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Lesotho

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in lesotho

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Lesotho is a country in Southern Africa. It is an enclave, totally surrounded by South Africa

Flag
Image:lt-flag.png
Quick Facts
CapitalMaseru
Governmentparliamentary constitutional monarchy
Currencyloti (LSL); South African rand (ZAR)
Areatotal: 30,355 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 30,355 sq km
Population2,207,954 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageSesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
ReligionChristian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%
Map of LesothoMap of Lesotho
Map of Lesotho

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lesotho Travel Guide :

Lesotho

Regions

Lesotho

Cities

  • MaseruMaseru -- the capital
Lesotho

Other destinations

Semonkong Lodge - beautiful lodge nestled in the Lesotho Highlands mountain ranges. Near the village of Semonkong (which is connected to Maseru by road) and an hours walk from the magnificent Maletsunyane Falls (the 2nd highest single drop waterfalls in the Southern Hemisphere at 192m.) Try pony trekking around the local area, or absailing down the highest commercial absail in the world at the Falls.

Thaba Bosiu - the mountain stronghold where King Moeshoeshoe the Great established the Kingdom of Lesotho and fought off wave after wave of Zulu attacks. Still there are all the burial places of all the Kings and Queens of Lesotho (although it is widely believed that the bones of King Moeshoeshoe have long since been removed and used in traditional religious ceremonies.)

Other place

Lesotho

Understand

Lesotho

Get in

Lesotho

Visa

Citizens of most Commonwealth countries, Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, European states and the US will be granted a free entry permit, valid for 30 days. Your passport needs to be valid for another six month and you need at least two blank pages. The proof of a return or onward ticket or your future travel plans might be asked, but this should not be a problem.

Lesotho

By plane

Moshoeshoe Airport is located 18km from MaseruMaseru. South African Airways (http://www.flysaa.com) operates flights to Johannesburg.

Lesotho

By train

There is no train line within Lesotho, but the South African railway line Bloemfontein Bohlokong (freight only) runs along the northwestern Lesotho border, with a stop in Meqheleng.

Lesotho

By car

You will be coming from South Africa when entering by car. The major border posts are Caledonspoort, Ficksburg Bridge, Makhaleng Bridge, Maseru Bridge, Ngoangoma Gate, Peka Bridge, Qacha's Nek, Ramatseliso's Gate, Sani Pass, Sephaphos Gate, Tele Bridge and Van Rooyen's Gate. Please note that some of the border posts can only be accessed by four-wheel driven cars.

Roads in Lesotho are not as good as in South Africa and you should make sure that your car is prepared for the road it is to go. Please ask locals, if the road you are going to take is okay, especially during winter times. The truth is that if you keep to the main roads you are likely to drive on a road smoother than eastern free state(RSA) roads!

When taking a rented car, be sure to get permission from the rental company to take the car into Lesotho. You will need to show written permission from the rental company at border control.

Lesotho

By bus

Minibuses run between MaseruMaseru and Johannesburg, as well as the Drakensberg area.

Lesotho

Get around

In Lesotho, the way to get round is either by Sprinter (inter city minibuses), Minibus taxis (inner city shared taxis, fits loads of people in, but very cheap! ), by 4+1 (regular taxi, but very very expensive!) or by foot!

Sprinters and Minibus taxis operate with a driver and a conductor who sorts out people to get on, and will also collect your money.

Be warned, the way the Sprinters and the Minibus taxis are so cheap is due to the way they fit as many people in as possible! Do not be surprised to see kids sitting on laps four or five high, or to have to have huge amounts of luggage on your lap or wedged in around you, or you in around it (which is more often the case!)

Public transport is usually relatively safe during the day - just make sure to say where you want to get off before you get there! We have missed stops before, expecting the driver to just stop, and he didnt! At night it is inadvisable to travel out, unless with a very reliable driver - check with whoever you are staying with for one, they do exist! I would strongly advise against travelling alone in Lesotho.

It is of course possible to hire a car and travel around, but it's nowhere near as fun as getting up close to the locals and chatting to them! Be sure to get a 4x4 if you want to go anywhere off the main roads - its not just the mountains that have bumpy, potholed roads, the capital Maseru does too! Also remember that it's not advisable to stop at junctions at night, unless there is no other way - Westerners have been held up at gun point in their cars whilst stopped at junctions. The police allow for this, and even encourage you to.

