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SIM Cards in Lesotho: The Best Prepaid Plans | 2024 Guide

There is so much to see and capture when in Lesotho that it would be a good idea to get yourself a SIM card while in Lesotho so that you can post all your Lesothan experiences online.

But how much will you pay for a SIM card in Lesotho?

You can purchase a Lesothan SIM card for as low as 30 LSL (1.65 USD) in Vodacom and Econet Telecom Lesotho stores. You can get 1 GB of data for as little as 19 LSL (1.05 USD).

When knowing this, there should be no reason to pay expensive international roaming rates while in Lesotho.

However, there are many other things you need to know when wanting to buy a SIM card in this country.

In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Lesotho. Let’s go.

Buying a SIM Card in Lesotho Guide (logos of Vodafom & Econet Telecom Lesotho)

Original publication: 6th of August 2020. Last updated: 15th of January 2024.

Table of Contents

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Lesotho?

Anyone, including visitors, can buy a SIM card in Lesotho without any restrictions.

You have to get your SIM card registered with your personal information, have a phone that supports Lesotho's frequencies, and an unlocked decide (SIM-lock free).

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Lesotho?

You can buy a Lesothan SIM card in the official stores of Vodacom Lesotho and Econet Telecom Lesotho.

Here is a list of what to expect to pay for a Lesothan SIM card:

  • Vodacom Lesotho: 30 LSL
  • Econet Telecom Lesotho: “Free”, but a minimum top-up of 50 LSL is required

Can You Use Your Phone in Lesotho?

Lesotho uses GSM technology for mobile communication services. This means you need a GSM-supported phone to use your device in Lesotho.

There is a 99% chance that your phone supports GSM anyway.

Lesotho uses standard European frequencies for its networks, which are used throughout Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe, and Oceania (ITU Regions 1 & 3). Phones sold in ITU Regions 1 and 3 will have no connectivity issues when in Lesotho.

ITU Regions Map by Phone Travel Wiz

In the Americas (North-, Central– & South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2), however, they use American frequencies. Those are different from European frequencies. Phones sold in ITU Region 2 may experience connectivity issues when in Lesotho.

If you have a low/medium-end device without Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, there is a possibility that you cannot use your phone at all in Lesotho or only older networks.

Suppose you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support. In that case, the likelihood of using your phone in Lesotho without any or some hindrance is large.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Lesotho

Cellular Connectivity Illustration by Phone Travel Wiz

Lesotho has two mobile operators offering prepaid services easily accessible to travelers:

  • Vodacom Lesotho
  • Econet Telecom Lesotho

The following frequencies are used by the Lesothan operators:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)
  • 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78)

Note: only Vodacom Lesotho has a 5G network. It is unknown whether 5G is available to prepaid customers already.

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in Lesotho, check out this page by Kimovil or this one by Will My Phone Work (outdated, unfortunately, but extremely user-friendly – useful for phones launched in or before 2019. It does not check for 5G NR compatibility).

Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).

If you want to learn how international roaming works, this guide explains it in-depth. If you wonder why it is often so expensive to roam, this article explains the hidden reason they do not want you to know.

Best SIM Card in Lesotho

If you want to buy a SIM card in Lesotho, then Vodacom is the best option. Not only do they have the best coverage in Lesotho, but the average price per GB with Vodacom is almost the same compared to Econet Telecom Lesotho (38 LSL/GB vs. 36 LSL/GB).

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Best eSIM in Lesotho

Unfortunately, none of the mobile operators offer eSIM (to prepaid customers) in Lesotho yet.

However, you can get travel eSIMs from Airalo.

Airalo has the Maloti eSIMs:

Lesotho Maloti SIM Airalo
© Airalo

You have one option:

  1. Lesotho/Maloti 1 GB eSIM for 7 days

With these eSIMs, you can skip Lesotho's SIM card registration scheme entirely and use it immediately upon arriving in Lesotho!

  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, local travel eSIMs & regional travel eSIMs for every country (lookup tool)
Best Local & Travel eSIMs Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

TIP: Check out my eSIM lookup tool for an overview of local mobile operators offering eSIMs to prepaid customers and travel eSIMs I use and love (for eSIMs in Lesotho and eSIMs worldwide).

