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Please be advised that the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Travel Advice is now available at Ireland.ie/travel. Travel Advice on this webpage is no longer being updated. To ensure you receive the latest Travel Advice for Lesotho, please see Ireland.ie.


If you’re travelling to Lesotho, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact



Security status

High Degree of Caution

Latest Travel Alert

Authorities in Lesotho have declared an indefinite nationwide curfew between the hours of 22:00-04:00; the measure will go into effect starting 16 May 2023. The directive is in response to increasing crime rates in the country and follows the May 15 fatal shooting of a popular radio presenter and journalist.

Authorities will almost certainly deploy increased security to enforce the curfew. Local residents opposed to the measure could stage protests; police could move to forcibly disperse any gatherings that may materialize. Irish citizens should avoid any demonstrations and ensure they adhere to the curfew in place.

General Travel Advice

Irish citizens do not require a visa to travel to Lesotho for up to a period of 44 days, after which a residential permit must be applied for at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Maseru. Please consult your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Lesotho before travelling for further information.

A valid passport is required for travel to Lesotho and Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 6 months from your intended date of departure from Lesotho. Passport cards cannot be used. Your passport must have at least two blank pages and must not be damaged in any way. If your passport fails on either count, it will be not be accepted by the Lesotho authorities.

Visitors to Lesotho are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.

Citizens can also follow the Embassy of Ireland in Pretoria on  Twitter@IrishEmbassyPretoria to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

As there is no Irish Embassy in Lesotho, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consulate in Maseru or the Irish Embassy in Pretoria.

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Political unrest

There are occasionally spontaneous political demonstrations in Maseru and it's advisable to avoid demonstrations, rallies and large public gatherings as a precaution. Monitor local media for reports of demonstrations or unrest.


Although the threat from terrorism in Lesotho is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.


Crime rates in Lesotho have increased in recent years so please take sensible precautions when visiting:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
  • Do not walk around Maseru after dark and avoid driving in rural areas at night.
  • Keep doors locked, windows shut and valuables out of sight when driving in urban centres, especially Maseru.

Petty theft

Muggers in central Maseru sometimes target foreign nationals. We advise you to avoid walking alone in isolated areas or after dark and driving in rural areas at night. Only carry essentials with you and keep valuables out of sight.

Theft from vehicles

When driving in urban centres, especially Maseru, keep doors locked, windows shut and valuables out of sight. Park in well-lit areas and don’t pick up strangers. Take care at the approaches to main border crossings, particularly at night. Armed car hijacking is also increasing.

Personal safety

There have been recent incidences of armed attacks on pedestrians. If you have no alternative but to walk around Maseru, avoid taking the same route repeatedly and be vigilant. If you are attacked, or your car is hijacked, don’t resist.


There is a public transport/taxi service in Lesotho but safety cannot be guaranteed. We recommend you take telephone taxis. Always confirm the fare in advance and never take a lift from a stranger.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Lesotho, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at our Irish Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa if you need help.


If you’re planning to drive in Lesotho, you should be extremely careful as road safety standards are poor.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your international driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance – after three months, you must get a local driving licence
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
  • Watch out for animals roaming on the roads, especially at night
  • Local mini-bus taxis are often poorly maintained and uninsured, and ignore road safety rules

Vehicle hire

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. 



Please be aware that Lesotho lacks good medical facilities. 


There is a high incidence of HIV and AIDS in Lesotho so you should exercise necessary caution if engaging in activities that expose you to possible infection. 

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. 


Check what vaccinations you may need for your trip at least eight weeks before you travel. We can’t advise you on vaccinations, but you can get information about vaccinations from your local GP or an International Health and Travel Centre.

Evidence of vaccination (in the form of a certificate) can be a requirement for entry to some countries.


Make sure you bring enough medication for your entire trip and for any unexpected delays. You may wish to also bring copies of your prescription in case you lose your medication.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)


Irish citizens do not require a visa to travel to Lesotho for up to a period of 44 days after which a residential permit must be applied for at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Maseru.


Passports must be valid for at least six months from date of entry into Lesotho and also  must be valid for a minimum period of 90 days from the date of exit from Lesotho. You must have at least two spare pages to allow the immigration authorities to affix visa stamps.

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to Lesotho and you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times during your stay. 

If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, we can help.

You will need a police report if you want to make a claim on your travel insurance. We will not provide you with a new travel document without a police report.

What we can do:

• Issue an emergency travel document that will get you home

• If required, provide advice and assistance in applying for new passport

We’ll do our best to help you as quickly as possible but this can take some time. Your location and circumstances may limit the help we can give you. As Ireland does not have an Embassy in Lesotho there may be additional complications in processing and application for a new travel document.


You should take traveller's cheques or South African Rand in cash, which circulates as an official currency in Lesotho along with the Maloti (local currency). Maloti are not generally accepted in South Africa. 


Some of ATMs in Lesotho have the facility to accept international ATM cards (First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank). Credit cards are widely accepted (Visa/Master cards) in most stores and restaurants in Maseru. However, you may find places in the rural areas that do not accept these cards. 


Maseru and the surrounding lowlands often reach 30⁰C in summer.

Winters can be cold with lowlands getting down to -7⁰C and the highlands could be as low as -18⁰C at times. Snow is common in the highlands between May and September. Take note of weather forecasts before travelling in the highlands during these months.

Lesotho’s varied climate brings different forms of drought, floods, heavy snowfalls and any other forms of weather-related hazards. At the moment, about three-quarters of all the country’s natural disasters are related to weather, climate and water and their extremes. 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

We do not have an Embassy in Lesotho, please contact Embassy of Ireland to South Africa on the information below.

Embassy of Ireland
2nd Floor, Building A
238 Florence Ribeiro Avenue
Nieuw Muckleneuk
South Africa

Tel: + 27 12 452 1000
Fax: + 27 12 342 4752

Monday to Thursday 09:00-12:00

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Ms. Mannete Malethole Ramaili
Cathedral Area
Main South 1 Road
P.O. Box 7159
Maseru 100

Tel: + 266 223 24182

Email: Email us