Lesotho Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Lesotho
How safe is Lesotho?
Threat level: Low-Medium
The general threat to Lesotho is relatively low and there is very little issue of terrorism, however travellers should be aware of the current heighten threat around the globe.
The main security risk in Lesotho is from crime in the main cities. You should follow basic security precautions during travel to reduce the risk of getting into any kind of trouble. It is advised you do not travel in Maseru during night time as crime rates peak significantly after dark in many areas of the country.
COVID-19 Situation in Lesotho
Due to the sanitary situation in Lesotho, the country is currently under "Purple level" restrictions, requiring people to stay at home. Lesotho has implemented a series of restrictions to control the spread of the virus: the use of face masks is mandatory in public whether indoors or outdoors, private and public gatherings are banned, parks are closed, a curfew is in effect between 21:00 and 05:00, and people must stay at home unless going out to access or provide goods or services. Further to this, supermarkets, retail shops and cafes are allowed to operate between 08:00 and 18:00 at reduced capacity and clients must respect sanitary rules.
To prevent import of coronavirus from overseas, borders have been closed and international travellers are not allowed to enter unless in exceptional circumstances on the condition that they provide a negative PCR test result on arrival, taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
Recent security events
Occasionally armed car hijackings and other acts of armed robberies occur in both urban and rural areas of Lesotho. It is advised to keep doors locked, windows shut and valuables out of sight. Avoid driving at night and when possible drive in a convoy.
Pick pockets are known to operate in popular tourist areas such as the Avani casino area. You should avoid carrying large sums of cash. Foreign nationals represent a prime target for pick pockets not just because of their perceived wealth but because they are usually carrying so much cash of their person.
In 2015 there was a shooting that injured two of the Prime Minister's bodyguards and killed another man. It is thought that this was linked to some political instability in the country at the time.
Although the current political situation is stable there are some incidents of demonstrations that have a tendency to turn violent, many of which occur in the main cities. Avoid large gatherings and monitor the local media as often as possible.
Homosexuality is illegal in Lesotho and the consequences of being caught engaging in any act considered homosexual may carry severe punishments. It is important to take this into consideration during travel to avoid any complications.
Lesotho's International Relations
Lesotho is influenced by political and economic developments in South Africa. The country is also active in the United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity and the African Union. Lesotho has been a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and maintains strong relations with the United Kingdom.
Travelling around Lesotho
You can drive in Lesotho with an international driving licence, UK or South African licence for up to three months. The standard of driving is very poor, and roads are not well maintained. Many roads are impassable without four wheel drive, especially during rainy season which lasts from October to April. Flooding and landslides are common during these months.
You should be wary of pedestrians walking on the roads at night, they often walk in the middle of the road and cannot be seen till the last minute. Most roads have poor or no lighting at all. There have been many accidents involving pedestrians on the road, especially young children.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency Services in Lesotho
Police emergency: 123
Fire emergency: 122
Medical emergency: 121
Currency: Lesotho Loti
Time now in Maseru:
Consular information for Lesotho
Telephone: +(266 22 312 666
The British government does not have an Embassy in Lesotho, all Consular work is carried out by the British High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa.
British High Commission Pretoria
255 Hill St,
Telephone: +27 12 421 7500
Visa requirements for Lesotho
Travellers from the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and the EU Do no require a visa to enter Lesotho if their stay is less than 14 days. Your passport valid for at least three months following departure.
Healthcare and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Lesotho are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is recommended for most travellers to also get a Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations.
There is no risk of Yellow Fever in Lesotho, however, if you are coming from a country where there is a risk of the disease, or transiting for longer than 12 hours in an at risk country, you will have to provide a certificate of Yellow Fever vaccination. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Lesotho has only very basic medical facilities. In the event of a serious medical emergency you will have to be evacuated to South Africa. Ensure you have adequate medical insurance that will cover the cost of any medical treatment and air evacuation.
Street food vendors do not adhere to any health and hygiene standards and people often fall ill after eating from them. It is advised that you do not buy food from them to avoid unnecessary illness.