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From Khotso in South Africa near the eastern border of Lesotho, the trail climbs up to 3,000m through Bushman’s Nek pass into the heart of the Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site. This ride is the perfect adventure for those looking to travel off the usual tourist trail.
On the trail you have chance to spend time with the people who live in this remarkable mountain kingdom. Perhaps visit the children at the local school and answer their questions; see the range of goods supplied by the local shop; wave to the lone shepherd on the mountain top.
At night you stay in mountain lodges, some quite basic and simple, others really comfortable; they all have great views. The support vehicle takes your personal luggage, you just carry with you on horseback what you need for the day.
Click on top left symbol on the map below for the day to day itinerary, then select an individual day/night for further information and photos. Alternatively, click directly on the route lines or map symbols for more details.
The riding is a mixed pace, mainly walk with some trots and canters. The terrain is mountainous with some long days, up to eight hours, in the saddle. There are steep and rocky sections where it will be necessary to dismount and lead the horses. These rides are not for those who suffer from vertigo. This is a physically exerting trail across challenging terrain so riders need to be fit and confident both in the saddle and on their own two feet.
The horses are local Boerperd and Basotho ponies with an Arab blood line running through the herd. These horses range from c.14hh to 15hh, are strong and footsure, and in their element in the terrain you will be crossing.
The saddles are South African trail saddles. All horses are ridden in snaffle bridles on a loose rein. The riding style is English.
Hard hats are mandatory.
The start and end point of the ride is Khotso Lodge, nestled in the foothills of the Drakensberg at 1,300m. Each rondavel has a double bed room and a further three single beds on a mezzanine floor. There is a shower and toilet, open plan kitchen and lounge area with an open fire.
A thatched lodge in a quiet village, Thamatu Lodge is 2,600m above sea level. It is rustic and basic yet spacious with multiple bunkbed dorm-style rondavels. The central lounge/kitchen building has an open fire place. There are two showers and toilets, which are shared between the group. There is no electricity at the lodge.
In Ha Semanyane, The Project (2,300m above sea level) is a former agricultural education centre. Although basic it still promises comfortable beds, a good atmosphere and great food. Continuing drought, combined with an ageing plumbing system, means that buckets may have to be used to flush the loos. There are no showers available. As in the rest of this area, there is no electricity.
St Bernard’s Peak Hotel is a gem of a location, nestled just under the mountain at 1,800m above sea level. There are a number of small en-suite one or two bedroom thatched cottages, each with an open fire in the bedroom. There is a pool, a well-stocked bar and great meals served in the dining room.
The trails need a minimum of two guests to confirm with a small group supplement.
|Holiday||Experience LevelExp Lvl||Arrive - DepartArr - Dep||Price||Itinerary||Availability|
|Lesotho Expedition||31 Oct 2021 - 8 Nov 2021||8 nights 8 ngts||$2,431.64||Book|
Small group supplement (the supplement depends on the the total number of people on the ride)
$392.99 (2 to 4 in the group)
INCLUDES Accommodation; meals; riding; beer/wine with dinner.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT The accommodation in the mountains is limited and single rooms are not possible.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Drinks; gratuities.
NEAREST AIRPORT Durban.
TRANSFERS are arranged from/to Durban airport at set times and cost $62.88 per person each way (2020) ($86.46 per person each way in 2020).
Airport transfers are arranged from Durban airport. The journey to Khotso is about three hours.
On the first day, the shared arrival transfer is set for 10:00 for flights arriving by 09:00. If your flight arrives later than this you will need to arrive the day before and overnight in Durban.
On the last day, flights should depart after 15:00.
Shared transfers cost c.£49 per person each way.
The ride starts at Underberg in South Africa about three hours west of Durban. From Underberg you enter Lesotho at Bushman's Nek border pass.
The seasons are very different but trails can take place throughout the year. Summer (from November to March) is the wet season, and storms often mean you have to ride out earlier, but it is lush green and the mountains look spectacular, clothed in wild flowers.
In winter, the grass has dried out and it is almost desert-like. Dry, warm days perfect for riding give way to cold nights where temperatures can plummet to minus 15ºC. Snow is a real possibility!
A real African mountain adventure with plenty of local culture.
We always recommend dressing in layers but on this ride, because of the change in altitude and unpredictable mountain weather, it's really essential.