Planning a trip to Lesotho for a couple days then get connected by buying a local sim card on arrival. It is the easiest and cheapest way to keep using data on your phone. In this guide I show you the mobile internet providers, the prices, give you my advice and tell you about my experience getting and using a prepaid sim card in Lesotho
As part of visiting every country in the world I recently traveled to Lesotho and checked out the options for buying local prepaid sim cards for tourists. I also wrote prepaid sim card guides for Johannesburg, Cape Town, South Africa, Namibia and many more African countries.
Why buying a sim card in Lesotho
At first I also hesitated as I was only visiting the country for about 2-3 days and I thought I would get by with using WiFi from hotels. Unfortunately most hotels and B&B’s I visited did not provide WiFi and when they did it was hardly working.
Another reasons why I decided to buy a local prepaid sim card in Lesotho was to make travel plans and decisions on the road. I rented a car in Johannesburg and went on a big road trip in Lesotho. Finding restaurants, hotels and of course directions from Google Maps was so much easier when I got connected.
IMPORTANT: A Vodacom South Africa sim card does NOT allow free roaming with Vodacom Lesotho! There are international roaming fees in Lesotho for Vodacom South Africa users.
Traveltomtom does NOT recommend international sim cards for travelers. We strongly advice to get a local prepaid sim card and when you see the prices of a local sim card in Lesotho you will understand why. International sim cards with world coverage will easily charge you up to $20 for 1 GB, almost 10x more than a local sim card.
For a detailed list of my international sim card comparison, click on the link.
Where to buy a local sim card in Lesotho
The most convenient place to buy a Lesotho sim card is at the border. When crossing the border from South Africa there will be signs and little kiosks everywhere pointing you in the right direction.
Buying a sim card in Maseru is easiest in the Maseru Mall or the Pioneer Mall Maseru, where you will find official retail stores of Vodacom and Econet as well as some other phone shops that sell local sim cards.
Th photo above is from the Caledonspoort border crossing, you can see multiple red painted little kiosks of Vodacom and there were also signs for Econet, the other mobile internet provider in Lesotho.
Prices prepaid sim cards in Lesotho
As I just mentioned there are only 2 mobile internet operators in Lesotho: Vodacom and Econet.
A Vodacom prepaid sim card costs 5 ZAR in Lesotho, which is about $0.3 USD. You then have to add airtime for buying a data package. These are the available Vodacom data packages:
- 19 ZAR = 1 GB data for 1 day - $1.3
- 24 ZAR = 1 GB data for 3 days - $1.7
- 50 ZAR = 2 GB data for 7 days - $3.5
An Econet prepaid sim card in Lesotho also costs 5 ZAR ($0.3 USD). You can buy one of the following data package deals after adding airtime:
- 8 ZAR = 200 MB data for 1 day - $0.6
- 50 ZAR = 2 GB data for 1 week - $3.5
As you can prices for prepaid sim cards in Lesotho are VERY CHEAP! There is hardly any difference in price between Vodacom and Econet.
Best mobile network in Lesotho
There is no 5G yet in Lesotho, but there is a pretty extensive 4G network. Unfortunately Econet Telecom does not provide any information about the strength of their mobile network. Vodacom however shows a network coverage map on their website, see the picture below.
Based on the information I could find online I found out that although Econet on their website is claiming to have the best network coverage in Lesotho, Vodacom has the best mobile internet network in Lesotho and covers almost the whole country with a 3G signal, while providing 4G in most tourist destinations in Lesotho as well.
Best prepaid sim card in Lesotho
Based on the prices there is not much difference however, based on the network I came to the following conclusion:
Vodacom is the best prepaid sim card in Lesotho! Therefore Traveltomtom recommends tourist to buy a Vodacom sim card on arrival.
My experience buying a sim card in Lesotho
Initially my plan was to visit Lesotho for 2-3 days, but as I loved the country so much I decided to stay longer. I crossed the border at the Caledonspoort crossing at night and the sim card kiosks were closed, so at first I did not buy a local sim card. On day 2 of my road trip in Lesotho I felt the need for a local sim card to make my trip to Lesotho much easier.
I stopped at one of the many kiosks on the side of the road and asked for the prepaid sim card prices. The friendly girl told me an Econet and a Vodacom sim card both were 5 ZAR. When I asked her which one she would recommend me, she said without a doubt: Vodacom.
I added an extra 50 ZAR airtime and she converted it within a minute into a 2 GB data for 7 days. Driving around Lesotho for 4 days, I had no problem connecting to the internet and actually mostly enjoyed a 4G signal.
If you have any additional questions about buying a sim card in Lesotho please leave me a comment below. Even if you are in need of some Lesotho travel tips, I am happy to help.
Enjoy your trip to Lesotho!