Close to the ground.

GPS: S 29 50.415 E 028 03.082 | elevation 2,219 m/7,280 ft

Semonkong (meaning “Place of Smoke”) was established in the 1880s as a refuge for Basotho villagers who were displaced by the conflict during the Gun War. Despite being in the middle of the mountains and a bit hard to access (unless you have a 4x4), it has one of the country’s top lodges and it attracts a steady stream of visitors who come to experience the pony treks, hikes, abseiling and waterfalls.

Pony Treks

Pony Treks are a popular way of getting around in the mountains and guided day trips can include picnics, traversing rivers and waterfalls, and interacting with villagers. Overnight treks (M350-500) include riding to one of the mountain villages and spending the night in a traditional village hut. Longer multi-day treks can also be arranged.

Guided Hiking

Guided Hiking can be done with locals to popular destinations including Maletsunyane Falls, mountain tops, village visits and even to the hut of the local sangoma, or traditional healer.


Abseiling down the 204-meter high Maletsunyane Falls is generally a two-day event. The first half-day means getting familiar with the equipment and techniques while training on smaller 25-meter cliffs. The big descent down the waterfall is the following morning. It's an absolute thrill to glide down over 600 feet beside the plunging water, but not something for the faint-hearted.

Maletsunyane Falls

Maletsunyane Falls drops 204 meters down into a large pool. You can observe the falls from above or hike down to the bottom, where you can swim in the pool under the crashing waterfall. The top of the waterfall is about a 3.5-kilometer hike from the Semonkong Lodge.

Ketane Falls

Ketane Falls drops more than 100 meters into a gorge located deep in rural mountains. About 20 kilometers from the Semonkong lodge, the falls can easily be reached on an overnight pony trek.

Semonkong Lodge

Semonkong Lodge is one of the top lodges in Lesotho and the base of accommodation and activities for most visitors to town. The lodge works with members of the local community to offer guided pony trekking, hiking and abseiling down the Maletsunyane Falls. Accommodation is in an assortment of solid stone and thatched roof buildings or rondavels. There is a pub and a full restaurant serving hearty meals, as well as a self-catering kitchen. The lodge is located on the Maletsunyane River about 700 meters from the A5 road.