Pony Trekking in Lesotho

October 9, 2013

The splendid mountainous country of Lesotho is tucked away like an island in the centre of South Africa. It is a remarkable travel detour from its bigger neighbour, South Africa.  Lesotho is referred to as the ‘Kingdom in the Sky’ for a good reason: the country is a prime sightseeing destination, with magnificent mountains providing plenty of chances to embark on a hike, pony trekking or a mountain climb.

The finest way in which to explore this beautiful country is by participating in pony trekking from village to village. This is in fact the most popular mode of transport for majority of the locals, as ponies are better adapted to the rough terrain than most 4X4 vehicles. The highlands in the northeast feature gigantic peaks (reaching more than 3000 metres) and awe-inspiring lush valleys.

The mountains provide incredible views of the kingdom, but travelling through them can prove to be quite challenging. This is where pony trekking comes in handy. The treks on these gentle animals provide travellers with a remarkable unique experience, as well as a comfortable and convenient manner of touring the gorgeous countryside.

Most pony trekking conductors allow guests the chance to experience the culture and lifestyle of the folk that inhabit the area. The pony trekking tours often use local guides who have an extensive knowledge of the local landscapes, giving you a beautiful and enjoyable ride whilst being educated about the land. When pony trekking, you will also be completely safe on the high mountain roads.

No visit to Lesotho would be complete without a pony trek. If you would like you can ask the village children to accompany your pony and lead them for a small price. Treks are often taken at the guests’ own risk, so you will be required to sign an indemnity form before embarking on the ride.

Always be sure to wear a riding helmet whilst on a pony trek, and before mounting your designated pony, ensure that the strap under the horse’s stomach (the girth) is tight. When heading up and down mountain passes, be sure to ride with loose reins as the horse steers using his head and neck. If you don’t feel completely safe on some of the steeper passes, you can always dismount and walk alongside your pony.  The ponies might stumble occasionally but always manage to correct themselves.  They will also stop at times to graze, so if you are holding on too tightly you might get pulled over your companion’s head! However, the animals are gentle in nature and provide you with an incredible experience not to be missed during your visit to Lesotho.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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