Lesotho at a Glance
Living in Lesotho
Safety and Security
Similar to other countries in Africa, it is not wise for foreigners to openly display valuable items, as opportunists may take advantage. Pickpocketing, or bag-snatching if you are wearing a shoulder bag, is a risk throughout Lesotho, particularly in the capital city, so be aware of your possessions at all times.
Walking around Maseru at night can be dangerous and there have been reports of tourists being mugged, so staying in busy areas of the city is wise, as is not staying out too late. Elsewhere in the country, crimes tend to be of a more opportunistic nature, and violent crimes are very rare outside of the city.
One risk is occasional displays of political unrest in Maseru, at which point staying inside your accommodation and avoiding crowds is sensible. Be wary of beggars when you are hiking if you do not have a native guide with you, as they may hassle you for money in the more remote areas.
Transportation in Lesotho
A great way to see loads of the beautiful countryside in Lesotho is to drive around the country, as this gives you all the freedom you need to explore as much as possible. It is possible to hire cars from Maseru, but it is often cheaper to hire cars in South Africa and drive them into Lesotho. If you choose to do this, make sure the insurance covers driving in Lesotho and that you have permission from the provider.
The roads are slowly being upgraded throughout the country, and to see the main sights you will not need a four-wheel drive car. Be aware that, when traffic is quiet, there is no expectation for cars to stop at traffic lights!
A minibus taxi is the most popular way of getting around the country with the local people. A sign in the windscreen will advise you where the minibus is going. Prices are technically fixed, but often, drivers will try to overcharge foreigners. You should also not be surprised when these vehicles are completely filled up with people.
Taxis show their availability by beeping their horns at people, and these are simple to flag down, but make sure you agree on a fare in advance.
Education in Lesotho
Lesotho has one of the highest rates of literacy throughout Africa, with 85% of people who are older than 14 being literate. The country invests a great deal in education for both men and women, and women have better literacy rates than men. Education in Lesotho is not compulsory at all, but the Lesotho Government is currently bringing in free education for primary school age children, which may become compulsory. Various charities support the education system in Lesotho, particularly by building libraries in schools and in villages.
For expat kids, there are a few international schools to be found in the capital, Maseru. These include the American International School of Lesotho, the Machabeng College, the Maseru Preparatory School, and the Montessori International School.