The tiny kingdom of Lesotho is completely surrounded by its neighbor South Africa and consists mostly of plateaux. Many villages are so isolated that they can only be reached by horseback, on foot or by light aircraft. Roads have so far only been built to those places where Lesotho’s mineral and water resources can be found. From the capital, Maseru, many visitors travel to the mountains for horseback riding, hiking, bird watching, fishing, and more. Bearded vultures and rock eagles can be seen from Maluti and the Dragon Mountains, while Letsie Lake and other wetlands are home to a variety of waterfowl.
Arriving by plane
According to top-medical-schools, South African Airways (SA) connects Johannesburg (South Africa) with Maseru daily and also offers flights from Frankfurt/M. and Zurich via Johannesburg to Maseru. There are flight connections to Johannesburg from Frankfurt/M. and Munich with Lufthansa (LH), with feeder flights to Munich from Vienna operated by Austrian Airlines (OS). Swiss (LX) connects Zurich with Johannesburg.
Frankfurt/M. – Maseru: 12 hrs 30 mins; Vienna – Maseru: 17 hours 5 minutes; Zurich – Maseru: 17 hrs 20 mins (each with at least 1 stopover; flight times vary depending on length of stay).
Arrival by car
The three main routes into South Africa pass through the Maseru Bridge to the west, the Ficksburg Bridge to the north and Caledon’s Poort to the west. Maseru Bridge and Ficksburg Bridge are open 24 hours, Caledon’s Poort is open 6am-10pm. There are additional border crossings, but with poorer roads. Buses and minibuses run regularly between Maseru and Johannesburg. Toll: If you enter the country by land, you have to pay a toll that depends on the weight of the vehicle. Documents: The German and the Austrian driver’s license are valid with an English translation; however, the international driver’s license is also recommended.
Arrival by train
There is no cross-border rail traffic.
Traveling by plane
There is no scheduled service for domestic flights. However, Mission Aviation Fellowship offers flights to NGOs in Lesotho, as well as charter flights from Maseru Airport to other destinations in the country.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network of Lesotho has a length of about 6,000 km. Maseru is connected to all major towns. A main connecting road in the north-east of the country is the A1, which connects Maseru with Mokhotlong, in the south-west the A2 leads to the A4 to Qachas Nek. Toll: When entering the country by land, you have to pay a toll that depends on the weight of the vehicle. There are petrol stations in all major cities and along major routes. However, a spare canister should be carried.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Approximately 1,000 km of the entire road network is paved. The roads between the cities along the north-western border of Lesotho are well developed, as are the main connecting roads to the major South African cities. However, many roads in the country are unpaved and only passable with four-wheel drive or often impassable during the rainy season.
National roads in Lesotho are marked with the letter A and a number; further streets depending on the meaning with B, C and D.
Rental cars are available in Maseru at the airport and in town. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held a driver’s license for at least 1 year.
Taxis and shared taxis are everywhere in the cities. The fare should always be agreed in advance. Taxis can be ordered by phone or hailed on the street.
Many towns are connected by minibuses that only leave when they are full.
Traffic regulations: – Seat belts are compulsory. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – extra-urban: 80 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
The German and Austrian driving licenses are valid with an English translation; however, the international driver’s license is also recommended. The Swiss driver’s license is only valid together with the international driver’s license.
Locally on the way by train
There is no rail service in Lesotho.