Free State DestinationsEdenburg, Xhariep Region
Edenburg, like its more southerly neighbour Trompsberg, lies alongside the N1 highway roughly 83 kilometres south west of Bloemfontein. Yet the average traveller using the freeway has never heard of it.
The N1 travels through few towns. Those that benefit tend to have retained their character, preserved their historical buildings and had to learn to shout loud and hard enough to attract those travelling through to stop a while. As a result, they've morphed over time and offer nearly everything that travellers expect when on holiday. Edenburg, in similar vein to other Free State 'dorps' like Rouxville who don't have the N1 passing through, has just about got lost in time. Only its main street is tarred, the others remain sand roads. And aside from its church on the main road, there doesn't seem to be much to write home about.
Its church is the foundation of its history, built on the farm Rietfontein in 1862 – its name probably derived from the Riet River that continues to form the foundation of the rather prosperous sheep and cattle farms in the area.
Towns like Edenburg, because of their authenticity, are often used by the film or television industry when needing an historical location or somewhere to base themselves for 'farm' type shoots.
And for travellers who want the unusual, and to retreat from the holiday crowd, Edenburg provides an overnight sanctuary with little of the hustle and bustle of more popular overnight towns on the N1.
Just outside town is the oldest mission station north of the Orange River, the Berlin Mission society.