Saturday, April 16, 2016

Semonkong

It was a beautiful hike through fields and small villages to
reach the falls.
Earlier this month, I joined a friend and his father on their trip to the village of Semonkong. Only a few years ago, the journey alone would have been absurdly long. Today, however, there is a paved road all the way into the large village and it takes just over two hours to reach the town from Maseru.

Semonkong is home to the Semonkong Lodge and two Peace Corps Volunteers. While Nick and his dad stayed at the really welcoming lodge, I enjoyed the hospitality and camaraderie of my fellow PCVs. I also visited the lodge enough to recognize it as a wonderful spot.

Maletsunyane Falls
Only five kilometers from town is Southern Africa’s longest single drop waterfall: Maletsunyane Falls. The waterfall plummets an astonishing 186m (that’s 610 feet)! Semonkong Lodge capitalizes on this beautiful waterfall; offering a variety of hikes to the falls and even the world’s longest abseil or rappelling alongside the falls.

With only one full day in town, we opted to hike to the falls, but not to abseil or hike down to look up at the falls-both adventures being far more time consuming than relaxing. (And to be honest, despite all my work on ropes courses and zip lines, I do not actually enjoy rappelling so spending half my month’s stipend to do something I do not like seemed foolish.) Given the weather, this turned out to be a brilliant decision, as even approaching the cliffs surrounding the waterfall’s gorge were adventurous thanks to the high winds that were pushing us around. As we approached the lodge following our three-hour hike, fat raindrops began to fall. We made it into the lodge just before an intense downpour began.


Nick and me at the falls and the wind trying to blow my hair
and shirt away!
The lodge offers some other popular activities for those wanting unique travel experiences. In addition to the typical Lesotho offerings of hiking, good food, and pony trekking, they offer a donkey pub crawl! Where else can you go on a pub crawl where riding a donkey? We sedately chose to enjoy a few beers at the lodge’s bar, which was probably a smart decision with the deluge outside.





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You should choose as your life's work whatever feels the most like play.
-Harvey Oxenhorn