Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. The
three-prong, round pin South African plug is used.
English is the official language, but Sesotho, Xhosa and
Zulu are widely spoken.
All service staff, including tour guides and game rangers, are
customarily tipped between 10 and 15%, which they rely on to boost
their low wages.
Safety in Lesotho is not generally a serious issue but there has
been an increase in opportunistic crime and gun-related crimes, due
to a high unemployment rate in the cities. Most incidents occur in
Maseru, but visitors should also be alert elsewhere to theft, car
hijackings and muggings. Muggers often target foreigners and
foreign vehicles have been involved in recent hijackings near
Malealea Lodge south of Maseru. Avoid walking around with valuables
or else keep them out of sight, and do not walk alone in isolated
areas or in Maseru after dark. Driving through rural areas after
dark is also not recommended. Sporadic demonstrations are possible
and should be avoided if possible.
Photographs of government buildings, the airport or the palace
should not be taken: it is always best to ask if unsure. It is
customary to ask permission from the local village Headman or Chief
before camping, and to inform the Headman or Chief if spending any
time within his village. Homosexuality is illegal.
Business in Lesotho tends to follow usual business practices: be
punctual, exchange business cards and show respect for your hosts,
but anticipate a generally relaxed atmosphere. Suits and ties are
the norm, though a lightweight material is best. Business hours are
usually from 8.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4.30pm Mondays to
Fridays, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.
The international dialling code for Lesotho is +266. The
outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
0027 for South Africa). There are no city/area codes required.
Telephone and fax services are available in all main towns and at
major hotels. Internet cafes are available in Maseru. A GSM 900
mobile network is limited to the main urban areas and has limited
active roaming agreements with other mobile phone operators;
visitors should check with their local networks to see if they have
roaming agreements with the operators in Lesotho.
Travellers to Lesotho do not have to pay duty on 400 cigarettes,
50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 2 litres wine and 1 litre of alcohol;
250ml eau de toilette and 50ml perfume; other gifts to the value of
L500. No liquor may be imported by South African nationals.