Lesotho in detail

Money and Costs


Lesotho loti (plural maloti, M)


Some amount of haggling is expected when purchasing items in informal circumstances, such as at outdoor markets in rural areas. Keep in mind that an extra few Maloti means much more to the seller than it will to you.


ATMs are common in Lesotho, but international cards are rarely accepted outside the capital.

Maloti or Rand?

The South African rand is universally accepted in Lesotho, but even though it’s tied to its neighbour’s currency, the loti is not accepted in South Africa. Most ATMs dispense maloti, so don’t get caught with a pocketful. If you are spending a short time here before returning to South Africa, stocking up on rand will eliminate the worry of having to spend all your maloti before leaving Lesotho.

Exchange Rates


For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.


  • Maseru is the only place where you can reliably exchange foreign cash and travellers cheques.
  • Rand notes are usually available on request.


  • Restaurants Wages are low, and tipping is expected (10-15%). The main exceptions are in rural parts of Lesotho, where it's generally the custom to simply round up the bill.

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than M1000

  • Hostel dorm bed: from M170
  • Campsite per person: M80–110
  • Fast-food lunch: M50
  • 2-3 hour shared taxi ride: M80

Midrange: R1000–1800

  • Double room: M700–1400
  • Main meal: M60–120
  • Short pony trekking ride: M300–400

Top end: More than R1800

  • Double room: over M1400
  • Main meal in lodge: over M120
  • Overnight pony trekking trip: M750
  • Car hire per day: M300