Lesotho

Money & Shopping

Money & Shopping

There are several Western style supermarkets in Maseru, which are good for stocking up on supplies in before heading elsewhere in the country.

If you're after locally made goods and crafts, your best bet is to give Maseru a miss, and head to TY or Hlotse, where the markets are far better and cheaper. You can buy traditional Basotho hats (Mokorotlo), sticks (molamo), rugs and various other curios. In particular, the Basotho blanket is a hallmark of Basotho culture. Equally popular in South Africa, they were originally brought by the English for trading purposes but overtime became ingrained in Basotho culture and are worn as casual and formal attire. They are sold in shops and markets all over Lesotho but best prices are most likely to be found in Maseru, TY or Mafekeng.

Credit cards will be accepted in Shoprite and the main hotels, but not elsewhere. Your cashcard from home may work in some Maseru cash machines (FNB or Standard Bank) but best to get cash out in South Africa beforehand.

Restaurants outside of Maseru (and most in Maseru) will probably not accept credit card as a means of payment.


Currency

Lesotho's currency, the loti (plural maloti - consequently it is sometimes seen symbolised as "M") which has the ISO 4217 currency code of LSL, is fixed at a 1:1 ratio with the South African Rand (ZAR). South African currency is accepted everywhere — there is no need to change money. However you will get maloti in change (unless you ask), which is very difficult to unload in South Africa and pretty well impossible elsewhere.

There are ATMs at banks in most towns, although you will not find them elsewhere. Most banks will change travellers cheques for you, but it can be a very, very lengthy process if they are in any other currency apart from ZAR.

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