An incident with his Horse.
2nd November 1873 evening Durnford relied on his guide Hlubi, the young Sotho chief, whom he had appointed to the expedition on the strength of his people having hunted in the area. It was soon to be discovered that he had only a limited knowledge of the area of operations.
The ascent of the Lotheni valley was a terrible ordeal. The men could not sit upon their mounts but had to pull them by the reins up the steep incline. As the going became more difficult the force began to string out as numbers of the less fit fell back with fatigue. On the climb, at about 10 a.m. Nov 3rd Durnford’s horse Chieftain, a grey BaSotho pony, lost its footing, fell down a steep decline dragging Durnford with it. One of the Carbineers declared that Durnford rolled head over heels like a ball bounding down, for about fifty yards. Possibly the horse rolled over him, for his injuries were many: a dislocated shoulder, two bruised ribs and a bad gash on his head. His sword scabbard was bent double and the sword, given to him by his father when he left for South Africa, could not be made to fit in it, so he gave the sword to his guide Hlubi to carry for him. The horse was uninjured. Durnford was then helped to his feet, someone made his shoulder as comfortable as possible, and he ordered the advance to continue. At noon he called another halt to allow the stragglers to catch up. He also sent a party of six Sotho to scout the top of the pass and to find out whether Langalibalele's people were ascending the Bushman's Pass.