WATCH: Lesotho celebrates 52 years of Independence
Lesotho is celebrating 52 years of Independence today. The mountain kingdom officially gained independence from British colonial rule on the 4 October 1966.
Here are some facts that you need to know when visiting Lesotho:
The Maloti is equivalent to the South African Rand. Travellers’ cheques and credit cards can only be used in major centres.
Caledonspoort is open from 06:00-22:00
The Maseru Bridge and Maputsoe/Ficksburg Border Posts are open 24-hours-a-day
Other bridges open at 08:00 and mostly close at 16:00.
Sani Top is open from 06:00-18:00.
There is a toll fee on entering to Lesotho and this is determined by the weight of your vehicle.
It is advisable to take extra warm clothing when travelling into the mountains, as temperatures are known to plummet to well below zero even in summer.
Emergency triangles are compulsory
ZA-stickers are not compulsory
Check that passport are endorsed on entering and exiting Lesotho.
Vehicle license should be valid
The following items and quantities to a total value not exceeding M500.00 per person are allowed under rebate duty: one litre each of wine, spirits or any other alcoholic beverage; 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars; 300ml perfume. Domestic pets, livestock, seeds, bulbs, plants and trees may not be imported without payment of customs duty and are subject to quarantine.
Lesotho has two official languages — Sesotho and English — and the Basotho greatly appreciate being greeted in their own language.
The Sesotho word for “hello” is “khotso
”, which translates as “peace”.
Lesotho welcomes visitors from all over the world, but it is as well to note that: Photographing the Royal Palace, the airport or government buildings is prohibited.
Remember to ask before you photograph any person or personal items, including homesteads.
When camping or caravanning, remember to ask permission from the local chief or headman before setting up camp.
When travelling, all occupants of vehicles must wear seatbelts at all times. In addition, the vehicle should carry two warning triangles.
Do not pick, collect or damage any vegetation as, according to Basotho custom, most plants belong to someone.
Essentials not to forget
Absolutely essential are your passport, warm clothing and waterproof clothing. You will find a pocket knife, insect repellent, antibiotic cream, sunblock, sporting equipment, torch, travel guidebooks, English/Sesotho dictionary, plastic bags, compass, water bottle, first aid kit and hiking shoes very useful.