The Free State, too often seen as a featureless flatland that flanks the motorway en route to somewhere else,is adecidedly underrated destination.
While much of the province may seem little more than flat mieliefield spiked here and there by the headgear of gold mines, the eastern highlands that fringe Lesotho ---the fertile lowlands of Basutoland, when the Orange Free State Republic forcibly occupied it in 1865 --- is a setting for quaint country towns with panoramicmountain scenery and attraction for disciples ofrock art, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking and horse trails.
Urban escapees who`ve settled in such hamlets asClarens and Marquard have added contemporary style and increased the number of cappuccino machines. Picturesque Ficksburg, capital of the Free State`s cherry farmlands, holds a cherry festival each year,offering tastings and sales of cherry wine.
The province`s northern reaches, known as FizileDabi, extend to the banks of Vaal River, where Parys draws visitorsto gentle river rafting, challenging golf courses and relaxing weekends away among old world antique shops and avant garde eateries. Not far upstream, the Vaal Dam is an inland sea for watersport enthusiasts.
Also a short distance away, the Vredefort Dome --- a World Heritage site --- is a gigantic scar left on the earth by a meteor (estimated at 10km in diameter) that collided with the earth about 2023 million years ago: the biggest meteorite impact geologists have yet found on earth and nearly twice as big as the impact that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
In the south-west, Xhariep, which takes its name from the Orange, or Gariep, River that fills the enormous Gariep Dam, is home to a tiger sanctuary and the Free State`s only wine farm.
In the Goldfields, or Lejweleputswa, Welkom isthe site of the first gold mine in the Free State.
The nearby Bloemhof Dam is one of the largest in South Africa and central to a 12,000 ha conservancy in open Kalahari thornveld country, offering visitors a rare combination of game viewing on the reserve or fishing at one of the most popular angling sites in South Africa.
In the most central part of the province, Motheo, the country`s judicial capital, Bloemfontein, is a cultural destination with museums, monuments and art galleries.
Moolmanshoek Private game reserve is situated on a private nature reserve of over 3 500 hectares in the district of Ficksburg in the Eastern Free State at the foot of the Witteberge Mountains. There is a restaurant with bar facilities, luxury modern ...read more
Arcadia Guest House is a 4 star property in Kroonstad (Free State) that offers accommodation in 24 luxury bedrooms that all come fully equipped with en-suite bathrooms and double/twin beds. Arcadia Guest House offers breakfast included in the room ra...read more
Equidistant from Durban, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, The Stables is a beautiful home situated in spacious gardens with full views of Platberg.The Stables features seven spacious en-suite bedrooms plus two self-catering units which are all equipp...read more
Stoneridge Guesthouse is situated in Gariep Dam, Free State, and offers accommodation in four luxury double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning. Gariep Dam is 180km south from Bloemfontein....read more
Harrismith is probably best known by South Africans as the 'halfway house', half way, that is, between Durban and Johannesburg. Harrismith offers one of the oldest golf courses in the country, restaurants for fine dining and take away food establishm...read more
Sir Henry's Guest House - Clarens offers a charming country retreat with luxurious accommodation, superb breakfasts and an unforgettable stay combined with true Free State hospitality. The charming seven en-suite bedrooms each with its own veranda, c...read more
Andes Clarens Guest House is a 4 star property in Clarens (Free State) that offers accommodation in a self-catering unit with two bedroom suites and a bathroom and kitchenette. Andes Clarens Guest House also offers a wedding venue, swimming pool and ...read more
Makiti is a 50 hectare estate situated in the secluded Kromdraai valley, an ideal venue for private functions and weddings. Each venue offers a bridal suite, chapel, spacious function room, beautifully landscaped and well maintained gardens, and a pr...read more
Welcome at Kopano Nokeng Lodge and Conference Center. Only 4km from the Bloemfontein Airport, we offer in an abundance of peace, tranquility and facilities that can accommodate even the most particular client. Tailor made packages are our forte and f...read more
Michiel and Zanette welcome you to their paradise Kleine Eden is situated in a peaceful suburb with easy access to the N1 We cater for corporate travellers, tourists, sport teams and families Mimosa Mall, Grey College,University, Sport Stadiums, 4-6k...read more