The Kingdom of Lesotho is the smallest state in South Africa situates on the Basotho plateau. The capital city is Maseru.
The climate is hot subtropical. From October to April is a wet season in Lesotho. In summer, the storms often occur. The ideal time for visiting Lesotho resorts is spring. Summer is good for winter activities and ecological tourism.
The ingenious population in Lesotho is Basotho people. The official language is English, but the locals mainly speak Sesotho. The majority of the population are the Christians (80%) and the rest practice aboriginal cults (20%).
Lesotho is rightly believed to be an ideal place for active tourism. There is everything you need for trekking, hiking, ecological tourism, and horse-back riding.
From the Katse Dam, one can go to the Bokong Nature Reserve. The mountain rivers are full of fish. If you travel to Lesotho, visit the Berea Plateau and enjoy an amazing view of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Victories and the Lesotho Evangelical Church in the city of Quthing. In the city of Lesotho, there is the Tsehlanyane National Park, where one can see rare plants and animals and speak with friendly Aborigines. The lovers of alpine skiing should visit a small town Butha-Buthe. The most popular skiing resort is Afri-ski in the Maluti mountains.
In one of the largest cities in the Kingdom Mafeteng, there is the Morija Museum and the radio station Mafeteng. If you like hiking, we recommend visiting the city of Qacha’s Nek with its national park Sehlabathebe. There you will see the famous Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains, caves, and African savannah.
There are no direct flights between CIS and EU countries and Lesotho. A trip to this country can be a bit difficult for the tourists. They will have to take transit flights with a transfer in Johannesburg.
One can take a bus in Durban, Capetown, Johannesburg, and Bloemfontein and get to Maseru.
If you do not want to drive through Maseru, you can take a taxi, drive in your own car or try hitchhiking.
The CIS citizens must obtain a visa to travel to Lesotho. The visa-free regime is available for the citizens of Great Britain, Japan and some other European countries.
The documents for a visa should be submitted to the consulates, embassies or visa centres of Great Britain.
If the tourists have a South African visa they can visit Lesotho for a short period of time, but before they need to apply to the Consulate of Lesotho in one of the South African cities to get a permit. To receive a visa to Lesotho in this case, only an international passport with a valid South African visa is required.
Travelling to Lesotho, make sure you know the Customs rules.
There are no restrictions concerning the import and export of currency. However, it is prohibited to export the national money (loti).
It is not allowed to import to Lesotho any meat including canned meat.
The national cuisine of Lesotho is not on the exotic side. The territory of the Kingdom was a home for many nations and now the cuisine is a mix of popular world dishes. It combined European and Asian cooking traditions.
The locals eat a lot of vegetables and the most popular are zucchini, potatoes, and tomatoes. In Lesotho, you can try any traditional meat. Exotic dishes from elephant and crocodile meat are served in restaurants as a delicacy.
People in Lesotho typically add some curry to meat and fish dishes.
The locals love fish and seafood. You can try lobsters, prawns, and crawfish. People in Lesotho grow amazingly delicious grapes. You will find it everywhere fresh or dried.
Do not miss a chance to try coconut homebrew. A for refreshing drinks, you will be offered juices, tea, and coffee.
The national currency in Lesotho is the Loti.
The tourists can exchange foreign currency at banks, in exchange offices, hotels, and malls.
In Lesotho, it is very convenient to use a credit card. In addition to Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, in the Kingdom they also accept Access and Diners Club. The tourists can pay with a card in the hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets in Maseru. However, cash is still preferable.
US dollars and Euro are not accepted.
Details of interest
When planning your travel to the Kingdom of Lesotho, it will be useful to learn about the traditions of the indigenous Basotho people.
Basotho live in round-shaped and square clay dwellings. They draw geometrical patterns on their houses. Everyday clothes of Basotho include a woolen blanket and a headwear the form of which reminds a hut. Basotho can make bracelets, beads, and necklaces.
During the rituals and celebrations, Basotho dance and sing. They are friendly to the tourists, especially if they buy some souvenir.
Sightseeing in Lesotho
- In Lesotho, there is a unique natural monument inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains. It is over 200 million years old.
- Thabana Ntlenyana is the highest peak in the Kingdom (3.482). Here there is also the highest waterfall on the entire African continent, the Tugela Falls.
- The Royal Palace Maseru and the Lesotho national Museum are the main sights in the capital city. Not far from the capital is the Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village, which is surrounded by the Moshoeshoe Fortress. This fortress is well-known by the fact that the colonizers were not able to take possession of it for 40 years.
- The Quilon Tower is the very centre of the district. Its shape is similar to the shape of the traditional headwear of Basotho.
- Malealea is a town 83 kilometres away from Maseru. It is called “Lesotho in miniature”.
- Teyateyaneng is the city which is considered to be the centre of crafts. People here make woolen things and beautiful tapestry with national ornaments.
Souvenirs in Lesotho
The most popular souvenirs in Lesotho is authentic headwear which is sold in Butha-Buthe. In Mafeteng, the tourists can buy the skins of wild animals, leather goods and Basotho jewellery. Basotho headwear is sold in the shops Hut Craft in the centre of Maseru. Visit the local market where you can find all types of souvenirs.