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Rappel Maletsunyane Falls

Semonkong, Lesotho



3 miles

Elevation Gain

1000 ft

Route Type



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!

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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