Semonkong, a small bustling town in the southern part of Lesotho, holds the heart of horse culture in this mountainous country. An area where horses are a part of everyday life and crucial in work and connection over these vast landscapes.
Once a month, during winter, the mountains surrounding Semonkong come alive as crowds gather to give the iconic Basotho ponies their time in the spotlight. Shepherds descend from the highest peaks to join others from neighbouring communities on a rural grass track marked for the days festivities of parades, betting and celebration.
During our recent trip to Semonkong Lodge, on the edges of the Maletsunyane gorge, we were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience as the Semonkong highlands became a race track.
An atmosphere which can not be replicated anywhere else on earth filled the air. The weather was perfect and the mood electric. Sounds of cheering, chanting and singing echoed through the hills as the horses galloped towards the finish line for each race.
The excitement was infectious and soon we were absorbed into the culture of horses and their celebration.
As evening approached, the final race took place under pink skies and the whole experience felt surreal.
Below is a glimpse into this unique event in the Kingdom of the Sky. We hope that you enjoy this gallery of images as much as we enjoyed capturing them.
Guests are able to join the races should the timing align. Chat to the lodge and book your stay over one of the scheduled racing weekends in the winter season.
Book with email@example.com, www.semonkonglodge.com
Images by Casey Pratt / Love Africa Marketing