Foreign travel advice

Lesotho

Summary

There’s no British diplomatic representation in Lesotho. If you’re in need of emergency consular assistance, you can contact the British High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa on +2712 421 7500.

Most visits to Lesotho are trouble free.

There are ongoing political tensions and occasional spontaneous political demonstrations in Maseru. You should avoid demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings. There is often an increase in criminal activity, especially property crimes, leading up to the holiday season. Take extra care and be vigilant during this period.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Lesotho, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Safety and security

Crime

Muggers in central Maseru frequently target foreign nationals. Don’t walk alone in isolated areas or after dark and avoid driving in rural areas at night. When driving in urban centres, especially Maseru, keep doors locked, windows shut and valuables out of sight. Park in well-lit areas and do not pick up strangers. Take care at the approaches to main border crossings, particularly at night. There have been cases of armed car-jacking. If you are involved in such an incident, offer no resistance.

Take precautions to safeguard valuables and cash. Leave them in hotel safes, where practicable. Keep copies of important documents, including passports, in a separate place.

There is often an increase in criminal activity, especially property crimes, leading up to the holiday season. Take extra care and be vigilant during this period.

Local travel

There is no effective public transport system. Taxis can be arranged through hotels and you should use pre-booked taxis where possible.

Road travel

A British driving licence or International Driving Permit is valid for use in Lesotho for up up to three months. If you wish to drive for a longer period, you will need a local driving licence.

Driving standards in Lesotho are poor and you should drive carefully.  Local mini-bus taxis are often poorly maintained and uninsured, and ignore road safety rules. Animals roaming on the roads are a hazard, especially at night.

Air travel

The European Commission has published a list of air carriers that are subject to an operating ban or restrictions within the European Union.

Political situation

There are occasional spontaneous political demonstrations in Maseru. You should avoid demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings.

Terrorism

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Lesotho, attacks can’t be ruled out.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

Homosexuality is illegal.

Possession of drugs is a serious offence and punishments can be severe.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

British nationals can obtain entry visas on arrival. Overstaying without proper authority is a serious matter. You may be held in detention. 

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 90 days from the date of exit from Lesotho. You must have at least 2 blank pages in your passport when you present it at immigration to enter or leave Lesotho.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry into, transit and exit from Lesotho. Your Emergency Travel Document should have a minimum of 6 months remaining validity.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

South Africa

If you intend to visit South Africa before or after travelling to Lesotho your passport should have at least 2 additional blank pages when you present it at immigration to enter or leave South Africa.

Travelling with children via a South African airport

If you’re transiting through a South African airport with children, see our South Africa travel advice page for information and advice about the documents you’ll need to carry.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

Lesotho has basic medical facilities. Expatriates use medical facilities in Bloemfontein, South Africa, a 90-minute drive (140km) from Maseru. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad, including evacuation by air and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 121 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Travel advice help and support

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send us a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.