Lesotho Expedition - South Africa

Lesotho Expedition

5 star rating   4 March 2019

Grizzle who has been on 13 In The Saddle rides. The most amazing, challenging and rewarding riding holiday you are ever likely to encounter. | This expedition exceeded all expectations. It is the most physically challenging riding I have ever done or indeed expect to do, but for all that I would not have missed it for the world and the sense of achievement afterwards was enormous. Certainly not for the fainthearted or those who do not like heights - fortunately I do not fit into either category. Full of admiration for our ponies - so strong and sure footed - they were truly amazing.

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
4 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
5 star rating
How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
5 star rating

The Accommodation

How would you rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities?
4 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
5 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

Sandwiches not a good idea for lunch - they did not travel well and were too stodgy - no-one felt like eating them. There were very good snacky things to hand -eg dried fruit and nuts and a piece of fruit and if there was enough we used to stock up on these for lunch - that is all you need - they just need to make sure they have a plentiful supply for lunch and not just for in between mealtime snacks.

This is the only "food" criticism I have. Alexis, Khotso farm manager (but not for much longer as he and his partner are coming back to the UK in April) and our main host, is an incredible chef and really pulled all the stops out. Nothing was too much trouble.

Accommodation at times was very basic but we were all prepared for this. It was all clean and serviceable and the St Bernards Peak Hotel was pure delight. My only criticism were the lower bunk beds at Thamatu Lodge - it was very difficult to get in and out of them - and was really quite uncomfortable - the upper bunk needs to be MUCH higher up. If you compared the bunk beds with those at the Project - the latter had THREE times more space between bunk levels

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

Plan and prepare for your holiday?
5 star rating
Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
5 star rating

How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

The only thing I would mention is that you could have made it clearer that Khotso was in South Africa not Lesotho - I stupidly thought we were in Lesotho much of the time when we were infact in South Africa - and also bring out more in your info that you are crossing "borders" (literally only a broken wire fence at times or even nothing at all) quite a few times during the trip and sometimes more than once in a day.

How could we improve the way we handled your booking and payment?

Nothing to add.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

It was a real privilege to do an expedition like this. The most stunningly wild, rugged and beautiful landscapes I have seen anywhere in the world. Feb/March is a very good time to go - everything looked very green and fertile and all the livestock looked plump and well fed. Yes, there were some spectacular storms, but almost always after we had finished riding, The staff were very good at forecasting, starting off earlier if necessary in order to avoid the rain.

And the staff (eg Alexis, Jason (Alexis's successor) and Ellie (main guide) and Alan and Charles our two local guides - a word here. They were excellent - very good people skills - so important
Also a word about Steve Black, our ultimate host who owns Khotso. What a treasure - SO privileged to be his guests. He is unique - an extreme long distance runner - thinks nothing of running 200km in Alaska. He has competed all over the world and is still winning major international races at the amazing age of 64. An absolute legend and a wonderful anecdotalist. What a an amazing life he has led/is still leading.