Lesotho is far safer than neighbouring South Africa. However, it is risky to walk in Maseru alone and you should check UK government travel advice since that government is one of the few with a substantial mission apart from South Africa.
As with pretty much everywhere else in the world, you may find friendly chats with locals turn in to veiled requests for money — stick to your principles and only give to registered charities.
At night time, it is the norm to drive through red lights — this is more just to speed up your journey the police won't care, but also a precaution against carjackings.
Lesotho has a history as a very safe, peaceful and welcoming country...
The HIV/AIDS incidence rate in Lesotho is the 3rd highest in the world at around 25% or 1 in 4 people infected. Even more worrying is the prevalence rate is around 50 percent for women in urban areas under 40.
Consult a doctor as to which vaccinations you will require, but they will most likely include Hep A, Hep B, and Typhoid. If you are staying in rural areas for a long time then a rabies shot would be a good idea.Tropical diseases such as Malaria, Yellow fever and Bilharzia are not present in Lesotho.
It is a very good idea to carry some sterile needles and dressing in your first aid kit — the hospitals throughout Lesotho are not of a very high standard.
If you do have any serious health problems while in Lesotho, get in contact with your country's embassy either in Maseru, or in most cases, in Pretoria in South Africa, as there are very good hospitals across the border in SA for those who can afford to use them.
Lesotho is at a very high altitude, and the air is very thin especially in the Highlands, be warned that you may suffer from altitude sickness when you first arrive. Drink a lot of water and keep covered up, skin burns quickly in the thin mountain air. It gets very hot in the sun in the summer!
The water in Lesotho is not clean and should not be drunk untreated. Be warned about street vendors who sell fizzy drinks as these are usually in unclean reused glass bottles.
Pack moisturizer! Lesotho's air is very dry and everyone will suffer from dry skin!
In Maseru, there are several internet cafes, although fairly cheap usually LSL0.20-0.50 per min they are pretty slow at best.
The cellphone network is OK in the towns, but pretty poor out in the countryside. The only British cell phone network that works is Vodafone. Unsure about other simcards. There are two mobile operators in Lesotho, Vodacom and Econet Ezicel. Vodacom has the widest coverage outside the towns, but is the more oversubscribed, and hence the less reliable. You can buy a Vodacom or Ezicel Buddie pay as you go sim card for under LSL50 in Maseru — worthwhile if you are staying for a while. Cellphones are available for hire in Maseru. Lesotho uses GSM900.
If you have a South African Vodacom Sim Card, you can use it in Lesotho only on the Vodacom network. Be sure to enable roaming.
Try and learn a few Sesotho words before travelling to Lesotho. The locals appreciate a foreigner who has made the effort to learn their language. Always refer to an elder person, or a person of higher social standing as N'tate male or M'e female.
Lumela pronounced due-mela is hello. So you would say Lumela N'tate or Lumela M'e.Kea leboha sounds like ke-la-bore - is thank youU phela joang O-pila-joan - how are youRespond with either hantle well or Ke phila hantle I am wellSala hantle as it is written is "stay well" if they are staying and your are going. Equivalent to goodbye.Somaya hantle is "go well" if they are going and you are staying
Always respond to people, it is very offensive to ignore someone who greets you. As a foreigner, locals will be keen to say hello and ask you what you're up to in their country.
Never get angry at anyone; in the Basotho culture, people never show frustration towards others, and if you do, then you can easily offend someone. You will almost certainly get frustrated when dealing with Lesotho officialdom, always keep your cool no matter how much buffoonery you are subjected to. To show respect when giving and receiving items, use both hands. Also show a respect for food — don't throw it around, or eat whilst walking.