Added by Bryan Young
Step off the edge and rappel, aka abseil, adjacent to the breathtaking Maletsunyane Falls, descending a Guinness World Record longest single-drop 670 feet (204 m) until you reach the bottom of the roaring falls into an area aptly named the “place of smoke.”
The adventure begins at Semonkong Lodge in the heart of the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho. Here you will spend your weekend learning the ropes (get it?!?!) of abseiling and relaxing in the remote mountain village before taking on the world’s longest single-drop abseil in the world.
Day 1: You will head out to a nearby cliff, just a mere 82 feet (25 m) with the abseil team to complete 3 practice abseils to get you familiarized with the gear and on how to use it. This is required for everyone, no matter your skill and knowledge level. This abseil utilizes a Rappel Rack, which may be new or different for some. Regardless you’ll complete three rappels where you do a normal rappel, lock yourself and change bars on the rack and then finally rappel with heavier weight on the rope. You’ll be surprised how heavy and differently a rope capable of 670 feet of continuous rappelling feels!
Day 2: Abseil Day! You will meet early in the morning and drive out on 4x4 road to near the top of the Maletsunyane Falls. From here you’ll hike the short distance to the top of the falls and see what 670 feet looks like!! Shocker, it’s higher than you think! While you harness up the team will set multiple anchors, including a safety belay. Then they’ll send two members down first to meet you at the bottom of the falls, properly named “the place of smoke” for the crazy mist a 630 waterfall (roughly 4 times higher than Niagra Falls) creates.
The abseil starts above the falls and includes an initial free rappel with amazing views of the gorge. This is the most peaceful time of the rappel where the falls are relatively peaceful near the top. As you descend into “the place of smoke” the cliff walls become slippery and you become wetter as you’re engulfed in the fall’s mist. This is where a rain outfit comes in quite helpful!
Overall, this is a must do if you visit the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. No matter you’re fear of heights the abseil team at Semonkong does a great job of ensuring safety at all points and the views and getting a Guinness Record certificate more than make up for sitting out on this amazing adventure!
However, once safely back on solid ground don’t forget that what goes down must go up, and when you’re group is done you’ll be making the steep hike back of the gorge you just descended into!
While you’re there be sure to also…
- Go on the the hilarious Donkey Pub Crawl through Semonkong village, where you bar hop from bar to bar riding a donkey!
- Hike or pony trek to the fall's overlook that you'll soon abseil down!
- Go to local horse racing, but be sure to schedule your visit during scheduled races
As far as lodging you can either camp, stay in a dorm style setting or rent a private room. As always book in advance to secure your spot!
- Rain jacket and pants (remember you’re rappelling down next to a waterfall!
- Change of clothes stashed in a dry pack for your hike out of the gorge, unless you don't mind hiking in wet boots
- Warm clothes depending on the time of year (it also get’s chilly at the bottom after getting wet and then waiting for the rest of your group to descend)
- Waterproof camera/GoPro
- Personal harness for comfort (although they provide all the gear)
- Gratuity (about 100 Rand) for the abseil team
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
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