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“Rustic yet very comfortable”
Review of Semonkong Lodge

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Semonkong Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Boston
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Rustic yet very comfortable”
Reviewed September 8, 2013

The lodge's facilities are very nice. We stayed in the dorms, which had large fire place and plenty of wood. The bar/restaurant is great (amazing for Lesotho). The donkey pub crawl is hysterical. Try not to fall off, but it just might be inevitable. The town itself is desolate. The nearby waterfall, canyon and countryside is jaw dropping gorgeous.

Room Tip: Go for the dorms, especially if it's not crowded.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank wodaley1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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172 reviews from our community

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English first
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
158 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Okay, so the road is a bit of a challenge, but worth every little swearword and bump en route! Get to this little lodge in the mountains soon, it is probably going to change drastically by 2014. Why? Simply because a tarred road is being constructed which will open up this part of Lesotho to less adventurous travellers and all sorts of traffic.

We drove a long way and did the last 130 km of the drive over this partially constructed road in the pitch dark which was a huge challenge. Arriving at the lodge and being "welcomed" a little less enthusiastically than anticipated was also a bit of a let-down. But entering the room and being greeted by a fireplace, wonderful white linen and neatly arranged towels etc and then the absolute pleasuurre of piping hot water was totally wonderful!

The gentle clanging of home-made bells on donkey necks as they trundled up the road through the lodge was a great way to go to sleep. Food is really good at the lodge as are the staff and when you awaken in the morning to a gentle knock on the door as your tray of coffee arrives, it is to a new world of incredible rural beauty.

I have travelled a lot as part of my job as a tour guide but this exposure to rural Lesotho has been an eye-opener and a photographic wonderland. Obviously you have to follow protocols but a lovely variety of activities will keep you enthralled. Even sitting on your verandah and watching the passing parade of donkeys, horses and people will be very satisfying.

Get out of your comfort zone and visit this place, before it is too late!

Room Tip: Try and do the approach road in the daytime!! Remember that the abseiling requires a full morning of...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Garth J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

Semonkong Lodge is a very special place indeed as is the town in general, which truly is at the end of the road. The three hours drive on the bumpy dirt track to the Lodge took us far away from all the hassles of Western life and into the heart of Lesotho, where time moves more slowly. We could have spent all four days sitting on the veranda of the Lodge and watch the townspeople and villagers as they walked or rode past, covered in colourful blankets and packed with goods from or for the market. But then again we would have missed out on the stunning scenery, the fun horse ride (our first ever) or the walk down to the majestic waterfall.
Our room was very neat and clean, simple yet spacious and comfortable. Nice little treats such as the coffee and tea brought to the room in the morning or the fire at night added extra warmth to the place. The staff was friendly and welcoming (as were the people in Lesotho in general).

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Topo012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
121 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

during a tour to Lesotho with a Greek journalist Yianni we spent 2 nights at Semonkong Lodge and it is beautiful, the people, the atmosphere and scenes of lesotho are absolutely breath taking. You can explore Lesotho on a pony or by foot but either way is always fun, with the Maletsunyane Falls (186 metres) creating clouds of spray making it look like smoke is out of this world and thats where the name "PLACE OF SMOKE" comes from.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank 1st_Zulu_Safaris_SA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
137 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2013

The lodge is rustic, but equipped with hot water and en suite baths. The food is outstanding, with a decent wine list, and very well trained serving staff. The dinners compare well with any high end restaurant anywhere. The rooms can get chilly in the winter--poorly fitted windows and doors, and space heaters that struggle to warm the rooms, but there are lots of blankets, so bed at least is cozy. The hike to see Maletsunyane Falls is well worth it--plan on about three hours round trip, with a chance to see local farmers up close and personal as well as some pretty nice scenery. The drive from Maseru is rugged, about 3 hours each way. Glad we had a 4X4, although we did see some saloon cars in the lodge parking lot--not quite sure how they navigated some of the sections of road. Although the main road is being re-built, the final stretch through Semonkong, down and across the river to the lodge will remain a challenge for cars even after the main road is finished.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank OnetwentyOTR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Semonkong Lodge has the feel of a boutique hotel. Little thatched room houses set within plush green and flowered surroundings make up the rooms (although you can camp as well). Our room had two single beds and a fireplace (#5). The ceilings were at least 15 feet high and the room had a tropical, exotic feel to it. Our room was spacious and very comfortable- two wicker chairs with plump cushions around the fireplace made it very cozy. The sheets were first quality (with embroidery) and the beds were very comfortable and warm. It gets surprisingly cold up the mountains and it was very nice to have a snug bed to come home to at night. Outside the room on a covered porch were two adirondack chairs with cushions that faced the river. The en-suite bathroom was basic but clean. The lodge provides shampoo, lotion, etc. and towels.There was good water pressure and plenty of hot water. Our side window overlooked a flower bed and the covered outside communal eating area.

Every morning at a time of your choosing you will get a tray with tea/coffee and a tea biscuit delivered to your room. I really felt pampered there.

The river runs alongside the lodge and I liked hearing the sound of moving water. The lodge also has a restaurant and bar on site, with an outside eating area that overlooks the entrance to the lodge. The restaurant always has vegetarian options and was quite good. The lodge sits on a path leading to other communities in the mountains and while sitting and having a cup of tea outside you can see the world go by on donkeys, on horses, on foot.

There is also a communal kitchen that was very well equipped with a very large freezer and refrigerator, two sinks, large kitchen table, cutlery, dishes, pots/pans, etc. and an outside BBQ and covered eating area. So, if you want to self-cater, it is very convenient. People who camped in the camp ground by the river also had access to toilets/showers that were in good shape.

Behind the lodge are stables, and the dirt road leading to Maletsunyane falls- spectacular and a must see. I walked to them and it took about 90 minutes. There are also village tours (see Semonkong up close), donkey pub crawl (very popular), pony treks, abseiling, 4x4 treks, etc. And the hiking is fantastic- no bugs, a variety of dramatic landscapes, and safe. The office can give you a map with a few short and long hike suggestions.

Room Tip: I recommend getting a room with a fireplace.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank NMMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

My friends and I stopped off here during our six day ride across Lesotho. Unexpected luxury - each room was individual with either a slightly different layout or colour scheme. They were spacious and clean with split stable like doors. The food was locally produced, with traditional dishes such as ostrich, springbok and papa. The atmosphere was very friendly and relaxed with nothing being too much trouble.

Sitting out on the veranda you can watch the world go by - small children clambering up the steep hill going to school, donkeys transporting goods, women carrying loads on their heads with small babies strapped to their backs, a wide variety of livestock being herded, sure-footed Basotho ponies being used for many different purposes.........the ultimate in people watching.

It is a great base for many activities.....riding, walking, abseiling. The scenery is breath-taking, dramatic and awe inspiring. You can purchase local handicrafts at reception and postcards to send home. Or just relax on your own porch listening to the many local birds or the sound of the river.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gill155
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Semonkong Lodge

Property: Semonkong Lodge
Address: 1 River Bend Road, Semonkong 120, 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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