Saturday, September 18, 2021

Money & Shopping in Lesotho

AfricaLesothoMoney & Shopping in Lesotho

Maseru has many Western-style stores where you may stock up on goods before going further in the nation.

If you’re looking for locally produced products and crafts, skip Maseru and go to TY or Hlotse, where the markets are much better and cheaper. Traditional Basotho hats (Mokorotlo), sticks (molamo), carpets, and other trinkets may be purchased. The Basotho blanket, in particular, is a symbol of Basotho culture. They are also popular in South Africa. Originally introduced by the English for trade reasons, they have been entrenched in Basotho culture and are worn as both informal and formal clothing. They are available in stores and marketplaces across Lesotho, although the greatest pricing are likely to be found in Maseru, TY, or Mafekeng.

Credit cards will be accepted only at Shoprite and the major hotels. Your home cashcard may function at certain Maseru cash machines (FNB or Standard Bank), but it is better to get cash out in South Africa first.

Restaurants outside of Maseru (and most in Maseru) will most likely not take credit cards.

Currency

Lesotho’s currency, the loti (plural maloti – hence frequently seen symbolised as “M”), has the ISO 4217 currency code LSL and is set at a 1:1 ratio with the South African Rand (ZAR). There is no need to exchange money since South African rand is accepted everywhere. However, unless you ask, you will get maloti in change, which is very difficult to unload in South Africa and almost impossible abroad.

ATMs are available in banks in most towns, however they are not available elsewhere. Most banks can exchange travellers cheques for you, but it may be a long procedure if they are in a currency other than ZAR.