Constitutional monarchy. Gained independence from the UK in 1966.
Head of state:
King Letsie III since 1996.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas Thabane since 2012.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are used.
Tucked away within the heart of South Africa, sits the kingdom of Lesotho. Made up of mostly highlands (hence its nickname, ‘the Switzerland of Africa’) the high altitude and mountainous geography lend a scenic backdrop to the various outdoor activities on offer, including pony trekking, bird watching and even skiing.
The existence of valuable mineral and water resources have led developers to build roads through some areas of Lesotho and but much of the country’s villages remain remote and can only be reached on foot or by horseback. Whilst the country may not exert the urban buzz of its larger neighbour, for those on the look out for adventure, Lesotho can certainly hold its own.
Last updated: 02 March 2015
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
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 no effective public transport system or reliable taxi service in Lesotho.
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.
The European Commission has published a list of air carriers that are subject to an operating ban or restrictions within the European Union.
There are occasional spontaneous political demonstrations in Maseru. You should avoid demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings.