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Full Name: Kingdom of Lesotho
Capital City: Maseru
Language Spoken: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
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29 30 S, 28 30 E
lowest point: junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers 1,400 m highest point: Thabana Ntlenyana 3,482 m
total: 909 km border countries: South Africa 909 km
water, agricultural and grazing land, diamonds, sand, clay, building stone
arable land: 10.87% permanent crops: 0.13% other: 89% (2005)
population pressure forcing settlement in marginal areas results in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, and soil exhaustion; desertification; Highlands Water Project controls, stores, and redirects water to South Africa
time difference: UTC+2
2,022,331 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
0-14 years: 36.8% (male 374,102/female 369,527) 15-64 years: 58.3% (male 572,957/female 606,846) 65 years and over: 4.9% (male 39,461/female 59,438) (2006 est.)
total: 20.3 years male: 19.7 years female: 21 years (2006 est.)
-0.46% (2006 est.)
24.75 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
28.71 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
-0.68 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
total population: 34.4 years male: 35.55 years female: 33.21 years (2006 est.)
3.28 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Lightweight suit, shirt and tie should be worn for business meetings. . Usual business formalities should be observed, but expect a casual atmosphere and pace. Most business people speak English. Office hours are 0800-1245 and 1400-1630 Monday to Friday and 0800-1300 Saturday. Government office hours are 0800-1245 and 1400-1630 Monday to Friday.
Deteriorating economic conditions in the country aggravated by the return of large numbers of unemployed miners from South Africa have caused an increase in armed robberies, break-ins and auto thefts. This occurs primarily in the capital city of Maseru but can occur elsewhere as well. Victims have included foreign diplomats and members of foreign aid missions. Traveling alone or at night is particularly dangerous.
Visitors to Maseru will find several modern, well-equipped hotels with full telephone telex and fax facilities. There are hotels of varying quality in the main towns and mountain lodges giving access to the wilder regions.
Telephone IDD service is available to some cities. The country code is 266 (no area codes). The outgoing international code is 00. There is a limited internal telephone network. Limited telex/telegram facilities exist in main post offices and hotels. For charges contact the High Commission or Embassy. Post offices are generally open 0800-1300 and 1400-1630 Monday to Friday, 0800-1200 Saturday.
is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity
No Test Required
The British High Commission in Lesotho has now closed. The British High Commission in Pretoria has overall responsibility for Lesotho.
British High Commission
255 Hill Street,Arcadia 0002, Pretoria
Consular Section: 256 Glyn Street, Hatfield 0083, Pretoria
Telephone: (27) (12) 421 7500 Switchboard
(27) (12) 421 7733 General Enquiries
(27) (12) 421 7800 Consular Enquiries
(27) (12) 421 7801 Passport Enquiries
(27) (12) 421 7802 Visa Enquiries
Facsimile: (27) (12) 421 7555 Switchboard
(27) (12) 421 7599 General Enquiries
(27) (12) 421 7877 Passport Enquiries
(27) (12) 421 7888 Visa Enquiries
Email: [email protected] General Enquiries
[email protected] Passport Enquiries
[email protected] Visa Enquiries
[email protected] Trade & Investment Enquiries
Office Hours: GMT:
Out of hours, High Commission provides contact number.
High Commission Website: http://www.lesotholondon.org.uk/
Address: 7 Chesham Place, Belgravia, London SW1X 8HN
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Reasonable dental care can be found in the largest towns
Some international medication is available from the larger pharmacies and hospitals in the larger towns
Local blood supplies should be considered as unsafe, unless they are marked as having been supplied by the Blood Transfusion Service of South Africa
Medical facilities are minimal. Many medicines are unavailable. Doctors and hospitals often require immediate cash payment for health care services
Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or water known to be free from pollution. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.
AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.
Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.
Insect-borne illness: unlikely to be a major health problem for the traveler. Plague - occurs Relapsing fever - occurs Rift Valley fever - occurs Tick-bite fever - occurs Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) - occurs Typhus - occurs (mainly tick-borne) Food-borne and water-borne illness: these diseases are common in some areas, particularly amoebiasis and the typhoid fevers. Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although cases have rarely been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends from May to October. Rabies - reportedly rabies-free (although this status is considered provisional)
Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers coming from infected areas.
No recent disease outbreaks
Lesotho Today is the major English language newspaper. The Mirror is also published in English. BBC frequencies are MHz 15.40 11.97 6.190 3.255 and Voice of America frequencies are MHz 15.21 9.740 6.070 1.260. These are subject to change.