How Safe Is Lesotho for Travel?

Lesotho
Safety Index:
47

Lesotho is a country located in Southern Africa, and is often referred to as the Kingdom in the Sky due to its altitude — it has the highest lowest point in the world (1400m) and is the only country in the world to be entirely above 1000m!

Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa and has many attractions to offer which make it an adventurous holiday destination.

When it comes to unique adventures Lesotho has to offer, look no further than the Kome Caves – the staggering cave houses once built by the Basotho people with a purpose to form the cannibals.

For the nature lovers, visit Semonkong Falls known as the falls that drop 200m in a single plunge!

There is really no prettier experience than swimming in a pond below these waterfalls during summer, while during winter, the pond freezes making a natural ice rink – which is probably the most perfect sight to see in this country.

Another impressive feature of Lesotho – real dinosaur footprints that can be seen around the country: the most accessible areas are near Moyeni & Morija.

Warnings & Dangers in Lesotho

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Lesotho is generally considered a safe country to travel to. However, even though it has served as a safe haven and a sanctuary from all the troubles that are hitting the rest of Africa pretty hard - Lesotho also has its issues with crime, both petty and violent, illnesses and poverty.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH

Expect rugged terrains when driving in Lesotho. But this is not the biggest problem when it comes to transport in Lesotho. It is essential to remember that car thefts are common here, as are smash-and-grabs. Lesotho's drivers are usually driving in a reckless and erratic way, and other means of transport are unreliable and slow.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Pickpockets do operate in Lesotho, especially on Lesotho's crowded buses and other types of public transportation as well so make sure you're holding your bags and belongings tightly by your side while traveling.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Many natural disasters have been known to hit Lesotho, including floods, drought, frost, strong winds, and heavy snowfall. These have caused many human and livestock deaths and cause substantial material damage, damage to properties and loss of crops.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : HIGH

Violence is a particular problem in Lesotho. Robberies and muggings are common and while guns aren't that commonly used, knives are, and if you find yourself in such a situation, hand over everything they want immediately, as they will have no problem using violence against you if you resist.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Although Lesotho has experienced no terrorism attacks, they shouldn't be ruled out, so it is best to remain vigilant at all times, and aware of your surroundings.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : HIGH

As in any country, there is the risk of getting scammed. Expect that people will try to extort some money from you whenever they can as this is a poverty-ridden country. You might get overcharged by everyone: street vendors, taxi and bus drivers, and accommodation owners. Double-check every information and payor negotiate everything in advance.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Lesotho isn't the safest destination for a solo female traveler. You should, by all means, avoid going anywhere alone after dark and strive to have some company even during the day. Follow basic common sense and avoid walking alone at night and in poorly lit and secluded areas.

So... How Safe Is Lesotho Really?

Lesotho is, generally, considered far safer than its neighbor – South Africa.

Lesotho has had a reputation of a safe haven – a sanctuary from all the political turmoil that has hit other countries of Africa.

And while it has maintained its independence, it’s fighting its own battles – with poverty, illness, and crime.

Its urban parts are more and more dangerous though the rural areas are so beautiful and filled with gorgeous sights and things to do that there’s little reason to hang around the cities.

Now, the aforementioned crime in urban areas is probably the biggest concern for visitors.

The crime rate in Lesotho’s capital Maseru is considered to be crime critical by the US department of state.

This applies to the nearby towns of Maputsoe and Hlotse, too.

Don’t spend much time on the streets after dark and never stray off well-lit and busy streets.

Be particularly cautious along the stretch between Maseru’s hub of hotels, as well as in the business district as they are notorious for robberies.

When it comes to muggings and robberies, mostly knives are used, but gun crime is on the rise, especially in Maseru.

If you are targeted don’t put up any resistance and hand over your belongings immediately as potential robbers will probably not hesitate in using violence.

Always ride with your car windows up.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Nationals from Ireland, the UK, and the USA do not need a visa to enter Lesotho, while many other countries do need to acquire one. Make sure your passport is valid for at least three months following departure and has at least two blank pages. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - There are two valid currencies in Lesotho: South African rand and Lesotho loti. ATMs are widespread throughout Lesotho, but international cards are rarely accepted anywhere outside of the capital.
  • Weather - The climate in Lesotho is temperate, characterized by hot summers and cold winters. Maseru and the lowlands surrounding it can reach as high as 30 °C during summer, while winters can be cold with the lowlands' temperature dropping as low as −7 °C and in the highlands, it goes down to −20 °C at times.
  • Airports - Moshoeshoe I International Airport is an airport in Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho. It is located in the town of Mazenod, about 18 km southeast of downtown Maseru.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Lesotho, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Lesotho Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 21° C
Feb 21° C
Mar 19° C
Apr 15° C
May 11° C
Jun 8° C
Jul 8° C
Aug 11° C
Sep 15° C
Oct 17° C
Nov 19° C
Dec 21° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
282725211815161923242628
Low
°C
141412830-12691213
High
°F
828177706459616673757982
Low
°F
575754463732303643485455

Where to Next?

8 Reviews on Lesotho

  1. M
    Monyane Rakharebe says:

    Inaccurate Assessment

    I am a Mosotho who has not only worked in the tourism industry… Who up tobtodau still have many friends who have been to Lesotho a couple of times without incidents! This is really unfair on us… We are a very peaceful country and yes like any other country we do have incidents of crime but not rife! Where do you get all these information? I worked with international community previously for over a year and they left never having experienced incidents despite having trotted the beautiful Kingdom….

  2. There is also some level of police harrassment, just petty delaying and questioning which is bribe seeking behaviour. This is targeted at foreign travellers in particular anywhere to the ski resorts after Buthe Buthe. Police checks s shouldnt require a person to leave their vehicle, if they do you know the scam is starting.

  3. R
    Richard Rico says:

    not that safe!

    our party entered the country with no problems. our taxi cab driver threaten to abandon us if we did not pay his outrageous fee to get back to the city. he took all of our to get back to the hotel. the city is very unsafe with bad driving habits, we saw many acts of violence in our stay. we were very cautious but still robbed of our belongings. the phone service there doesn’t work so we had to go to the U.S. Consolet to get home. A very bab experience!

    1. e
      ectynan@gmaiil.com says:

      correct tour spelling and punctuation

      1. S
        Shoaepane says:

        I do not believe what you said, so tell us the place, and the car registration you were using and the case number where you reported that. I am a mosotho and Lesotho is one of the safest places you can go to, so stop badmouthing the beautiful Mountain kingdom

  4. D
    Debra Debor says:

    Bad Dicision, Bring lots of cash!

    CJ was right the police took all our money just to get through one check point! Hide your money in your shoes. On a another note don’t eat the local food and drink only bottle filtered water, two of us got disintery and ended up in the local Hospittal and it wasn’t much cleaner than our motel. On a positive note the countryside was nice.

    1. S
      Shoaepane says:

      We are sorry about that, but what you should know is that, Lesotho us a developing country so we encounter many problems duering this development. Can you please tell me where you were so that the issue can be addressed

  5. Lesotho is safest country ever all this I don’t believe happend to you people unless things changed

Rated 3.75 / 5 based on 8 user reviews.

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