Top Ten Southern Africa Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Lesotho on Horseback
  |  Gorp.com
Lesotho
Ride through rocky Lesotho (Rich Beattie)

The mountain kingdom of Lesotho, set entirely within east-central South Africa, serves up stone villages atop remote hillsides. Villagers, called Basotho, live draped in blankets and robes, almost like ancient Greeks. Shepherd boys sit on the slopes, playing flutes. Vultures and eagles cruise overhead. There are few roads; in Lesotho, the horse remains chariot of choice, and this is how you'll want to get around as well. Semongkong Lodge, near Maletsunyane—southern Africa's highest waterfall—offers horseback treks of several days; you'll stay in timeless Basotho villages and ride some of the subcontinent's steepest terrain. The Basotho ponies, schooled in a special "tripling" gait, are tough, sure-footed, and afraid of nothing. A tip: Book a trek that coincides with Semonkong's horse races. They're wild spectacles involving carefully nurtured thoroughbreds, child jockeys, and epic bouts of drinking.


Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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