Exploring Lesotho

Clarens Tours to Lesotho
Lesotho shepherds: Photo: Toni Walters
Clarens Tours to Lesotho - Katse Dam
Katse Dam: Photo: Maluti Tours
Clarens Tours to Lesotho - Afriski
Afriski: Photo: Clarens Xtreme
Clarens Tours to Lesotho - Liphofung Caves
Liiphofung Caves: Photo: Maluti Tours
Clarens Tours to Lesotho - Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens – Photo: Toni Walters
Clarens Tours to Lesotho - Melutsunyane Falls
Melutsunyane Falls: Photo: Lesotho Tourism

Clarens is an ideal base for visitors wanting to explore Lesotho The Mountain Kingdom.  The Caledonspoort border post between South Africa and Lesotho is only 42k from Clarens.  (Approximately 40 minutes driving – provided you don’t stop too often along the way to take photographs.)

 

Before you leave:

Ensure that you have a valid passport in order to enter Lesotho.   SADC , British, American, and EU citizens do not require a visa but children under the age of 18  a copy of the unabridged version of their birth certificate.  Should you not be carrying a passport from one of the countries mentioned above please check with the Lesotho embassy.http://www.foreign.gov.ls/services/default.php about visa requirements, and be sure that any children under the age of 18 have an unabridged copy of their birth certificates.

Ensure you carry a valid driver’s licence. Only South African, Swaziland, Botswana or International Drivers licences are acceptable.

Ensure that your car’s licence disc is up to date and that your car is equipped with two warning triangles. Fire extinguishers are not a legal requirement, but since these have been asked for in the past, we recommend you have one in the car. It is a good idea to have a copy of your car’s registration papers with you, to avoid delays at road blocks which check for vehicle theft.

The Mountain Kingdom is exactly that.  You are therefore likely to have to negotiate mountain passes, and these can be particularly hazardous in winter.   It would be wise to get an update on weather conditions before starting out on your journey.  Click here to get the latest snow report. n the event of heavy snow it is best to use a 4×4 vehicle equipped with snow chains.

Pack warm clothing, blankets, as well as some food and water, in case of a breakdown.  Parts of Lesotho have no cell-phone signal, so it is best to be prepared for any eventuality.

Cash and Credit cards.  The Lesotho currency comprises of one Loti (plural Maloti) which is divided into 100 lisente (singular sente). The currency is linked to the South African Rand which is also accepted. Mastercard, American Express, Visa and diners club are accepted in the main centres and in most lodges and hotels.

Fuel purchases require cash. Banks open at 09h00 and close at 13h00 weekdays and at 11h00 on Saturdays. NB.  You are not allowed to take alcohol into Lesotho.

En route: The border post at Caledonspoort is open from 6h00 to 22h00, every day of the week. A 50 km/h speed limit applies in urban areas while 80 km/h is a maximum speed that can be maintained on all other roads. If you are driving to Afriski or Sani Pass, check your fuel guage when you get to Butha Buthe; this is your last opportunity to buy fuel. 

Police road blocks are a common occurrence in Lesotho and there is often a police road block on the outskirts of Butha Buthe on the way to the resort. The roadblocks usually consist of 2 opposing stop signs approx. 100m apart, with the police somewhere in the middle.  Stop at the Stop sign and wait until a police officer waves you through to the middle. (Even if there doesn’t appear to be a policeman in sight, stop and wait:  one will eventually appear.) Stop again when you reach the policeman.

Please drive cautiously once in Lesotho, the roads are narrow and there are many sheep, donkeys and often also children walking along the road. In particular please be aware of POTHOLES that form during the high rainfall periods in summer. 

Further reading:

Clarens to Afriski  (Self-drive route)

Clarens to Katse Dam  (Self-drive route)

Skiing and snowbarding (Afriski)

Katse Dam

Liphofung Caves

Tours to Lesotho

The most relaxing way to explore Lesotho is to take a tour with one of the adventure companies based in Clarens.

Tours to Lesotho

The following tour companies offer trips into Lesotho:

Maluti Tours:  (Afriski, Katse Dam, Fly-fishing, Pony Trekking, Liphofung Caves)  Contact details

Clarens Xtreme (Afriski, Katse Dam, Liphofung Caves)  Contact details

Louw van Biljon:  Tailor made Tours (where ever you want to go)  Contact details