Overland Lesotho Travel
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Lesotho
- 2 Entering Lesotho with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Lesotho
- 4 Gas and Diesel price in Lesotho
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Lesotho
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Lesotho
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Lesotho is a stunningly beautiful county that is well worth a visit. The mountains are enormous, the people are friendly and there are lot of remote roads to explore with fantastic wild camping opportunities.
Entering Lesotho with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: November 2017
Travel Visa for Lesotho
The travel visa for Lesotho is free for virtually all nationalities, and is given at the border - land or airport.
Duration is usually 30 days, though I think you could ask for longer and they would give it no problem.
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration.
- (OPTIONAL) Carnet de Passage.
(no copies are required)
NOTE: If you are driving into any country in the South Africa Customs Union (SACU) (Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland) You do not require a Carnet de Passage. If you are shipping into or out of any of those countries, you absolutely must have a Carnet de Passage, no exceptions.
South Africa will issue a 6 month Temp Import Permit for the vehicle, which you can use in all the SACU countries. Once you have the 6 month one from South Africa, travel between all those countries is extremely simple - you don't even need to visit Customs or complete any vehicle-related paperwork as you drive into Lesotho.
Process at border
- Get yourself stamped in at Immigration.
- You do not need to go to Customs at all. Whatever paperwork you have from South Africa (Temp Import Permit or Carnet) is all you need - nothing needs to be stamped or even approved.
Cost of entry
Free of charge when crossing land borders or shipping.
Permitted length of stay
The Temp Import Permit is usually valid for 6 months, and a Carnet stamp probably means it's permitted for 12 months total. This can possibly be extended with a permission letter from the AA, but likely it's just easier to leave the entire SACU and come back.
Extension of stay
Talk to Customs or the AA.
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Leaving the vehicle and returning is not a problem in Lesotho, though most people choose to do it in South Africa just to be closer to an International Airport. Make sure you are back and leave the SACU countries before the Temp Import Permit expires.
Exiting with a vehicle
- Get yourself stamped out at Immigration.
- Because you will drive into South Africa, you keep all your Customs paperwork and don't need to get it stamped (Temp Import Permit or Carnet)
Driving in Lesotho
Recommended books for Overlanding in Lesotho
Travel insurance for Lesotho
Vehicle insurance requirements
Unsure if it's required or included in the price of petrol/diesel. Nobody asks for it.
Cost of vehicle insurance
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
Anything should be fine.
Driving side of road
LHD vehicles can be driven in Lesotho without a problem.
Mandatory items in vehicle
You probably need two safety triangles, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and a bright yellow safety vest for every person in the vehicle. It's a good idea to have them to avoid a ticket or bribery attempts.
General Road quality
Lesotho has good tarmac roads for highways, and reasonable gravel roads for secondary. However, a few roads are not always well maintained, potholes as a result. You can find these all over the country.
Road signs are frequent and generally good quality. Street names are hit or miss.
Bribery in Lesotho
Bribery a rarity. If you do get asked for money it is usually best not to pay and rather keep calm with a persistent smile. See the bribery tips page for advice.
Police checkpoints are setup randomly throughout the country, but are not common. Usually they are routine stops to check you have a license and proper registration. They are much more common at night. Police are generally friendly and the stops don't take more than a few minutes. Bribes can happen, but are becoming less frequent.
Traveling with pets
List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.
Gas and Diesel price in Lesotho
Last updated: November 2017
Currency and unit to display:
|Unleaded||R12.90 ZAR per Liter|
|Diesel||R11.35 ZAR per Liter|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Gas shortages are rare, though if you venture into very remote places you won't find stations, so fill up when you can.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Diesel is mostly available in 50ppm and 500ppm. Petrol quality is generally clean.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Driving at night is common in Lesotho, but should be avoided if possible. Many vehicle drive without headlights. If driving at night, use caution.
As with most parts of the world, some areas are safer than others, use your instincts. Most parking lots have attendants to help watch over vehicles, although they aren't always as attentive as they should be.
Special driving considerations
Nothing in particular
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Lesotho - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Lesotho
There are a few official campsites scattered around the country, and plenty of stunning wilderness where you can wild camp. Even if locals are nearby they are friendly and welcoming, and you need not be worried.
Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping.
Water from taps is safe to drink in many parts of the country. Of course, proper water filtration is the safest option.
Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Lesotho
GPS Maps of Lesotho
Tracks4Africa are the undisputed best GPS maps for Africa.
Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Lesotho
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.
Special Overland Travel interests
- Be sure to stay at the Lodge in Semonkong in the middle of the country. They have camping, and you can walk to the mighty waterfalls nearby which are well, well worth it.
- A drive up or down Sani Pass is a highlight, as is a drink and food at "Africa's Highest Pub" at the top in Lesotho.
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Lesotho
It might just be easier in South Africa.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.