David was lucky enough to join the British Horse Society on a recent horse riding challenge in Lesotho. We asked him for an insight into the trip.
Where did you go on your latest horse riding adventure?
On a fundraising challenge with the British Horse Society to the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa.
What is the scenery like?
Lesotho is known as the ‘Mountain Kingdom’. As you drive from Bloemfontein you go from very flat country into the mountains.
February is a great month to go as the grass is really green, the animals well fed and the red hot pokers in full bloom.
Is the trip accompanied?
Yes, there was myself, a guide from the British Horse Society and four horsemen or wranglers, with 10 guests.
As well as the riders you’re accompanied by three or four pack animals to carry the gear.
How long are the days during the horse riding trek?
You’re in the saddle for six or so hours a day, with early starts and finishing around 4pm each day. Dinner is served around 6pm then there’s time to catch up on the day before a good night’s sleep.
What is the accommodation like?
We spent a couple of nights in lodges and the rest is thatched village huts. The accommodation there was basic but adequate with long drop loos and basic washing facilities.
What sort of food can you look forward to?
For breakfast you can expect crackers, jam, muesli, cereal and milk. For lunch we had cheese and crackers and then for dinner (we cooked for ourselves each night) it was a mix of pasta or couscous and sauces as well as fresh veg and fruit.
What’s the wildlife like, any dangerous animals?
The birdlife is plentiful, including the unique long-tailed widow bird. There are no dangerous animals in Lesotho, this is not your typical Big Five country.
When’s the best time of year to go on this horse riding trek?
I would say that February is an idyllic month. You can expect a little rain but the days are mostly pleasant and warm with cooler nights.
Other good months are April/ May and October.
Do you have to be an experienced horse rider?
Yes, I would say of intermediate level.
What was the highlight of the trip?
The horses in Lesotho are a particular breed of their own, they’re able, strong, sure footed and with heaps of stamina, which is crucial for the terrain.
Also, all land in Lesotho is communally owned, we trekked for six days without encountering a single fence.
And what’s your top tip for anyone who hasn’t been on a horse riding holiday before?
Bring a good camera, one that’s waterproof and dustproof. The photos and memories stay with you a long time.
What’s a nice easy trip to add on if you fancy seeing more of Africa?
You could head out on a Big Five safari, go and see the Zulu battlefields at Rorke’s Drift and even consider a flying visit to Victoria Falls (each about four days long).
Click here for more information on the BHS fundraising challenges.