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Travel guide to Lesotho

Passports
Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your return date and have two blank facing pages. If you do not have this, you will be denied boarding at your departure airport. Soiled, damaged or defaced passports will not be accepted.
Visas
British, European & USA citizens do not require a visa for holidays < 90 days
Health
There are no compulsory health requirements, but you should be up to date with your primary courses and boosters. There is no malaria or yellow fever in Lesotho. Always check with your doctor at least 8 weeks before travel for any other inoculations recommended (eg Hepatitis A+B, Cholera, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Polio, Meningococcal Meningitis, Rabies and TB).
Currency
Lesotho loti (LSL) - but the South African rand (ZAR) is legal tender on 1-for-1 basis. Remember to ask for small denominations, which are useful for tipping
Language
English + Sotho + Xhosa + Zulu + Phuthi
Time Zone
GMT + 2 hours
Travel Tips
To ensure that you have the best possible holiday experience, we ask you to read the following information carefully. If you have any questions, please discuss them with us before you depart. 
 
Hand Luggage – pack essential items for a day or two in your hand luggage, in case your bags go astray and take a few days to catch up with you, especially if you have any tight connecting flights. 
 
Baggage – if you are flying on a light aircraft, your luggage must be packed in soft sports bags, usually restricted to 15 kg. Rigid suitcases will not fit into the luggage pods and will be left behind. 
 
Documents – take a copy of your travel insurance policy with you, and leave a copy of your passport with a reliable contact at home, in case the originals are lost or stolen. 
 
Children & Teens – if you are travelling with children < 18 years, remember it is essential to take their unabridged birth certificates, showing names of their parents. If they are not travelling with both their birth parents, consult us about the additional documentation required. 
 
Electronic Devices – ensure these are all fully charge before travel, as you may be required to switch them on at airport security. Any device that does not switch on cannot be checked in and must be surrendered. 
 
Mobile Phones – make sure they are set up for international calls and turn off data roaming to avoid nasty bills. Many hotels offer free Wi-Fi but be aware that some rural regions may not have cell phone coverage. 
 
Credit Cards – remember to inform your bank when travelling abroad. Credit cards are widely accepted, but always ensure you have cash when travelling in the countryside as some places may not accept them. 
 
Clothing – pack in layers according to the season. Take a day pack, good walking shoes, T-shirts, shorts, jeans, sunhat, swimming costume, sunglasses, sunscreen & flip flops. Rain gear is needed during the wet season. On safari wear lightweight but long sleeved shirts and long trousers to protect against mosquitos (safari clothing is ideal for this). Neutral colours are best – khaki, green & brown. Avoid white & bright colours, as these increase your visibility to the animals, and black which can get very hot. Take a generous supply of insect repellent to spray on your neck, wrists and ankles and avoid using perfume, as this attracts insects. Also pack a light fleece, hat & gloves for evening game drives, which can get cold even in summer. Sanitising hand cleaner/wet wipes and eye drops can be handy, especially if you wear contact lenses & a 'shewee' is invaluable for ladies in the bush. 
 
Accessories – pack your phone (with charger and a spare battery pack), camera (with spare memory cards and batteries – a 200 mm zoom lens is good for wildlife photography), torch and binoculars (large 8x40 is best). If you are a keen birder we suggest one pair per person, as it can be frustrating to share. 
 
Plugs – type M (round 3 pin). 
 
Books – pack a good travel guide, with information on the wildlife and birds of the region. Also a good supply of reading material for quiet evenings and when waiting for flights. 
 
Johannesburg International Airport – on arrival you will be required to clear passport control and collect your baggage, before checking in again for your onward domestic flight. There is a check-in counter as you exit customs, for this purpose. 
 
Water – tap water is safe to drink and to brush your teeth in major towns, but drink only bottled water in game parks and rural areas. 
 
Food – South Africa has a wonderful food culture and large cities offer a huge array of excellent restaurants. Cape Town is world famous for its fine wines. Vegetarians and food allergies are well catered for. 
 
Taxis – in cities only use regulated taxis, which are best ordered through your hotel reception. 
 
Self-Drive – driving is on the left. Any valid European or American driving license is accepted as long as it has a photograph and signature. It is advisable to hire a sat-nav, as signage can be sparse in rural areas. Pack some CDs as the local radio stations can be a little limited, and always allow some extra time to stop for photographs along the way. 
 
Load Shedding – as demand for electricity exceeds supply in South Africa, from time to time you may experience scheduled power cuts. Most hotels and restaurants have generators, so you are unlikely to notice them, but you may dine by candlelight in more remote locations. 
 
Safety – as this is a third-world country, take all sensible precautions. Leave valuable jewellery/watches at home, wear a money belt and be alert when outside your hotel. In particular, avoid taking out large wads of cash in public view and keep your spare cash in your hotel safe. 
 
Swimming – there are strong currents along the eastern seaboard, so exercise caution and only swim at designated places where there are life guards on duty and shark nets. 
 
Wild Animals – attacks by wild animals are rare, but we cannot guarantee that attacks will not occur so observe all sensible precautions. We cannot be held responsible for injuries caused during an incident with a wild animal. 
 
Indemnities - please be aware it is likely you will be required to sign indemnities for safaris and any other potentially hazardous activities. 
 
Tipping – this is voluntary and should depend on the level of service received. We suggest the following ZAR per couple/family, but this can be reduced for longer stays: 
- overland driver/guide: R200 per day 
- city guide: R200 per day (R100 for half day) 
- game ranger/tracker: R100/R50 per game drive 
- tipping box for hotel staff: R100 per day 
- train journeys: R200 per day 
- waiters: 10% (if not already added to your bill) 
- porters: R10 per bag.
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