With the entire country lying above 1,500 metres, Lesotho is known as the “Kingdom in the Sky”, and is a country of outstanding natural beauty. Lesotho adventure tours take you to a country with the highest low point of any country in the world. Lesotho is a land of remote, rugged mountains, deep valleys and the unique Basotho culture. Lesotho boasts 300 days of sunshine a year (and receives annual snow in winter!), and is famous for pony trekking, hiking, dinosaur footprints and some of the oldest rock art in the world, all of which can be experienced on a Lesotho adventure tour.
Adventure and culture go hand in hand in Lesotho, and nowhere is this more true than at Malealea Lodge. Known as “Lesotho in a nutshell” and located in the “Gates of Paradise Pass”, this stunning lodge is ideally located to offer pony treks and hikes in to the Maluti Mountains to view the Botsoela Waterfall or the perfectly preserved 20,000 year old rock art. In the evening, the local village choir gathers to sing; with the sun setting on the Maluti Mountains as their backdrop - the Basotho people’s resilience and friendliness; and the tranquillity and beauty of their lands will be the highlight of your Lesotho adventure tour.
All Tours of Lesotho
+ local payment US$180
+ local payment US$420
+ local payment US$540
+ local payment US$780
+ local payment US$780
+ local payment US$780
+ local payment US$1010
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Lesotho Travel Guide
Lesotho Travel Guide
The country now known as Lesotho was once inhabited by San Bushmen hunter gatherers, until 1600 when refugees from Bantu tribal wars began to arrive. Voortrekkers (Boer pioneers) arrived in the land then known as Basotholand, in the 19th century. The first major leader of the nation was Moshoeshoe the Great, who gathered together the remnants of tribes scattered by Zulu and Matabele raids and established a stronghold about 30 kilometres from what was to become Maseru. In 1868, under increasing pressure from the Boer settlers, Moshoeshoe placed himself and his people under the protection of the British government, who gave control back to the Cape Colony of South Africa, who then in turn returned power to the British. The Kingdom of Lesotho finally became independent in 1966 under King Moshoeshoe II. Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy with a proportional electoral system. The prime minister is head of government, and the King fulfils a ceremonial role without any governing power over the country.
Geography and weather
Lesotho is a landlocked country, made up mostly of highland with plateaux, hills and mountains, and is entirely surrounded South Africa. The capital Maseru and surrounding lowlands often reach 30°C in summer. Nearly all Lesotho’s rain falls in summer, between October and April, however these months are also the warmest with sunny days reaching 25-30°C. Winters can be cold with the lowlands getting down to 7°C and the highlands to −18°C at times. Snow is common in the highlands between May and September; the higher peaks can experience snowfalls year-round.
Visit www.worldclimate.com to get an idea of what the weather will be like on your tour.
EU nationals, US, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand citizens require only their passport and may remain for a period of 14 days without a visa. Other nationals need to obtain a visa. A single entry tourist visa costs approximately US$55 and is valid for up to three months. Visa services like www.travcour.com can be very helpful.
Important: pounds sterling are not accepted at border crossings so bring US dollars cash for any visa expenses at the border.
All visitors must hold a passport that will be valid for at least six months following departure from Lesotho. Visitors travelling via South Africa will need to comply with South African passport/visa regulations.
The monetary unit in Lesotho is the loti (LSL). 1 Loti = 100 lisente. Notes are in denominations of LSL200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 lisente. South African rand are widely accepted at a 1:1 rate so it can be easier to convert into rand rather than loti. It is difficult to exchange loti in South Africa. For up-to-date exchange rates with your own currency visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.
Cash is required for many purchases. Credit cards are accepted in the capital but are not widely accepted elsewhere. Some ATMs have the facility to accept international cards but are quite unreliable.
The loti is set at a fixed value against the South African rand, which is widely accepted as legal currency.
Banking hours are approximately Monday to Friday (except Wednesday) 8:30am-3pm Wednesday: 8:30am -1pm Saturday: 8:30am -11:00am.
In general, Visa is the only credit card that will work everywhere in Africa. Master Card, AMEX and Cirrus will work in some countries but not in others.
We recommend that you bring cash in US dollars only. When changing money, it is a good idea if at all possible, to get small denomination notes and coins in the local currency as often there is a lack of change when you are making purchases and no-one in Africa ever seems to have change. It can be very difficult to obtain US dollars in Africa, even in major cities like Cape Town. Many places will not accept any notes that are marked, torn or older than the year 2002, and you may have difficulty exchanging these notes elsewhere in Africa, so please check your cash carefully at the point of purchase. Please note that it is not possible to withdraw US dollars from ATMs in Africa, only local currency.
In restaurants 10% is usually added to restaurant bills and you are obliged to pay this. Tipping guides at the end of excursions and treks etc is always appreciated and your tour leader will advise you on the amount for this.
Generally people feel safe and confident wandering alone during the day. However if you are unfamiliar with an area it is recommended that you exercise more caution at night. Pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur in some cities so always keep a firm hand/eye on your personal items and don’t carry all your money with you. If there is a safe available in your hotel it is recommended you use it.
Caution should be taken when taking photos in and around the towns and cities. Locals should always be asked prior to taking a photo and it is not uncommon for them to ask for a small donation. Never take photos of police, military personal or buildings. The same goes for any government buildings, banks, post offices or the railway station.
Local food and drink
Most meals are included when camping and lunch is usually included on travelling days in the truck. When staying in hotels or hostels, all meals are at your own expense.
Your tour leader will be able to recommend restaurants.
Lesotho cuisine is often spicy and colourful as a result of its blend of influences, including European, Asian and African, Indian and Malay cultures. The basic ingredients of Lesotho cuisine include freshwater fish, smoked meat products and wild game, and also fresh fruits and vegetables. Corn, maize, cassava and rice are staple ingredients, and sauces play a big part in the Leosotho cooking style. Fried cakes, similar to doughnuts, are popular. Fruits grown include apples, apricots, peaches, pears and quinces.
If you are a strict vegetarian you may experience a distinct lack of variety in the food available, especially in small towns. You might find that you are eating a lot of omelettes and other egg dishes. Our tour leaders will do their best to provide interesting vegetarian alternatives when arranging group meals in the campsite, but your patience and understanding is requested.
All drinks such as bottled water or soft drinks are at your own expense at all times and are fairly inexpensive. Alcoholic drinks vary in price, with wine and beer generally being the cheapest options. Beer is brewed locally in Lesotho.
You should be wary of drinking the local tap water. Bottled water, carbonated soft drinks and fruit juices are widely available and are generally safe to drink. Please note however that fruit juices are sometimes made with un-boiled tap water and could upset your stomach.
The time difference in Lesotho is GMT/UTC + 2. For other time differences please visit www.timeanddate.com
220 volts 50Hz. Sockets are three pin.