The Free State


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The heart of South Africa


Forming the heart of South Africa, The Free State borders six of the country’s nine provinces, as well as the kingdom of Lesotho. From the sandstone rock formations near the Drakensberg mountain range to the Lesotho border through open pastureland speckled with fruit farms, visitors will travel a remote and rural province - home to very few built-up areas apart from its rose-covered capital.

The Free State’s striking terrain and lack of built-up areas make it ideal for a road trip. On their journey through the province, travellers will be treated to places of great historical wealth including sites of ancient San rock art, old gold mines, and discarded battlefields. At the foot of the Maloti Mountains on the north-eastern side of the province, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park features beautiful golden-hued sandstone cliffs and a strong presence of wildlife.

The Free State’s position in the middle of the country means that visitors will often pass through the area en route to other provinces. The capital of the province, Bloemfontein, is a buzzing city and flowery paradise offering respite from the arid landscape. It is an ideal base from which to explore the province’s many natural wonders, including the Vredefort Dome: the largest meteorite impact crater on Earth.

 

Highlights

  • Borders six of the country’s nine provinces, as well as the kingdom of Lesotho
  • Remote and rural province with beautiful pastureland and colourful fruit farms
  • Lack of built-up areas and striking beauty make it ideal for a road trip 
  • Home to many places of great historical interest including San rock art abandoned gold mines, and old battlefields
  • The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is known for its beautiful golden-hued sandstone cliffs
  • The capital city Bloemfontein is a flowery oasis offering respite from the arid landscape

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