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“Paradise in Lesotho” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Semonkong Lodge

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Semonkong Lodge
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1 River Bend Road, Semonkong, Lesotho   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Paradise in Lesotho”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

Armelle and Jonathan are wonderful hosts who are really invested in making your time at Semonkong as memorable as can be. Both of them were so informed about the area and were happy to give advice. Our contact with them via e-mail before we arrived was friendly and full of all the info we needed. Semonkong is worth the drive - yes it is 65km on a mountain pass. But we did it in a van in a thunder and lightning storm in pouring rain in the dark. It was a bit hairy but we had no problems. I am sure in the winter when it snows that road becomes more hard going - but we saw LOTS of work happening on the road and they grade the steep parts and it was actually better than we expected. Driving back in glorious sunshine the views were spectacular.
Some of us stayed in dorm rooms and some in private rooms. The rooms were clean, beds were comfy, lovely bedding. Showers had plenty of warm water and good pressure. And the fires in our rooms were laid each evening which was a lovely touch.
We self catered for breakfast - but we did buy the local bread from the restaurant which was great. There are not that many food shopping options so unless you bring a lot with you then it can be limited.
We had lunch and dinner at the lodge restaurant - food was good, not too expensive - just inform them of any vegetarians and they will ensure there is a no meat option.
We hiked, went horse riding, some of the group went abseiling, did the donkey pub crawl - which I cannot recommend enough. One of our group fished - you are only allowed to fly fish up there.
The lodge organizes activities through local people - it really does benefit the community. Village life flows through the lodge and we happily sat and watched horses, donkeys and the local basotho people continue with their day to day life through the lodge area.
All the staff and guides we met were extremely friendly and we loved every minute. We were all very sad to leave and I look forward to going back to do an extended horseback trek.
Semonkong Lodge takes you away from the world - its a spectactular break where you can really switch off and unwind. We stayed 3 nights and wished we had stayed longer!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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70 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    47
    18
    4
    0
    1
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13
19
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Pretoria
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

To get the bad stuff out of the way first, my first and only warning about coming to this place is the road. In general it can't be helped as all the roads in Lesotho are pretty awful, but going to Semonkong (from Maseru) is abut a five hour drive on most unsealed roads. Often we thought that we were going to the wrong place. The scenery on the drive is wonderful but please, as there are no places where you can get tires fixed, either go by 4WD or have 2-3 spare tires with you. Semonkong lodge is absolutely beautiful. The rooms are clean and cozy (get a room with a fireplace!) and there are so many activities to do. My friend and I did both the abseiling and the horse riding. The asbeil is the longest commerical single drop abseil and at 204m I'm intended to believe them. The lodge SAYS it takes two days to do the process (training on first day and abseil on the second) but if you push the matter a bit and don't mind an early morning you can do it all on one day. It costs roughly 820 Lesotho dollars so its not cheap, but that includes the training, use of equipment and there people that help you and considering there are 8 guys to help you, that's not too bad a price. The horse riding was also magnificant and you get to see a lot more of the Lesotho countryside that way. I'd definately recommend a stop here!

Room Tip: A room with a firepalce! Each night you'd go though roughly 1 bundle of wood and conviently you...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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White River, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011

After a long and scenic drive, we were greeted by a warm welcome from the staff. I really enjoyed sitting on the patio outside the restaurant and watching the Basotho people going back and forth to the village, dressed in colorful blankets and riding proudly on horses that were “dressed for town”. The highlight for me was definitely the 204 m abseil down the Maletsunyane Falls. (Highest commercial abseil in the world) I don’t have words to describe the feeling. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to take part in all of the other activities on offer and would definitely recommend 3 days or longer as there is plenty to keep you busy.

Room Tip: The lodge is built on a hillside. If you don't mind a little climb, the rooms at the top offer s...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape town
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2011

What a wonderful place to rest up after a hard mountain bike ride.The food is superb and the staff delightful.Visit the waterfall and ride a pony for a day,but if you're into mtbing, this is heaven.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Wyoming
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

Literally in the middle of nowhere, an oasis of comfort

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011

I visited Semonkong with a large group of friends recently; we all had an excellent time. The management went out of their way to accommodate our group, arrange activities for us, and so forth.

Some of us stayed in dorm rooms, while others opted for private rooms. All accommodations were of good quality. I stayed in a private room which was lovely - the bed was very comfortable and despite the cold weather I was very warm at night (despite having a room without a fireplace). We were awoken every morning promptly at 7:30am with tea/coffee...the first morning it was quite a surprise to be woken up by someone knocking at the door, so it would have been nice to know about this in advance (and have the option to decline in case we wanted to sleep past 7:30!)

A number of people in our group did the abseiling adventure. While I chose not to for fear of heights, the other people had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They all reported the knowledge and safety of the staff to be paramount.

We also did some hiking and horseback riding - really beautiful scenery. The waterfall was not as impressive as some of the photos I had seen because this season has been quite dry, but still beautiful and certainly very high! One day we stumbled across local informal horse races which take place once a month - this was quite fun to watch along with hundreds of local spectators.

We self-catered dinner one night and had a buffet the second night - in retrospect, we should have self-catered both nights. The buffet was overpriced at R150 per person, and the food was OK but not great. When we ordered lunch the next day we were told the only thing available was chicken wraps which obviously contained the leftover chicken from dinner the night before.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2011

I have been to Semonkong Lodge at the beginning of November 2011, and I have to say I had a great time there!
Semonkong is on the beautiful mountain of Lesotho, near the Maletsunyane Falls, probably the biggest attraction in the aerea. The place and the environment are worth per se, but Semonkong Lodge adds something more to your visit there.
The rooms are nice and comfortable, the bar/restaurant offer a quite good and complete menu, and the staff is nice and welcoming. The price for the room is also fair: 130 Maloti (13 euros, moreo or less) for a bed in the dorms, 300 Maloti for a double room. The restaurant is a little bit overpriced, but not more as you would expect.
What i most appreciate is the helpfullness of the staff in helping you to organize your trips and your activities there. You actually do not need a guide to go the water falls, and hiking till there is nice and not difficult. But you will probably want to try one of the numerous attivities explained also in their web site, and they will offer you great advice and solutions to meet your wishes. Let's also try to ask, if you are there during the weekend, if there is any horse race: it will be a real Lesotho experience!
Finally, another peculiarity at Semonkong Lodge is the possibility to chose self-catering dinners/lunches: you can bring your food and drinks and use the kitchen, without even bother yourself to clean up afterwards!
I definitely reccomend it!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Semonkong Lodge

Address: 1 River Bend Road, Semonkong, Lesotho
Location: Lesotho > Maseru District > Semonkong
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Semonkong
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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