Trekking & Pony Trekking in Lesotho

The independent country of Lesotho consists largely of a high plateau, with peaks averaging over 3000m, carved into many steep valleys by the action of water over more than a hundred and eighty million years.

Within this stunningly beautiful area live the Basotho people, who have adapted their unique African culture to mountain living. Their picturesque villages nestle among the valleys, while on the higher ground, especially in the summer, shepherds and their animals, such as sheep, Angora goats, cattle, horses and donkeys, will often be encountered.

Roads are few and far between in the Highlands of Lesotho and the main mode of transport is still the horse, with donkeys used as pack animals. The Basotho Pony is a recognised breed, which has developed over the last two hundred years into an extremely hardy, sure footed and good natured animal. Their ability to safely cross the rugged mountain terrain is legendary.

As no land is privately owned in Lesotho, there are no fences, making the country ideally suited to trekking and pony trekking. There is virtually no area of Lesotho that is not accessible by horse or on foot. In fact the majority of Lesotho mountain villages can be reached in no other way! Add to this, the friendly welcoming nature of the Basotho people, and it is easy to quickly become immersed in a lifestyle that has all but disappeared in the western world.

It is not necessary to have had any previous horse riding experience before undertaking one of these trips, and the Basotho pony trekking guides will match you up to a pony that suits your ability. Informal riding instruction from the guide is included, and participants very quickly become confident riders!

Southern Secrets trips into Lesotho would normally link up with Basotho community tourism initiatives, in the form of overnight accommodation establishments, cultural guides, and pony trekking guides, who source the ponies or pack donkeys from the surrounding villages, ensuring that as many people as possible in the community benefit from your visit.

Examples of such trips would be four days pony trekking or trekking to the summit of Thabana Ntlenyana (3482m the highest point in Southern Africa), a four day trip to the source of the Senqu (Orange or Gariep) River on the edge of the Drakensberg Escarpment, or a trek or pony trek from village to village lasting anything from two days to two weeks or even longer! The options are unlimited.