In the heart of South Africa is the Free State, this little gem offers visitors a multitude of experiences, from the sandstone mountains of the Golden Gate to the clean blue waters of the Gariep Dam.
Golden fields of maize cover the high plains of the Free State. Hidden below - even greater riches, real gold and glittering diamonds.
Sandstone cliffs towering in blazing formations that have been carved over eons by wind and water create a brilliant display of burnished copper coloured mountains. Magnificent jewelled mountain passes soaring over majestic mountains.
The splendour of the Free State with its weathered scenery, farming communities, memorial and picturesque cities and towns, offers choice holiday resorts, and encloses some of the country's finest highland scenery.
Here, in the Free State many species of game have been re-introduced to their natural habitat, and roughly 460 bird species await the enthusiastic bird watcher.
The many attractive resorts nestling near the dams and rivers offer popular water sports for anglers, yachtsmen and other sporting enthusiasts. A wide variety of choice facilities and entertainment options are readily available, and the golf courses are groomed for your pleasure awaiting your own brand of birdies and eagles.
The rich and diverse plant life that adorns the picturesque mountains in the east, the vast central plains, and the rocky outcrops in the south, with the Acacia thornveld in the northwest, as well as the San rock art that can be found in the spectacular sandstone cliffs of the eastern Free State, invites the holiday maker and tourist to enjoy the sense of freedom which nurtures the cordial, friendly nature of its people.
Motheo is in the heart of South Africa and its people are warm hearted and friendly. It houses the judicial capital of the country in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses. A visit to Kings Park is a true reflection as there are over 4000 rose bushes in the park. At Naval Hill in the center of the city's Franklin Game Reserve where black wildebeest and a variety of antelope can be seen. Motheo also offers a huge variety of indoor and outdoor activities as well as the hospitality of the Motheo people.
Bloemfontein National Botanical Gardens, Zoo Gardens, the National Museum has a large collection of fossils and archeological findings, Loch Logan Waterfront, Naval Hill and Franklin Game reserve, Mmabana Cultural Centre, Rustfontein Dam and Nature Reserve, Thaba Nchu Sun, Annual Rose Festival, Kings Park, Princes Garden, Oliewenhuis Art Gallery, SA Military Museum, township and cultural tours, game viewing, fishing, water sports and local art and craft centes.
The Transgariep region is characterized by vast open spaces of grassy plains and a truly spectacular star-studded sky. The region offers visitors a chance to relax and unwind at one of its many dams, Gariep Dam being the biggest in the area. The "Eye of Zastron" is an unusual rock formation in the Aasvoelberge. The area also offers hunting, wine cellars, open mine museums, art galleries, locally made arts and crafts, hiking, cultural experiences and days filled with relaxation and tranquility.
Gariep Dam, Jagersfontein and Koffiefontein Open Mine Museums, The "Eye" of Zastron, Eufeeskloof Dam, Mayaputi Nature Reserve, Landzicht Wine Estate, Laurens van der Post memorial near Philippolis, O-Wagon monument near Bethulie, Tussen-die-riviere Nature Reserve, Wilgemund Nature Reserve, Hippopotomus Cave near Zastron, game viewing, hunting, hiking trails, historical monuments and sites, Boer War tours and cultural excursions.
Situated in the heart of South Africa agricultural belt, the Free State Goldfields offer visitors a unique experience. The area is filled with history, vibrant culture, goldfields and numerous mines. There are many different tours which include art, crafts and tavern crawling, game and nature reserves, underground mine tours and excursions to Phakisa Grand Prix in Welkom. Other activiteis include hiking, mountain biking, fishing, water sprots, game viewing, horse riding and 4x4 routes.