SIM Card Registration in Lesotho

SIM card registration with your passport information is mandatory in Lesotho. This will be done at the point of sale.

Lesotho Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Lesotho

So far, you have learned how much SIM cards cost in Lesotho and which SIM card is the best.

But how much should you expect to pay for data in Lesotho?

The average price for 1 GB of data in Lesotho is 2.13 USD, which is far below the Sub-Saharan average of 5.91 USD (6.91 USD including Saint Helena). The world average is 5.03 USD.

Because Lesotho is a tiny country, setting up nationwide network coverage is easier than larger nations. You can expect good network reception throughout Lesotho for relatively affordable rates.

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Currency in Lesotho

Lesotho uses the Lesotho Loti with the symbol LSL (which will be used throughout this article). Prices in Lesotho are listed in M. For example, 25 LSL = M25. For reference, below are some exchange rates between LSL and USD (US Dollars – Rounded):

  • 1 LSL = 0.055 USD
  • 10 LSL = 0.55 USD
  • 100 LSL = 5.45 USD
  • 1000 LSL = 54.65 USD

Do note that the Lesotho Loti is pegged 1:1 to the South African Rand (ZAR), meaning that 1 LSL = 1 ZAR.

ZAR is accepted in Lesotho, but you will get your change back in LSL.

LSL is not a legal tender in South Africa and will not be accepted as a form of payment.

If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.

Their fees are MUCH lower than banks and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).

I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Australian Dollars and Euros, my main currencies, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards.

Open a Wise account for FREE!

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© Wise

Lesotho Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through Vodacom Lesotho & Econet Telecom Lesotho and go through:

  • Background information
  • Mobile coverage
  • SIM card types, prices, and availability
  • Recharge / top-up information
  • Combo plans, data plans, and special packs (such as social media packs) 

With that being said, let’s see what Lesotho has to offer to us.

Vodacom Lesotho

Vodacom Logo New

Vodacom Lesotho, just Vodacom, is the largest operator in Lesotho.

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)
  • 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78)

This is what you will learn about Vodacom:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Vodacom SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Reload Options & Methods
* Plans & Packages
* APN Settings

Coverage – Vodacom Lesotho

Vodacom has extensive coverage in Lesotho.

Vodacom covers almost all of Lesotho. Although 4G/LTE availability is low.

Vodacom Lesotho Coverage Map

SIM Card Price – Vodacom Lesotho

You can buy a Vodacom SIM card 30 LSL in Vodacom stores.

You may have to call 100 to activate your SIM card.

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Vodacom Lesotho

Vodacom recharge vouchers are widely available throughout Lesotho, including official Vodacom stores, grocery stores, and corner shops

To top-up, dial *100*01*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *100*01*123456#.

Dial *100# to check your Vodacom balance.

The same can be done by dialing *111# and selecting option 1 (Balances).

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Vodacom Lesotho

Vodacom offers three different types of data-featured prepaid bundles, such as:

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

3G Data Plans – Vodacom Lesotho

The 3G Data Plans are data bundles restricted to Vodacom's 3G network.

The following 3G Data Plans can be purchased by dialing *111#:

20 LSL90 MB
50 LSL300 MB
100 LSL900 MB
173 LSL1.8 GB
235 LSL2.7 GB
275 LSL3.6 GB
409 LSL6 GB
584 LSL10 GB
819 LSL20 GB
1229 LSL30 GB
1845 LSL50 GB
2255 LSL100 GB
2459 LSL150 GB
Data Plans – Vodacom Lesotho

The Data Plans are data bundles valid for a day, a week, or a month.

Unlike the 3G and LTE bundles, it is not sure whether you can use Vodacom's 4G with the Data Plans.

