Banking and Currency
Lesotho’s main currency is the Maloti, which is tied to the South African Rand. South African Rand is spent interchangeably with Maloti. Maloti is available only in Lesotho, and cannot be used in South Africa.
Travellers’ cheques and most credit cards are accepted in Lesotho. There are no restrictions on the amount of money tourists may bring into the country. Lesotho’s three commercial banks, comprising Standard Lesotho Bank, Nedbank and First National Bank, offer currency exchange services in their main Maseru branches.
Banks are open Mondays to Fridays from 08;30am to 03:30pm and on Saturdays from 08:30am to 12:00noon.
Most major hotels, shops, restaurants, and travel agencies accept credit cards, though it is best to check with credit and debit card companies as to their acceptance before leaving home. Local ATMs in Lesotho have the facility to accept international ATM cards but are unreliable.
Travel, Transport and Getting Around
Lesotho Airways has daily flights to and from Johannesburg International Airport which take approximately one hour and ten minutes. Lesotho Airways also provides connections to some of the main towns.
Railways / Train Services
The South African Railway system links into Lesotho from Maseru to Marseille on the Bloemfontein/Natal main line.
Generally well served by privately owned buses and smaller passenger vehicles, particularly between major centres. Some unsealed roads become impassable during the rainy season.
The main road running from the north to the western and southern borders is sealed and passable throughout the year. All other minor roads can be impassable during the rains.
Driving is on the left-hand side and driving licences issued in most countries are valid for a period of up to six months, provided that they are printed in English or are accompanied by a certified translation. International Licences are recognised.
Politeness is very much appreciated in Lesotho, and it is always best to ask before taking pictures of places or people. It is customary to ask permission from the local village Headman or Chief before camping, and to inform him if spending any time within his village. Homosexuality is illegal so visitors should be cautious and discreet.
The international dialling code for Lesotho is +266, and the outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). Telephone and fax services are available in all main towns and at major hotels. Visitors can purchase local prepaid SIM cards for unlocked phones; WiFi is available in cafes, restaurants and hotels in cities.