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?

21 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….

    1. be clean to your reader not blogg what you know about

      don’t mind the author I believe he or she has never visited Africa that is how they deceive their people not to come to Africa

    2. T
      Traveller man says:

      The people of Lesotho are not even friendly natured towards tourists. No one waves back they look at white people like we smell bad. So perhaps sort that shit out first before crying over your shortfalls.

  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.

    1. Every country’s citizens and especially foreigners(including Basotho) experience those incidents while they are in other countries outside their own… It’s all over the world really. People will always travel to foreign countries even those that others can’t risk visiting. It’s just tourism.

  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

        1. R
          RITHESH MAHARAJ says:

          Watch ur backs as South African govt doesn't assist if crime doesn't happen on there side

          I agree as I was robbed on the 15th of December 2019, I was held hostage, tortured and robbed for 3 days in Maputsoe, on line banking was done, they cleared my bank accounts plus they beat me up. They released me on the 17th Dec 2019.

          They returned my car and I don’t know what other crime was committed with my car while I was held hostage I found R3500 goods were missing like my police sunglasses, all my mp3 CDs, tools, merc triangle, etc R2000 cash from my wallet and R156000 eft at gun an point R24000 card fraud.

          Thk god my dad reported me missing on the 17th morning and hired a private investigator they traced my phone with the criminals and the lady that worked for me in kzn, that I think saved my life.

          At 10 pm on the 17th they drove my car with me in the back to ficksburg border, I was really traumatized, they didn’t even follow the queue for road tax, they jumped about 10 cars when behind the cashier boom gates without paying R40 road tax, at the border they parked in front of the lady to stamp my passport, the other stood opposite her at the police entrance avoiding me from reporting the crime, as I walked to get my passport stamped I was limping foot and hand swollen with the beating, the lady a healthy elderly woman looked with her eye movements obviously u can see something is not right plus the criminal is sitting on the driver’s seat but she turned a blind eye coz she is working hand in hand with these criminals.

          South African police opened a case, the lady was caught in South Africa and released coz its beyond RSA jurisdictions, as the crime happened in Lesotho, I went to Durban consulate General of Lesotho and she refused to help to state I must open a case at any Lesotho police.

          My worst experience ever being stripped naked 3 times and beaten and robbed but nobody can help, the suspects Palesa Rose Nyakane, Modiva(David), hardcore criminals Makoena and teboho Choing, these details were received when the caught the lady who I trusted that traveled with me in her statement and SAP Kzn.

  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

  6. Didn’t feel threatened at all

    Stayed in Rural areas and went to Maseru a few times. Everyone is friendly and had no trouble with locals. Family lived there so we didn’t have to take any public transport. Felt safer in Lesotho than South Africa.

  7. T
    Tlaleng says:

    I don’t believe any of this at all. Trust me I have been to some other parts of Africa where they will increase the prices if they realise that you are not local. Lesotho is a very peaceful country. Stop slandering our country people here are so peaceful

  8. J
    John Wood (South Africa) says:

    Lesotho, a magical safe wilderness destination.

    I can only believe the above writers have either never been to Lesotho or have an agenda. It’s a beautiful safe country with wonderful people. The cities like Meseru are grubby and sprawling and best avoided, but they are not the reason you visit this mountain kingdom.

    It’s the mountains and wilderness that you should seek to visit. A more beautiful and safe place you’ll battle to find anywhere in the world. We’ve been caught out riding bikes in the mountains and the local folk have taken us in and sheltered us from the weather overnight, fed us without asking for a cent.

  9. I believe bad things do happen in Lesotho

    As Citizen in Lesotho,I do believe bad things do happen in my country like any other countries. If someone experienced robbery in my country it’s a shame to us as nation because we are know as peaceful n beautiful country. Am really sorry for the victims n hope u get Justice. No place is clean without criminals. The story of Mr Maharaj broke my heart. N am asking myself what hv we become as a nation.

  10. My family of five visited Lesotho in December 2019. I can tell you we had such a good time there we are already planning to go back again this year. We stayed at the best guest house and were received like family. The Guest House owners were super friendly, in fact we were like family. They gave us hints of places to avoid and insisted we don’t go out after dark. We were in Lesotho for 7 days and visited many places in our foreign registered Ford Ranger without any issues and met plenty Basotho who were very welcoming. There were road blocks but never had issues there as well. The only hick up of course was the lack of discipline on the road especially in Maseru…hey…the driving was out of this world, this made worse by the yellow taxi’s driven by those born from the same mother…otherwise we had a blast, made plenty friends (we still keep in touch) and really miss the scenery, the food along the road prepared just the way I want, the treacherous roads (i mean 70km to Mohale took 2hrs, back home it takes 20 minutes). I’m now worried when people are kidnapped and put into baggage boots like in one country i don’t want to mention…it will be disaster if that happens to my family…shoo.

  11. There's two sides to every coin

    Visited a museum in Morija one time… Best welcome and great interpretation of the heritage and culture, I learnt so much about the country and how they lived and live. The guides were amazing and quite clear and knowledgeable as well as polite. Let us focus on what makes us travel. No country is perfect… Developed or developing they are all the same if we look at their bad sides more than we do the good. I say go out and have yourself some fun… Corruption, theft, discrimination etc all that shouldn’t taint the goodness of traveling. I love visiting countries. I am not stopping going to Lesotho and countries like it. So much richness to be unearthed in places like that.

  12. E
    Eamonn Tynan, Ireland says:

    I have worked in Lesotho from 1984 until 1988.
    I was a teacher at Holy Family High School , St Monica’s, leribe.

    My wife and 2 young sons came with me.

    I found the experience to be very fulfilling and interesting.

    We have very fond memories of our life in Lesotho.

    With little bit of care, it can be very rewarding and safe

  13. Our week in Lesotho

    I visited in 2018 (with three others) driving in a rented 4×4. We had a great time. We practised street smarts and had no issues. You do need a Lesotho SIM card but these are very cheap. Great trail running up in the mountains!

  14. T
    Traveller man says:

    Bad driving bad attitudes and lots of crime. Dont waste your money on this corrupt place.

Rated 3.95 / 5 based on 21 user reviews.

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