Lesotho pony traditions: 4 outdoor treks to take in your stride

2015-11-30 19:00 - Sam Smith
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Cape Town - Lesotho is not only home to beautiful waterfalls, wide ranging mountains, snow and majestic rivers, it is also home to the famous Basotho Herdsman - who know how to travel in style.

The Basotho herdsman are renowned for being majestic and heroic and all with the help of their strong ponies - recognized as some of the best polo ponies in the world. 

The Basotho pony is a small horse with a significantly long stride and stocky body, straight back and short tough legs. The ponies who were continuously ridden by the herdsman over rocky terrain and steep cliffs - and developed into the sturdy and confident ponies that impress both royalty and locals alike.

READ: Do the longest abseil in the world under a waterfall

Prince Harry’s recent visit to Lesotho to open the Mamohato Children’s Centre for children suffering with HIV and AIDS  was highlighted with a weekend charity polo match at Val de Vie Cape Town South Africa.  

READ: 7 times Prince Harry took our breath away while playing polo in Cape Town

It was no coincidence that polo was the game of choice for the Sentebale Lesotho charity fundraiser, as the polo ponies highlight the traditions of the Lesotho herdsman and ponies. 

Here are fout great pony escapes for you to explore in Lesotho this holidays:

1. Khotso 

Appealing to the brave and thrill lovers, you can follow an age old donkey trail up mountains, alongside waterfalls and with great company all on horse back. Trips are a minimum of two days - with over night stays in authentic Basotho villages.

If you are a horse lover, know that day two of the trail leads you to the Valley of Wild Horses - with real wild horses of course. 

READ: Exciting East London: 8 Activities to get your heart racing

2. Drakensburg Adventures Pony Trekking

These treks are centred on pony adventures, that will feature the Sani Top Chalet, the Libbing Village and Molumong Lodge. Tours range between two to four days long. 

#WeDidItFirst Motho le pere ya hae. #Matatiele #Mpharane

A photo posted by Makere Cross Thekiso (@crossmakere) on

3. Trails for Africa

You can go on a three-and-a-half day adventure on a tour tailor-made to your liking. Expect a visit to the local Basotho Sangoma, the Botsoela waterfall, a breathtaking hike to the Ketane Water Gorge and a venture into the Pitseng Canyon. 

READ: An Adventurer’s guide to the Witzenberg

A photo posted by Tschjana (@janaa_za) on

4. Malealea Lodge Pony Trekking

Make your Lesotho visit an easy escape from the city of Johannesburg with a pony trek. According to Malealea - these ponies can handle routes that will make even the biggest 4x4 cut out. These treks are perfect for day outings and shorter journeys to the Botsoela falls, the great Gorge and the Makhaleng Plateaux.