The following Data Plans can be activated by dialing *111#:

2 LSLDaily Data Bundle15 MB1 day
3 LSLDaily Data Bundle25 MB1 day
5 LSLDaily Data Bundle49 MB1 day
5 LSLPower Hour Data Bundle200 MB1 hour
6 LSLDaily Data Bundle82 MB1 day
10 LSLDaily Data Bundle245 MB1 day
12 LSL3 Day Data Bundle240 MB3 days 
18 LSLWeekly Data Bundle375 MB7 days 
18 LSL3 Day Data Bundle500 MB3 days 
19 LSLDaily Data Bundle1000 MB1 day
24 LSL3 Day Data Bundle1000 MB3 days 
25 LSLWeekly Data Bundle850 MB7 days 
37 LSLWeekly Data Bundle1250 MB7 days 
50 LSLWeekly Data Bundle2048 MB7 days 
80 LSLWeekly Data Bundle3000 MB7 days 
82 LSLMonthly Data Bundle750 MB30 days
154 LSLMonthly Data Bundle4 GB30 days
265 LSLMonthly Data Bundle7 GB30 days
410 LSLMonthly Data Bundle10 GB30 days
590 LSLMonthly Data Bundle15 GB30 days
725 LSLMonthly Data Bundle20 GB30 days

Multiple Data Plans can be activated at the same time.

LTE Data Plans – Vodacom Lesotho

The LTE Data Plans are data plans that can use Vodacom's 4G network.

The following LTE Data Plans are available by dialing *111#:

240 LSLSmart Personal3 GB
544 LSLSmart Home S8 GB
919 LSLSmart Office M20 GB
1299 LSLSmart Office L30 GB
2729 LSLSmart Unlimited150 GB

APN Settings – Vocacom Lesotho

  • Name: Vodacom Lesotho
  • APN: internet

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Econet Telecom Lesotho

Econet Telecom Lesotho Logo

Econet Telecom Lesotho, also known as ETL, is the other operator in Lesotho. The company is a merger between Econet Ezi-Cel Lesotho and Telecom Lesotho.

Econet Telecom Lesotho uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)

This is what you will learn about Econet Telecom Lesotho:

* Coverage
* How to Get an Econet Telecom Lesotho SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Reload Options & Methods
* Plans & Packages
* APN Settings

Coverage – Econet Telecom Lesotho

Econet Telecom Lesotho has great coverage in Lesotho.

Its coverage is not as extensive as Vodacom's. However, network reception in populated should be strong.

Below is Econet Telecom Lesotho's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

Econet Telecom Lesotho Coverage Map

SIM Card Price – Econet Telecom Lesotho

You can get an Econet Telecom Lesotho SIM card, called Buddie and Libertie, for free (although a minimum top-up of 50 LSL is required) in Econet Telecom Lesotho stores throughout the country.

The difference between Buddie and Libertie is the standard rates you pay for data, minutes, and SMS. If you plan on getting a plan, it does not matter which SIM card you have.

Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Econet Telecom Lesotho

Econet Telecom Lesotho top-up vouchers are sold in the official stores and many other retailers, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and corner shops.

To activate your top-up voucher, dial *133*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *133*123456#.

Dial *134# to check your balance.

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Econet Telecom Lesotho

Econet Telecom Lesotho has two types of data-featured prepaid bundles: the Data Bundles and the Social Media Bundles.

Data Bundles – Econet Telecom Lesotho

The Data Bundles are data-only plans.

The following data bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *100#:

2 LSL20 MB1 day
5 LSL80 MB1 day
8 LSL200 MB1 day
10 LSL250 MB7 days
20 LSL800 MB7 days
50 LSL2 GB7 days
80 LSL1 GB30 days
155 LSL4 GB30 days
450 LSL12 GB30 days
600 LSL18 GB30 days
Social Media Bundles – Econet Telecom Lesotho

The Social Media Bundles are data-only plans for WhatsApp and Facebook.

The following Social Media Bundles can be activated by dialing *100#:

3 LSL200 MBWhatsApp1 day
3 LSL300 MBFacebook1 day
15 LSL1400 MBWhatsApp7 days
15 LSL2100 MBFacebook7 days
50 LSL6000 MBFacebook30 days
60 LSL9000 MBWhatsApp30 days

APN Settings – Econet Telecom Lesotho

  • Name: Econet Lesotho
  • APN: internet

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Lesotho

Getting a SIM card from Vodacom (best coverage and affordable) would do you well considering a Lesothan SIM card.