Lesotho - Tourism, travel, and recreation

The Lesotho National Tourist Board promotes tourism, which is increasing but still underdeveloped. In 1998 there were 289,819 foreign visitors. The country had 1,027 hotel rooms with 1,922 beds and a 21% occupancy rate in 1997. Tourism receipts totaled US $24 million in 1998.

Visas are not required for stays of under 30 days. Permanent tourist camps are established in remote scenic areas for pony-trekking parties. The first such camp, consisting of bath- and kitchen-equipped grass huts, was built at Marakabeis, near the end of the Mountain Road. Although lacking in game, Lesotho has spectacular natural attractions in its mountains and in Malutsenyane Falls, as well as excellent trout-fishing grounds. The rock paintings near Teyateyaneng are also a potentially important tourist site. The country's first national park, Sehlabathebe Mountain National Park, was established in 1970 in the Qacha's Nek District. There is a gambling casino in Maseru.

The average daily cost of staying in Maseru is $98 per day, according to 2003 US government estimates. Elsewhere in Lesotho, daily travel expenses are approximately $40 to 60 per day.

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