Semonkong FAQ

1. How far is Semonkong from Maseru?
Semonkong Lodge is 130 km’s from Maseru but a 3 hour drive. Distances in Lesotho must be judged on time and not kilometres.
2. Can we get there in a normal 2-wheel drive vehicle? What is the road condition?
Yes, it is possible. There is major road construction between Roma & Semonkong & Semonkong & Qacha’s Nek. Once these projects are completed the road will be tarred all the way through. Many a hired car – Toyota Tazz & Citi Golf’s get here without a problem.
3. What is the altitude?
To get to Semonkong you go over the Thaba Putsoa range which has peaks of over 3000m. The road crosses a pass at 2800m and the Lodge is situated in the valley below at 2200m. The highest point in Southern Africa is Thaba Ntlenyana 3482m which is in Lesotho near Sani Pass.
4. Is it safe?
Yes, Lesotho is safe. We suggest you do not drive at night because there are very few signboards and you can easily get lost. Bring a map.
5. Can we give sweets to children?
Please do not give sweets or money to children, rather support local businesses, curio traders, orphanages, schools (stationery) etc. Giving sweets to children encourages bad habits.
6. How far is the Maletsunyane Falls?
The waterfall is an hour’s hike from the Lodge.
7. What sort of horses do you use on your pony trekking?
Semonkong is the horse capital of Lesotho and Basotho ponies rule out here. They are the best 4×4 to use in the area. Semonkong Lodge works with 60 community Basotho ponies. They are all in good condition with good saddles, bridles etc. We insist on riders wearing riding helmets (supplied by the Lodge), and our horses are very good for complete novices and children. If you know how to ride, we also have horses for the more experienced rider.
8. Is there a through road to Qacha’s Nek?
Yes, the road is still under construction with the project ending at the end of 2014 – the road will be tarred all the way through.
9. How far are you from Katse?
Approximately 6 hours of driving.
10. Can we use South African Rands?
Yes, there is no need to exchange money. The Maloti is on the same monetary value as the ZAR.
11. Is there an ATM in Semonkong?
No, there are no banks here. The closest ATM is in Roma.
12. Approximate travelling times:
From the top of Sani Pass to Katse is approximately 5-6 hours driving.
Katse to Roma is approximately 4-5 hours
Roma to Semonkong is approximately 2-3 hours
Semonkong to Malealea is approximately 3-4 hours
Malealea to Mohale’s Hoek 1 hour
Mohale’s Hoek to Qacha’s Nek about 3 hours
Qacha’s Nek to Semonkong about 3 hours
13. Does it snow in winter?
Yes, normally 3 or 4 times – the surrounding mountains may remain snow capped for a few weeks.
14. Will we get stuck?
The grader usually clears the pass within a day – however, it does depend on the weather conditions & the vehicle you drive.
15. Are there shops in Semonkong?
Yes, there are a few trading stores where one can buy basic food stuffs.
16. Can you get fuel?
There is diesel and leaded petrol available at the local Trading Store. One can buy unleaded petrol in Maseru.
17. Where can I get more information on Lesotho?
Should you want to know anything else, please email us or contact the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation Information Office at email hidden; JavaScript is required
Telephone Number: +266 – 22 312427 or Mobile: +266 – 58883504
Also contact www.travel-lesotho.com
18. Is it a malaria area?
No! Semonkong is malaria free & due to the high altitude, we are free of most tropical diseases.
19. Is there 24 hour electricity?
Due to the fact the town works off a mini hydro-power station, this will all depend on the water levels of the river.