The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Lesotho is a developing nation in the lower half of the world's economies. Located entirely within the country of South Africa, its climate is temperate with cool to cold, dry winters and hot, wet summers.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
Although yellow fever does not occur in Lesotho, an official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary.
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged ≥ 6 months coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. Note: This applies to airport layovers longer than 12 hours in these countries.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)No statement given.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: None.
Drug resistance: Not applicable.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Moderate risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Tick-bite fever may pose a risk. Personal protective measures are important.
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Low risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home invasion, sexual assault, and carjacking) and petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in Maseru (particularly in downtown areas) and other cities.
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country, especially in Maseru, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Significant risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is greater than 24 per 100,000 population, the highest risk category. Carefully assess the safety of transportation options before any road travel. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Driving at night is not advised. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark.
Traffic flows on the left-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Public buses and taxis do not meet international safety standards (due to unsafe vehicles, poor maintenance, and hazardous driving).
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
The rainy season is from October through April. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Lesotho
- United States: [+266] 22-312-666; ls.usembassy.gov
- Canada: Canada does not have an embassy or consulate in Lesotho.
- United Kingdom: U.K. does not have an embassy or consulate in Lesotho.
- Australia: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Lesotho.
Lesotho's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.lesothoemb-usa.gov.ls
- In Canada: www.lesothocanada.gov.ls
- In the U.K.: www.lesotholondon.org.uk
- In Australia: [+61] 02-4961-5691
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.