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Lesotho - The High Plains Trail Ride

An African Adventure

The following ten pioneering Challengers have returned from their adventures in Lesotho and raised £5,000 for BHS Welfare - well done to you all!
Victoria Allen, Hilary Barnard, Carol Edmondson, Nicky Hall, Sue Hawking, Carol Miller, Gill Nobbs, Alison Richardson, Bridie Stanford-Bennett and Gordon Williams.

An exciting new challenge for 2013, this ride takes place in Lesotho, a small independent nation which is completely surrounded by South Africa. This is a pioneering challenge as Lesotho is far off the tourist trail. It also gives something back to both the BHS’s welfare work and to the local area, as every town and hamlet visited receives a commission for the facilities we use.

What is the High Plains Trail Ride?

You will begin the ride at Malealea Lodge, which is located at the start of the Lesotho trail. As most people live in the Lowlands, the Highlands surrounding the trail are sparsely populated. The remote trek and basic facilities will certainly make this trail a challenge!

Which horse will I ride?

For this challenge you will be riding a Basotho pony. This breeds stands at between 14.2hh and 15hh and their trusty nature, stamina, sure-footedness and intelligence make them the perfect companion for this unique Challenge.

What will I do on the Challenge?

On day one you take an overnight flight from London to Johannesburg.

Day two involves a domestic flight to Bloemfontein and from there you will be driven to Malealea Lodge for an overnight stay. Here you will also meet your ponies and have the chance for a short ride to make sure you are the right match.

Day three sees you begin your journey and ride seven hours to the hamlet of Ha Lebona where you will leave your pony and personal belongings to continue on foot to the bottom of the Ribaneng waterfall. This is a three hour round trip and afterwards you will cook your own dinner and stay in the hamlet huts overnight.

After preparing your breakfast, day four takes you to the top of Ribaneng waterfall and then continue ascending via the Sibayeng or ‘Slide Your Ass’ Pass. This eight or nine hour ride gives you fantastic views from the top of the Pass. Semongkong Lodge is the venue for that evening’s dinner and overnight stay.

Day five is a three hour loop trail where you will enjoy the spectacular views of the highest single drop waterfall in South Africa, Maletsunyane. Again the overnight stay will be in Semongkong Lodge.

On day six you journey onwards to the village of Ha Hlalele. From here you give the ponies a break and walk with your guide to the Ketane Waterfall. Returning to Ha Hlalele you will prepare your dinner and have a good night’s sleep ready for the day ahead.

On day seven you will take a gentle six hour ride to Sekoteng sa Lifarike:this means ‘The trough which the pigs have dug’. Your hosts in this beautiful mountain village are Chief Puli and his wife.

On day eight you follow the mountain ridge back to the starting point at Malealea Lodge. This takes seven hours so you will certainly enjoy dinner back in the luxury of the lodge!

After breakfast you return to Bloemfontein airport and fly to Johannesburg where you will stay overnight.

The last day of the trip will be spent catching a mid-morning flight back to London.

How much does it cost?

All our Challenge Rides require a registration fee. This £250 fee is needed to secure your place on the trip and is non-refundable if for any reason you are unable to participate. Challengers are encouraged to fundraise to pay for their trip. The minimum sponsorship level is £2,500 and we need to receive these funds eight weeks before you depart. This money includes all tour costs and a donation to The British Horse Society; however, it doesn’t cover travel insurance, optional tours and spending money.

Fundraising inspiration

Now you’ve read about the High Plains Trail Ride, we’re sure you’ll want to know how to raise the money to get there. We’ve put together a list of fundraising tips to help you on your way.


Dates for the next trip are to be confirmed, so check back regularly for updates.   

Just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed everyone’s company in Lesotho, and what an amazing trip we have shared! To sum it up – a fantastic challenging journey through a beautiful country with great like-minded company!

Carol Edmondson, Lesotho Challenge Rider, March 2013

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