Driving in Lesotho is probably the best way to see the country. Foreigners, who are going to drive in Lesotho, must have valid International driving permits and driver licenses issued by countries of their residence (country must be a party to the 1949 Geneva Convention or 1968 Vienna Convention). Foreign drivers may drive in Lesotho under their International driving permits for a period up to 6 months.
A vehicle, which is registered in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), is permitted to enter to Lesotho if his driver has a valid driver license and International driving permit (or certified English translation of his driver license) and appropriate insurance certificates.
To enter a non-SADC registered vehicle into Lesotho, any driver must obtain a temporary import permit. If a driver is not an owner of the vehicle, he must have a letter of authorization from the owner for using the vehicle in Lesotho. Drivers are also required to pay a fee for a temporary road license.
If a foreign visitor is going to enter the Kingdom of Lesotho by a rental car from South Africa, he must get a certificate from the rental car company to take the car into Lesotho. This document is asked at border control.
PTA insurance must be purchased either before leaving or at the border.
The main road traffic rules:
- Driving is on the left side of the road.
- Overtaking is on the right. A driver may not overtake other traffic proceeding in the same direction when approaching a hill, on bends, immediately before or at an intersection and level crossing.
- On mountain roads and steep roads, the driver travelling downhill shall pull to the side of the road in order to give way to motor vehicles proceeding uphill
- The minimum driving age for mopeds is 16 years.
- The driving age for cars is 18 and over.
- To drive commercial vehicles, any driver must be at least 21 years of age and have held for not less than 2 years driver licenses.
- Seat belts are mandatory for driver and front seat passenger.
- Speed limit is 50 km/h in villages and 80km/h on main roads.
- The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.08%.
- Children under 4 years must be ridden in special child seats.
- Children under 12 must seat in rear seats while driving.
- On a two-way carriageway having 3 lanes, drivers may not take the lane situated at the edge to his right side. On a two-way carriageway having 4 or more lanes, drivers may not take the lanes situated entirely on the half of the carriageway to his right. On a road which comprises 2 carriageways, drivers may not take the carriageway situated to his right.
- In built-up areas, if it is necessary drivers must stop to give the public motor vehicle priority to move off from stops marked as such.
- At intersections, drivers must stop to allow a vehicle having the right of way to pass.
- At junction, vehicles approaching from his right side have priority unless the junction is controlled by a road traffic sign or traffic police officer.
- A driver entering from a path to a public road must give way to vehicle travelling on that road.
- No driver may operate his vehicle on a public road towing another vehicle. The distance separating the two vehicles is at least 3 meters.
- Vehicles other than two-wheeled cycles and two wheeled motor cycles may not stand or be parked two abreast on the carriageway.
- It is not permitted to stand or park:
- in contravention of any traffic sign;
- on pedestrian, cyclists, and level crossings;
- on railway tracks;
- within tunnels or subways, on any bridge or within 10 metres of any subway or bridge;
- dose to the crest of hills.
- within 5 metres of pedestrian crossings marked by appropriate traffic signs;
- within 5 metres of any intersection, level crossing, or bus stop;
- in front of vehicle entries to properties.
- Persons who ride on motorcycles must wear helmets.
- A driver of a vehicle turning into another road must give way to pedestrians already using or about to use such pedestrian crossing.
- When driving at night, driving or passing lights shall be switched on depending on the visibility. Only passing lights must be used:
- on lighted streets in built-up areas;
- when the driver is approaching oncoming vehicles; and
- when the driver is about to overtake and pass another vehicle.
Some additional information:
Driving Overseas - Short Information
- Road conditions are not always perfect, so four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended for driving in the interior, especially in wet or snowy weather.
- Driving after dark is dangerous in the absence of street lighting and the prevalence of crime. While driving in urban centers, drivers should always keep doors locked and windows shut.
- While driving in Lesotho, it is required to have at all times: vehicle registration documents, car insurance certificate, International driving permit and original driver license, permit to operate in Lesotho (for commercial vehicles not registered in Lesotho).
- To rent a car in Lesotho, drivers need to produce recognized International driving permits.
- If required by a police officer, any driver must produce his driver license for examination.