In the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, the region of Semonkong sits some 2,275 meters above sea level amidst the Drakensberg mountains. The area is made up of many small villages, most of which are inaccessible by car and nestled high up on the slopes without electricity or water.

Travel time from these villages to Semonkong, the nearest town, can be up to 4 hours. Villagers often uses horses for the journey. The roads are also used by younger shepherds, who move their livestock between pastures, covering great distances daily.

In May 2016, I journeyed up into the mountains, along these well-trodden paths, to photograph the horsemen, herders and commuters of Semonkong.

—Thom Pierce

Editor’s Note: This project was recognized by the jury of the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016—don’t miss the work from all 50 of the outstanding, international talents!

A selection of the work is currently on view at the Circa Gallery in London. A book about the series is in the early production stages with a New York book publisher.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like these previous features: Young Nomads, about the child horsemen in Mongolia; Trent Davis Bailey’s exploration of a remote, rural community in Colorado, The North Fork; and Family From the Mist, a dreamlike series on an indigenous family that lives deep in the Mexican mountains of Oaxaca.