilean adventure

Posted on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 by Lia Mitchell

This blog was originally going to be titled, '7 Cheap Chile Adventures Only a Hitchhiker-Insider on Your Intrepid Staff Could Tell You About', but we thought that might be a bit much.

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These five dumplings prove the theory that dumplings are the greatest food in the world

Posted on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 by James Shackell

Intrepid's in-house foodologist, James Shackell, sets out to prove a theory as old as time itself.

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About Lesotho

At a glance

Trips Available: 0
Capital city: Maseru (population 228,000)
Population: 2 million
Language: Sesotho, English
Currency: LSL
Time zone: (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
Electricity: Type M (see D)
Dialing code: +266

Best time to visit Lesotho

There’s no bad time to visit Lesotho. October to April tends to be wetter, while winter (May to September) can be cold, dropping below freezing at night. The climate is mostly temperate all year round.

Lesotho weather chart

Geography and environment

Maletsunyane Falls, Lesotho
Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa. Perched on the highest part of the Drakensburg escarpment, this mountainous kingdom is filled with valleys and peaks. The lowland areas, which still soar 1000m above sea level, are home to most of the population, while the highlands are a magnet for adventurers looking to hike or pony trek between villages.

Top Picks

A cold stream at sunset, Maluti Mountains

Top 5 Mountain Activities in Lesotho

1. Hiking

Pull on your boots and head to the hills to explore Lesotho’s mountains. The views are spectacular and you’re more likely to encounter a waterfall or San Bushman rock art than another human being.

2. Meet the Basotho

Take a walk through Malealea village and leave with a bevvy of new friends. Curious kids and friendly adults will proudly show you around and introduce you to their traditions.

3. Pony Trekking

If you prefer four legs to two, then there’s nowhere better to get on a horse (or pony) and ride than Lesotho. Set out with a guide to explore the countryside on a short or overnight trek.

4. Explore Canyons

Take a hike to the stunning Pitseng Canyon. Walk under overhanging cliff faces and past cascading rockpools where, if it’s warm enough, you can take a dip.

5. Wildlife Spotting

Lesotho boasts some spectacular wildlife-spotting opportunities. Keep an eye out for rare birds, vultures, meerkats, jackals, mountain reedbuck and baboons.

FAQs on Lesotho

LESOTHO:
Entry permits are issued free of charge on arrival for most nationalities, including from the EU, US and Australia. All nationalities should check with their nearest Lesotho Embassy for more information.
A service charge of 10-15% may be added to your bill. If not, tipping is at your discretion.
Internet cafes can be found in Maseru, but connections can be slow.
Mobile phone reception is good in urban areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.
Lesotho has a combination of modern flushable toilets and squat/pit toilets, depending on where you are travelling and staying. Generally large hotels, modern restaurants and city cafes have flushable toilets, while remote areas have squat toilets.
Bottle of soft drink = 8 LSL
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 6 LSL
Simple meal = 20 LSL
Three-course meal = 25 LSL
Short taxi ride = 5 LSL
Tap water is considered safe to drink, however outside main towns it’s advised to sterilize or filter the water. For environmental reasons, try to avoid bottled water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found.
There is only limited acceptance of credit cards.
Some ATMs are available in main towns but they can be unreliable. Cash can be withdrawn from a bank using your card.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Mar 11 Moshoshoe’s Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
May 1 Workers’ Day
May 9 Ascension Day
May 25 Africa Day/Heroes’ Day
Jul 17 King Letsie III’s Birthday
Oct 4 Independence Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to:
http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Lesotho/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Lesotho Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Lesotho

1. Be considerate of Lesotho’s customs, traditions, religions and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

10. Avoid purchasing products harvested from endangered animals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
Singing Away the Hunger: The Autobiography of an African Woman Mpho 'M'atsepo Nthunya
Skin of the Snake: A Story of Fraud and Friendship and Africa Steven Langdon
She Plays with the Darkness Zakes Ma