The Free State South Africa

Welcome to the Free State expect to be pleasantly surprised as you travel from one corner of the Free State to the other. From undulating hills in the east, to gorgeaous golden savannah in the west; desolate landscapes and dried out trees in the south or to luscious greenery sustained by the Vaal river in the north.


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South Africa -Free State

'The Free State landscape gladdens my heart, no matter what my mood. When I am here, I feel that nothing can shut me in, that my thoughts can roam as far as the horizons' - Nelson Mandela

Interactive map - click the place of your choice for accommodation choices map of freestate province south africa bloemfontein hotels philippolis hotels fouriesburg hotels clarens hotels bethlehem hotels kroonstad hotels harrismith hotels parys hotels kimberley hotels van reenen aliwal north hotels springfontein hotels clocolan hotels ficksburg hotels rosendal hotels wesselbron hotels ventersburg hotel smithfield hotels deneysville hotels


















Aliwal North


Van Reenen


Welcome to the Free State, the province as free as it is, is landlocked, right in the heart of South Africa, the terrain is mostly flat bar the east of the province where you will find undulating hills that seem to go on for eternity.
Expect to be pleasantly surprised as you travel from one corner of the Free State to the other. From undulating hills in the east, to gorgeaous golden savannah in the west; desolate landscapes and dried out trees in the south or to luscious greenery sustained by the Vaal river in the north.

For the Traveller
The Maluti Route, a specially packaged scenic route in the south-east designed for the road traveller, passes through the quaint towns of Ladybrand, Hobhouse, Wepener, Vanstadensrus and Zastron on the R26 road, and covers a treasure trove of art, culture, history and stunning sites. Named after the Maluti mountains in Lesotho it is the longest signed tourism route in South Africa.

For the water sports enthusiast, the Vaal River and the Orange River offer an abundance of water activities ranging from white-water rafting, swiming, fishing, water skiing and canoeing. If hiking is more to your enjoyment don't pass up an opportunity to visit the Snowy River Horse Trail and sample steak on the rocks..

Each season has its own beauty and in the Free State province the winters are phenomenal. As bitterly cold as winter can be, the breathtaking beauty of snow dusted like icing suger over the mountain peaks alleviates any chill one may experience.

The summer season is a perfect playing field for those romanic poets dying to express raw human emotion. Rain showers on the undulting hills, windswept savannah plains, semi-desert lands, gushing rivers and majestic mountains.

History and Heritage
Not only is the Free State beautiful but filled with history, which is evident when you enter Bloemfontein, the judical capital of the Free State. Historical museums such as Hertzog House, the first Raadsaal, the war museum are wonderful monuments that line the streets of Bloemfontein and represent the city's past and present identity.
The Franklin Nature Reserve, located on Naval hill, has a selection of indigenous game including: blesbok, eland, springbok and Zebra.

But it is Bloemfonteins flowers that seem to be its proudest heritage, living up to its name: 'Spring of Flowers' more than 4,000 rose trees have been planted in King's Park, opened in 1925 by the Prince of Wales.

In Northern Free State there is a world Heritage site where a meteorite the size of Table Mountain crashed to earth, leaving one of the largest meteorite craters in the world - 90km wide and 20km deep, the rock like dome that was formed is known as the Vredefort Dome, a spectaculor formation of crater rings is still visible in the outcrops near Parys, the original formation covered an area of approximaitley 150km, but many of the rings have been eroded through time.

The peaceful San people residing here are revered for thier ability to depict daily life in the form of rock art, which South Africans regard as a highly-prized cultural possesion.

Basotho Cultural Village
Regarded as one of the most valued treaures of the Free State, the Basotho Cultural Village is found in the Qwa Qwa national Park, at the foot of huge sandstone mountains. Here you will find the essence of Outh Sotho culture and lifestyle, spanning from the 16th Century to the present day.

Visitors to the village can enjoy basket weaving demonstrations, traditional dances, a tour through the chiefs village, throwing of the bones and delicious traditional food served at the restaurant, which is situated between two enormous sandstone boulders.

The huts are built according to the time frame depicted by each one and are decorated by the Basotho women.
The Basotho people are often referred to as the 'Blanket people' as the balnket is thier traditional dress. It originated in the 1860's when King Moshoeshoe recieved a blanket as a gift. Not only are these adornments pleasing to the eye, but they keep out the winter chill that rolls in from the Lesotho Mountains.

Game farms and Game Reserves
For those lured by game farms and game reserves the Free State offers a great selection, each providing a unique mix of flora, fauna and an exciting wildlife experience.

The Golden Gate Park situated near Clarens is famous for it's rolling sandstone mountains. Its name is derived from the golden light that reflects off the cliffs. Tranquil open spaces allow you yo catch sight of many of the wildlife that roam the reserve: eland, zebra, hartebeest and wildebeest. There are 140 known bird species and you may even spot teh black eagle, bald ibis or bearded vulture !

The Willem Pretorius Reserve is filled with large herds and grassy plains. In the distance you will see koppies, ridges and cliff faces, which together with the wildlife and terrain is perfect for those who love the bush.

Soetdoring Reserve with its wide open spaces and fresh air is home to the wild cat, wild dog, white rhino, zebra and eland.

Qwaqwa National Park situated in the Drakensberg Mountains, is a hikers paradise. There is much to see - wildlife, succulent vegetation, beutiful vleis, bushman art, indigenous lillies and beautiful flowers in the spring and autumn.

Take a trip to the Free State Province and be overwhelmed by the charming country towns and sheer beauty of the land.