Intercity travel will cost no more than 50 Rand for a single, although it is always worth negotiating to hire a whole taxi if you are a large group, that way it is often a lot cheaper.

Lesotho

Talk

The official languages are Sesotho and English. Nearly everyone speaks Sesotho, and most of the locals in Maseru and the other big towns speak English to a reasonable standard, though in the Highlands, especially away from tourist attractions, don't expect to be understood if you speak English.

Afrikaans is spoken in Maseru, although not by many.

Lesotho

Buy

Lesotho

Eat

The most popular food in Lesotho is chicken. In Maseru, you will not find a Macdonalds or a Burger King, but instead a KFC, and also a Finger Licking Chicken, a Southern Fried Chicken... The list goes on! One of the delicacies that as a traveller you must request is Walky Talky Stew, a stew containg the heads and the feet of chickens!

Another popular food is papa, which is essentially maize mixed with water. Make sure you eat it quickly, as it goes hard very quickly and becomes unchewable, and also that you dont eat too much of it! Its hard to walk and enjoy Lesotho with a solid lump of papa in your stomach!

Lesotho

Drink

Lesotho

Sleep

  • In Maseru, there are several hotels, most notably the Lesotho Sun, which offers fantastic views over Maseru.
  • Semonkong Lodge, (situated on the Maletsunyane river, just one hour's walk from Maletsunyane Falls, one of the highlights of the country) offers accomodation, horse treks, abseiling at the Falls, and much more.
  • Malealea Lodge offers accommodation, horse treks and 4x4 excursions.
  • In rural areas, Catholic and Protestant missions will often rent rooms to travelers.
Lesotho

Learn

Lesotho

Work

Lesotho

Stay safe

There are rules which apply to all Third World Countries, including Lesotho.

The main tips for Lesotho:

  • Do not carry valuables - leave them in your accomodation
  • Do not carry a bag - men especially do not carry bags in Lesotho, so if you do, then people will be naturally inquisitive.
  • Do not travel by yourself, try and stay in as large a group as possible.
  • Do not partake in any illegal (or semi-illegal) activities, the police can be very unreasonable.
  • As HIV/AIDs is so prevalent amongst locals, avoid drug taking, administering first aid, casual sex.
Lesotho

Stay healthy

Please be aware that HIV/Aids is a very big issue in Lesotho - as in South Africa - and that you should protect yourself! In anycase, always protect yourself when you stray from the straight and narrow path!

Lesotho is infact at a very priveliged altitude! It is too high for the Malaria carrying Mosquito to live! So dont worry about taking any anti-malarials for visiting in Lesotho!

Despite being landlocked in South Africa, Lesotho is very much still a third world country. Therefore be sure to get vaccinated against Hep A, Hep B, Hep C, Rabies, Typhoid. Plus please make sure to take a few sterile needles along with your first aid kit- the nearest hospital may not be too far away, but you're likely to catch something nasty from dirty needles.

Lesotho

Respect

Try and learn a few Sesotho words before travelling to Lesotho! The locals really appreciate a foreigner who has made the effort to learn their language! Always refer to an elder person, or a person of higher social standing as "Ntate" (male) or "M'e" (female)

Always respond to people, it is very offensive to ignore someone who greets you! As a foreigner, locals will be keen to say hello and ask you what you're upto in their country!

Never get angry at anyone, in the Basotho culture, people never show frustration towards others, and if you do, then you can easily really offend someone. To show respect when giving and receiving items, use both hands.

Lesotho

Contact

In Maseru, there are several internet cafes, although they are fairly expensive and are pretty slow.

The most reasonable priced, 999 Internet is in downtown Maseru, on Kingsway opposite the big Post Office. They offer a 10 hour account, at 100 Rand, which is by far the cheapest in the city, just be sure to go during the day (it packs out during the evenings with locals) and not during a thunderstorm (we had a 10 minute powercut!)

Elsewhere, there is Leo Internet, although there are only three terminals there...

The only British cell phones that work were ones on Vodafone. Unsure about other nationalities.

Lesotho

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