Skip to content

‘Raging to Nature’ on a World Record Abseil with Semonkong Lodge – short film released

We are excited to share ‘Raging to Nature,’ one of our latest film projects produced by Love Africa Marketing with our long-time partner, Semonkong Lodge

The film showcases the lodge’s 204 metre-long abseil, which holds the Guinness World Record for the longest single-drop commercial abseil. This exhilarating activity has attracted over 6400 brave guests from around the world over the last 24 years. 

Narrated by one of the abseiling guides- Benedict (surname), and Semonkong Lodge owner Jonno Halse, ‘Raging to Nature’ is the first official documentation of the world record abseil commissioned by Semonkong Lodge. It documents local Basotho beliefs surrounding the waterfall,  the exhilarating abseiling experience, and the importance of ‘raging to nature’ while you can.

The film production took place in January 2024 with the Love Africa and Semonkong crew, where we contended with challenging weather conditions and high water levels, as well as one team member’s fear of heights.

However, our team adapted quickly and put on brave faces while gearing up to tackle and film this world record abseil. . The waterfall played its part too, raging down into the gorge below and making for a spectacular show of just how powerful nature can be.

How to film a raging waterfall and a world record abseil?

We had planned for 3 full days to film at the Matsunyane Falls to capture the adventure from different angles in varying light. In reality, we shot this over one day due to the extreme conditions. We had our cinematographer, Sven Musica, on one line alongside a team member on a second line for the 25 minute descent to the bottom.

The abseil requires both hands as you make your way down the rock face, so Sven had to stop multiple times during the descent to capture footage of the experience. The strap that Nicola suggested be tied from the harness to the camera literally saved the device when Sven accidentally dropped it during filming. 

‘As the token team member who was afraid of heights, being part of this film project and taking on a 204 metre abseil was not at the top of my bucket list. The water was crashing down next to us and our suddenly-nervous cinematographer did not help as he stepped over the edge, clad in all his camera gear. Benedict made sure my harness was secure and guided me to the ledge. I had been instructed to stop halfway, breathe, and look at the view. As I stared down into the green Maletsunyane Gorge, I realised that I had a pretty amazing job.’ – Jordyn Johnson, Digital Marketing Assistant at Love Africa Marketing. 

‘Filming an abseil for the first time required some creative thinking and a lot of trust in the guides. I captured the first two volunteers stepping over the edge and filmed the excitement and anticipation of the other volunteers as they waited their turn. 

‘The full realisation of what I was about to do only hit me as Benedict tightened the harness and guided me to the point on the cliff where I would need to step off. I told Benedict that I was literally putting my life in his hands. My camera was tied to my harness which proved to be a brilliant idea after I dropped it while hanging approximately 200 metres above the ground.’ Sven Musica. 

The abseil perfectly encapsulates the term ‘Raging to Nature,’ as it begins with a short free fall, and slippery cliff walls, while descending alongside Africa’s longest single-drop waterfall. 

Along with the activity itself, the short film highlights Basotho culture, the freedom that comes with exploring Lesotho, and how truly remote the country is. 

Lesotho is famed for its untouched mountainscapes, meandering rivers, and shepherd trails. It is home to the Maletsunyane Falls which creates a smokey mist as it hits the gorge, which is where the town of Semonkong, ‘Place of Smoke’ gets its name. 

Semonkong Lodge is situated within the town of Semonkong, along the banks of the Maletsunyane River, and is the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding area.

Although you can walk along the top of the waterfall or hike down into the gorge, we agree with Semonkong Lodge that the best way to experience the falls is to abseil alongside it. 

Film Credits:

  • Film production: Love Africa Marketing
  • Director/Producer: Nicola Gerrard
  • Cinematographer/Editor: Sven Musica
  • Pictures: Sven Musica