Lesotho Expedition - South Africa

Lesotho Expedition

5 star rating   30 November 2019

Tamasin who has been on 19 In The Saddle rides. A real adventure in stunning surroundings | This isn't a ride for the faint-hearted or anyone who's afraid of heights. At times it was like rock-climbing on horse back, and you really need to have trust in your horse (pony!), which fortunately is easy as they are the most agile and sure-footed I've ever ridden - taking steep climbs and descents, narrow paths and boulders in their stride. Despite the often challenging terrain, there were also chances for faster riding every day.

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
5 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?

The accommodation is varied, mostly simple, but comfortable. Lesotho has been suffering a drought, so there was no running water at Thamatu or The Project and we had to manage with what could be brought up from the stream or trucked in - obviously a much bigger issue for the locals than for us just there for a few nights. We spent an unscheduled night at New Park Lodge instead of one of the two at The Project in search of running water, with limited success (in some rooms but not hot)! There were plenty of chances to swim in mountain pools to freshen up though. St Bernard's Peak Hotel is in an amazing setting, very welcoming and comfortable (with water and electricity!), but a little like stepping back to the 70s.

Food throughout was excellent. This ride is an incredible exercise in logistics, with Alexis and the truck at the heart of the operation, getting food - and water - for both horses and humans to all the overnight stays, not just for the ride but also all the other expeditions run by Khotso.

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?

Information generally excellent, as ever, with plenty of detail, just a few minor things: we were met at airport with a Khotso sign rather than In The Saddle, but still easily spotted as it's mentioned in the itinerary; breakfast was provided on arrival at Khotso from the early morning flight; and they were generous with the free drinks - soft drinks and pre-dinner G&Ts/beers were included (within reason).
[Chris from In The Saddle replied: Thank you for the information about the pick up at the airport, we have changed othe instructions in the itinerary.]
I appreciate the pre-holiday information regarding weather is based on average conditions, but it was far warmer than I was expecting - 30C+ on most days, even at altitude and minimum at night wasn't less than about 10-15C, and there was no rain at all, which clearly isn't normal (hence the drought), so packing a range of clothing layers is definitely the best approach.

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

None, all impeccable.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

There were some really memorable moments on this trip - dancing with the local children in Thamatu, circumnavigating the 'Three Bushmen', the cave paintings, swimming in the mountain pools, trying to outrun the storm on the last day - but the moment I realised just how special Lesotho is, was as we crossed the border fence back into South Africa on day 6 and could see the lovely, but cultivated and gentle landscape on one side of the ridge contrasting dramatically with the wild beauty of Lesotho on the other. I found myself missing it almost immediately.
[Chris from In The Saddle replied: We are so pleased you enjoyed your holiday in Lesotho, it really is a very special country.]