LAST Saturday’s inaugural Maletsunyane Braai Festival turned out to be a boon for domestic tourism as well as Semonkong locals who made a killing hiring out their horses and donkeys to the visitors.
The event which was held against the backdrop of the spectacular world-famous waterfalls in Semonkong was hailed by the locals who said they normally rented out their animals for amounts ranging from M200 to M365 depending on the time frame.
However, they said they charged M20 for a 10 minute ride which enabled to them to reap far greater rewards due to the greater numbers of visitors especially ladies who were eager to savour the horse riding experience for the first time.
“We mostly rent out the horses via the Lodge and since we are many we seldom make money. This is the first time we have had so many people visiting this area in one day,” said one local Lephole Pheko, adding, “The M20 may appear a small amount but the money I made is way too much”.
The festival was held to promote domestic tourism in line with the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation’s Know Your Country First campaign.
Scores of revelers came from all over the country, some arriving on Friday while others arrived in the early hours of Saturday.
It was a relaxed event where the tourists brought their own braai stands, meat and beverages and enjoyed the soothing music provided by Jam Sessions Sounds and various deejays including DJ Napolinah.
LTDC Senior Tourism Officer, Molapo Matela hailed the event for promoting domestic tourism, saying, “There have been different kinds of events in the past which have promoted domestic tourism but not one that was able to draw so much attention as this one”.
“It was also big in that the community of Semonkong benefitted and there were no reports of them being exploited,” he said.