Thinking about visiting Lesotho? Here are the best times to go.

Lesotho is a mountainous kingdom surrounded by South Africa.

It’s blessed with beautiful landscapes, friendly locals and heaps of culture, and is well deserving of a spot on any Southern Africa itinerary.

This isn’t any single best time to visit Lesotho. Choosing when to travel to Lesotho will really depend on what you hope to do there. 

Due to its mountainous landscapes and high altitude, Lesotho experiences extremes in weather.

That means that you can expect a completely different experience in Lesotho in summer to what you find in winter. 

The first decision, then, is choosing which season you’d rather see.

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PLANNING A TRIP TO LESOTHO


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Seasons in Lesotho

Nestled in Southern Africa, Lesotho is in the southern hemisphere.

That means that winter runs from October to April, with winter setting in between May and September. 

Its season are much more extreme than surrounding South Africa, and even more predictable. Here’s what to expect in each.


Summer in Lesotho

During the summer, temperatures in Lesotho can reach around 32 degrees Celsius. In the night, though, the warm quickly disappears.

With the highest lowest point in the world of any country in the world (1,400m), Lesotho’s altitude makes its weather much more unpredictable than most.

Temperature changes can be dramatic. – something we learned when a sunny summer day in November turned to the worst hail storm I’ve ever seen in minutes.

Even if you’re visiting Lesotho in the height of summer, make sure you arrive prepared for all weather.


Winter in Lesotho 

Winter in Lesotho is a little more predictable, but no less extreme. 

Although Lesotho’s mountainous landscapes mean it’s often sunny during the winter months, it doesn’t stop the temperatures from dropping below zero. 

The daytime can still feel pretty warm during the winter in Lesotho. But be prepared for much colder nights and sudden changes in the weather!


pictures of lesotho landscape
In Lesotho, it can feel warm in the sun and cold in the shade.

When is the best time to visit Lesotho?

There are plenty of unique things to do in Lesotho, but many of them are seasonal.

Therefore, the best time to visit will depend on what you plan to do there.


If you’re a fan of hiking… 

You’ll fall in love with Lesotho’s untouched hiking trails, but you’ll need to visit during the summer. 

If you plan to spend most of your Lesotho trip outdoors, you’ll want to avoid January and February. These are the hottest months and Lesotho also gets a lot of rain during this time – which isn’t so much fun for hikers!

Instead, plan your trip to Lesotho for the early summer (October or November) or end of the season (March to April). 


If you want to hit the slopes…

Lesotho is one of the top skiing destinations in Africa, and one of the best winter sport destinations in the world. 

The snow mostly dries up during the warmer months and the ski resorts become ghost towns. 

During the winter, though, Lesotho’s mountains are usually covered in snow.

July, August and September are generally the best months to visit Lesotho for skiing.


READ NEXT: 9 Unique things to do in Lesotho


A mountain landscape in Lesotho with houses


If you’re looking for a mountain escape… 

The shoulder season is a great time to go.

Not too hot and not too cold, the weather tends to be pretty pleasant. You’ll also avoid super dramatic drops in temperatures and weather.

Spring in particular is a popular time to visit Lesotho. During the months of October and November, temperatures usually hover around the twenties and precipitation is at a minimum.

During these months, there is usually only around 1 to 3 days of rain or snow. 


If you’re on a budget… 

Avoid the most expensive months, when accommodation can skyrocket in price. 

Lesotho is generally busiest in the springtime, between September and November. At these times, prices rise and it’ll be hard to find a deal. 

Travel to Lesotho in the autumn (fall, for my American friends), though, and you can find some great deals.

Lesotho is much less visited during the autumn season, meaning you’ll have more choice of accommodation – and be more likely to score yourself a great offer.

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Pictures of Lesotho boy


Planning a trip to Lesotho

Whatever time of year you plan to visit Lesotho, make sure you arrive prepared. 

Getting to Lesotho

There are two ways to get to Lesotho: by air or by road. 

If you have limited time, flying into Lesotho is easy. There are regular direct flights to Johannesburg, making it easy to fly in after visiting Kruger National Park or Eswatini.

If you have a little more time, though, I’d recommend road-tripping it. There are 14 total points of entry between Lesotho and South Africa – and one of them is the Sani Pass. 

The Sani Pass is , to this day, one of the most exhilarating roads I’ve ever experienced. It’s currently being resurfaced, so now is the time to experience it!

When renting a car in South Africa, make sure you let them know that you plan to visit Lesotho.

You’ll need a permit from your rental company to cross the Lesotho-South Africa border. 

Visas and insurance

Depending on where you’re from, you may need a visa to visit Lesotho.  You can check whether you need a visa for Lesotho and how long you can stay without one on the official site.

Lesotho is great for photography, so I recommend taking a camera. This is the camera insurance I recommend using.

You’ll also want to make sure you have good travel insurance for Lesotho.

The cover you need will depend on the activities you plan to do there, but make sure your policy has you covered – many policies don’t!

I always use World Nomads for my travels and recommend them. They cover activities that other travel insurance providers won’t, including high altitude hiking, skiing and other adventurous experiences. 

You can see a full list of activities World Nomads will insure you for right here. You can also read my full honest review of claiming with World Nomads by clicking here.



Packing for Lesotho

When travelling to Lesotho, it’s good to pack your suitcase with layers. 

Given the quick changes in weather, I’d recommend having a rain jacket nearby at all times. You’ll also want to make sure you have a lightweight base layer for when it gets warm. 

Whatever your reason for visiting Lesotho, you’ll probably live in running shoes and workout gear. 

There’s no need for fancy clothing in Lesotho, so pack practical clothes that are multi-functional and you’ll be good.
 

Is it safe to travel to Lesotho? 

Lesotho is generally considered a safe country to travel to. Locals are curious but, in my experience, usually fairly shy. 

People will be excited to talk to you as you travel Lesotho, but they’ll probably also be quite cautious. 

It can lure you in to a sense of security which, while not unfounded, shouldn’t be taken for granted. Crime can happen anywhere, and Lesotho is no exception. 

Keep your wits about as you would anywhere and never leave valuables in plain sight.

If you’re travelling from South Africa, take the same precautions as you would there and you should be fine. 


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WHEN TO VISIT LESOTHO