Winburg Voortrekker Monument, Welkom Gold Museum, Soetdoring Nature Reserve, Saltpans Mining, Underground mine tours, Willem Pretorius Game Reserve, Phakisa International Grand Prix Racetrack, Sandveld Nature Reserve, NAMPO Harvest Farm and Festival held at Bothaville, Food and Witblits Festival, historical boreholes on the farms Aandenk and Allanridge, Golden Arts and Crafts Scramble held at Hennenman and Virginia, Aco tractor factory at Hoopstad, Goldfields Wine Cellar and Bompudi Village Beatrix Mine in Theunissen, St Helena Underground Cellar, historical museums and sites, horse riding, hiking trails and fishing.
Bordering Gauteng and the Northern Free State is the Vaal Dam, over 300 sq kilometers, it offers visitors boundless opportunities from fishing, canoeing, sailing and rever cruises to relaxing family picnics on the banks of the river. Near the small town of Vredefort is the Vredefort Dome, one of the oldest and largest meteorite impact structures in the world and is over 90 km wide and 20 km deep, this impact created a mountain range in an otherwise flat landscape.
Vredefort Dome, the third largest meteorite impact zone in the world, Viljoenskroon Tractor Museum, Frankfort Sandstone NG Church, Riemland Museum in Heilbron, Green Mielie Tea Garden in Kroonstad, Golf Island, Gallery 88 Art Gallery, Highveld Gardens in Sasolburg, Vintage Car Exhibition in Edenville, Boskoppie Predator farm near Kroonstad, sailing, power boating, water sports, white water rafting, San paintings, abseiling, game viewing, hiking trails, mountain biking and fishing.
This area is known for its snow-capped sandstone mountains and pristine scenery. A visit to GoldenGate Highlands National Park and to the nearby town of Clarens will make you feel like never going home. The region is rich in art galleries and hand made crafts, cultural experiences, historical sites as well as interesting dinosaur tours, bushmen paintings, waterfalls, hiking trails and an annual Cherry Festival held in Ficksburg every November.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Qwa Qwa National Park, Sterkfontein Dam, Salpeterkrans Sandstone Overhang near Fouriesburg, Seekoeivlei Nature Reserve, Basotho Cultural Village, Langtoon Dam, Zuluhoek lookout point, Generaalskop lookout point, Wolhuterskop Nature Reserve in Bethlehem, Titanic Rock in Clarens, Cherry Festival in Ficksburg in November, Bushman Rock Art and San Paintings, Mount Everest Game Reserve near Harrismith, hiking trails, fishing, mountain biking, white water rafting, quad-biking, dinosaur trails, game viewing and mountain climbing.
Information on Free State distance charts, temperatures, tourism offices and attractions.
Free State Tourism
Tel: 051 400 4909
Tel: 051 447 1362
Tel: 051 713 9300
Tel: 057 352 4222
Northern Free State
Tel: 016 976 0765
Eastern Free State
Tel: 058 713 0012
A Passport valid for six months after date of entry; contact your nearest travel agent or embassy for up-to-date information. Entry permits are issued on arrival to visitors from many British Commonwealth countries and are valid for 90 days.
The Rand is South Africa’s currency and is denoted by the R. 100 cents make up R1 (One Rand). Foreign currency can be exchanged at most banks and Bureaux de Changes. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club are accepted.
Taxes and Refunds
All goods and services are priced to include value added tax of 14%. Visitors may reclaim VAT at their point of departure provided recepts are produced. Total value of purchases must be over R250.00 to reclaim VAT.
Summers need light cotton clothing and a light jersey for cool evenings. Winter needs warmer clothing with a sweater or jacket for cool mornings and evenings. Hats, sunglasses, insect repellant and rainwear for the rainy season are essential.
There are 11 official languages in South Africa. English is spoken throughout South Africa and most businesses and banks communicate in English.
There is a wide network of hospitals, both public and private, throughout the country offering excellent services.
International visitors should have health insurance to assist in paying for private hospital fees. If you are entering a Malaria area, medical precautions should be taken. Consult a pharmacist for more advice and insect repellant is essential. Tap water is safe and clean to drink.
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 15:30 and Saturdays from 09:00 to 11:00. Banks are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Tourism and Safety Information Line - 083 123 2345, Police - 10111, Fire Brigade - 1022, Ambulance - 10222