Nationals of the USA and UK can enter Lesotho visa-free for up to 90 days, while visitors from Australia, Canada and New Zealand can stay 14 days. Passports need to be valid for at least six months post-travel, and proof of onward transportation may be requested.

Health and Safety

Outside of ensuring your routine shots are up to date, vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B and typhoid are recommended. Malaria and Bilharzia are not a risk here, but visitors should remember that at least 25 percent of the population is infected with HIV/AIDS, with women under 40 in urban areas at 50 percent.

Sterile needles and dressings should be carried as a precaution, as hospital standards are low. Full travelers’ insurance valid for the country is advised, and the nearby South African hospitals are excellent in case of a serious emergency. Visitors should remember that Lesotho’s altitude, especially in the mountains, is high enough to cause altitude sickness, which can be fatal if not treated. The water is generally not safe to drink, but bottled water is widely available.

Although Lesotho is considered a safer destination than South Africa, it’s still not advisable to wander the city streets alone, especially at night. The US government warns against viewing political demonstrations and recommends staying vigilant throughout your trip. Carjacking and street crime in towns, particularly in the capital, do happen, even during the daytime, and traveling alone at night should be avoided. US travelers connecting through Johannesburg Airport should be aware they are at particular risk of baggage pilfering.