Meet assistant reception manager Ntate David Nkhbane Mokala. He may just be the most interesting man you’ll ever talk to – he is a passionate story-teller and historian who curated and owns Malealea’s cultural museum, and he spent nine months training in Germany for the Beijing Olympics as half of Lesotho’s first equestrian team.
Unfortunately, the sponsorship funding ran dry, but David’s passion for horses never will, and neither will Malealea’s. He has been in charge of our pony trekking program for years now, and he is in our reception office to help you organize the trek of a lifetime. Ntate Phakane Makhakhane runs the Tack Room and can also help you to arrange your rides.
A journey on horseback is both exhilarating and peaceful. Along any hour on our trails, your pony will guide you up and down rocky switchbacks and across trickling ravines, all while you take in Malealea’s breathtaking scenery. You will form a relationship with the Basotho pony who carries you. They are gentle and trained creatures who will trust you as you put your trust in them.
David and Pahakane coordinate with the owners of the ponies who will be your guides. Your guides have been riding since they could walk, and they will teach you everything you need to know, from approaching the horse to mounting, to using the reins for guiding and your feet for encouragement.
If you are looking for an easy ride, David will point you towards Pitseng Gorge. It will take about two hours across terrain that is mostly flat, and will lead you to a beautiful overlook. For something more challenging, you can descend into the gorge to find the rockpools at the bottom. This trek will take about six hours.
For other moderate trek options, you can take a pony to see the beautiful Botsoela Waterfalls or the historic Bushman Paintings. The Bushman Paintings are relics from the first human civilization here. Reaching the paintings requires some steep hiking, but the impact of seeing something left behind from 20,000 years ago is usually worth the effort. If you are quite keen, you can see both sites on a journey that will take between 5 and 7 hours.
We also offer the Griffiths day ride. This is a 6-hour loop defined by stunning contrast and ever-changing views of our green mountains and red rocks.
Overnight pony treks can also be arranged. Our overnight excursions offer you a chance to take in the scenery and experience village life for a night. These, like all treks, can be arranged in the office.
David and the other folks in reception grew up riding around this land. They know these paths intimately and will be able to advise you if you are uncertain. Prices are determined per person and depend upon how many people are in your party. They range from R275-500 for day treks. Overnight treks are R540-800.
Top of Pitseng Gorge: easy 2 hours, overlook the Gorge
Pitseng Gorge Loop: moderate 2-3 hours, explore the Gorge and rockpools
Botsoela Waterfalls – moderate 4 hours, see waterfall
Bushman Paintings – moderate with steep hiking, 3 hours, see ancient cave paintings
Botsoela Waterfalls & Bushman Paintings – moderate-to-difficult with steep hiking, 5-7 hours, see waterfalls and ancient cave paintings
Griffiths Day Trek – moderate, 6 hours, see beautiful, varied scenery