Language

The official language is English, but many people speak Zulu, Xhosa or Sesotho.

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Money

Lesotho’s official currency is the loti, which breaks down into 100 lisente. South African rands are equal in value and are also accepted as legal currency. You can change money at banks and exchange bureaus in most main towns. The major shops, hotels and restaurants all accept credit cards. Banks will accept traveler’s checks. Local ATMs are unreliable.

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Communications

Lesotho’s international country code is 266. To call another country from Lesotho, dial 00 followed by the appropriate country code. All the main towns and major hotels provide telephone and fax services, and Maseru has Internet cafes.

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Tipping

Members of the service industry, including tour guides and game rangers, rely on tips of 10 to 15 percent to boost their low wages.

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Safety

Lesotho’s high unemployment rate has increased the rate of opportunistic crime in cities. Most of the crime happens in Maseru, but be aware of theft, muggings and car-jacking elsewhere. Foreigners and foreign vehicles have been targeted south of Maseru near Malealea Lodge. Keep your valuables hidden and don’t walk alone after dark or in isolated areas. You shouldn’t drive in rural areas after dark either. Demonstrations and protests occur sporadically and should be avoided.

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Health

If you’re coming from an area infected with yellow fever, you’ll need to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Vaccinations for typhoid, polio and hepatitis A are recommended, and be aware that HIV/AIDS is prevalent. The medical facilities aren’t very good and many people travel to South Africa for care. Bring a personal supply of any needed medications and make sure you’re covered by a health insurance that includes emergency air evacuation coverage.

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Electricity

Lesotho’s electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz and uses three-pronged, round-pin, South African plugs.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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