Lesotho

Lesotho

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following Districts: Leribe and Maseru

The Kingdom of Lesotho is located in Africa and is completely surrounded by South Africa. The population is about 2 million people, with the majority of the people being Sotho. The country is politically stable with a government that is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. A king is the chief of state and a prime minister is the head of government.

Previously known as Basutoland, Lesotho gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. After about 20 years of military rule, a constitutional government was formed in 1993. Currently, there is a coalition government in place as a result of peaceful elections held in 2012.

Poverty is widespread in this country. Lesotho has few natural resources and is economically dependent on South Africa for its economy. However, the country has resisted being annexed by South Africa.

Travellers may be interested in visiting Thabana Ntlenyana, Africa’s highest mountain south of Kilimanjaro and one of Africa’s few ski resorts. Infrastructure for tourists is growing. The country offers opportunities for many outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, hiking, and for enjoying the unspoiled countryside.

Currency LSL: Lesotho loti
Language Sesotho; English
Capital Maseru
Recent Alerts 1
Latest Alert June 05, 2019 - Outbreak of Anthrax with Human Cases in Lesotho

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Lesotho. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Lesotho through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Lesotho.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Lesotho, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Lesotho. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever. However, this country requires all persons 9 months of age or older to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a country where yellow fever occurs, and for travellers who have transited for more than 12 hours through an airport in a country where yellow fever virus transmission occurs.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in Lesotho. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked or raw seafood in this country.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Lesotho. Travellers to Lesotho are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever may occur in Lesotho.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Lesotho.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever. However, this country requires all persons 9 months of age or older to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a country where yellow fever occurs, and for travellers who have transited for more than 12 hours through an airport in a country where yellow fever virus transmission occurs.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Lesotho.

None required.

Safety and Security in Lesotho

Emergency Numbers

223 171 63
800 220 46
589 705 88
800 220 46
(266) 2231 2934 or (266) 2232 2099

Emergency response may be unreliable, and travellers have reported emergency numbers being out of service.

Personal Safety

In general, most travellers to Lesotho experience no difficulties. However, crime, such armed assaults, and carjacking as well as pickpocketing, bag snatching, and other theft does occur and foreigners are targeted. Most crime reportedly occurs in urban areas. Always be alert to your personal safety. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night.

Use a high level of caution when visiting Leribe and Maseru due to the high levels of crime.

Road travel outside urban city areas can be unsafe. Roads may be in poor condition, drivers may not follow the rules of the road, and animals may stray onto roads. Driving is on the left. Avoid using public transportation as vehicles may be overloaded and in poor mechanical condition.

Severe thunderstorms occur in Lesotho, especially between November and February. The weather can change rapidly and unexpectedly, especially in the mountains. Always bring appropriate clothing for warm and cool weather. Monitor local weather sources closely.

LGBTI travellers should note that although same-sex behaviours are legal in Lesotho, same-sex marriage is not. LGBTI travellers will likely face discrimination in Lesotho.

Political Unrest

There is potential for civil unrest in Lesotho. In any country, avoid public demonstrations or protests. Even peaceful demonstrations can escalate to violence.

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