Free State Tourist AttractionsThe Lejweleputswa Region
The name Lejweleputswa, meaning ‘gray rock’, replaces the rather mundane former ‘Free State Goldfields’ that lacked the imagination of the African name that now describes the area in the Free State with a history rich in gold prospecting and mining.
Where? Lejweleputswa lies in the north western part of the Free State, bordering on North West Province in the north and the Northern Cape to the west.
Overnight? See Lejweleputswa accommodation, in Free State
The Lejweleputswa region lies in the north western part of the Free State, bordering on North West Province in the north and the Northern Cape to the west - an area that also lies in the heart of the country’s agricultural belt, and includes two of the province’s nature reserves.
Despite a long history of prospecting for gold in the Lejweleputswa, gold wasn’t discovered until 1948, when a borehole sunk to find water instead found lava, a deep-flowing source of gold ore that led to the establishment of Welkom. As a result, this part of the world owes its existence to the consequent influx of miners and people who helped build a boom of mining towns, and a farming community that forms part of the maize triangle, the mielie growing region of the Free State.
Lejweleputswa has a beauty all its own, and the landscapes are given over to a rich combination of golden crop plains, rolling hills and distant sandstone mountains, the skies a constant hazy blue, from which even the crisp winters cannot detract. Gold mines in the Free State also supply a large percentage of the silver that the country produces, and Lejweleputswa, whilst definitely the place to experience underground mine tours, offers far more variety than one initially thinks.
If the Goldfields Wine Cellar in Theunissen, Winnie Mandela House in Majwemasoeu, Brandfort, and the Aco tractor factory near Hoopstad are anything to go by, then Lejweleputswa is filled with hidden gems.
Popular Towns in the Lejweleputswa Region
Overnight? Accommodation in Bothaville
Bothaville, which is but two hours' from Johannesburg, lies in the midst of what is known as the Maize Triangle, surrounded by huge farmlands ripe with ears of corn, depending on the season in which one ventures forth. And if it isn't corn, then...
More information and photographs: Bothaville Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Hoopstad
Hoopstad lies in an area known as the Lejweleputswa region of the Free State that stretches from Ventersburg in the south, to Hoopstad in the north, Boshof in the west and includes the Goldfields. This is the part of the Free State famous...
More information and photographs: Hoopstad Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Odendaalsrus
Nestled in the goldfields of the Free State Province of South Africa is the tranquil little town of Odendaalsrus. Having been established in 1912, this is the oldest gold mining town in the district (known now as Lejweleputswa); full of character...
More information and photographs: Odendaalsrus Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Soutpan
Sprawling, flat, green expanses that meet the clear blue of the African sky characterise the area of Soutpan and its surrounds. This little town’s name translates to “salt pan” and is testimony to the pans that are scattered throughout its borders...
More information and photographs: Soutpan Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Ventersburg
The typical little Free State town of Ventersburg lies between Bloemfontein and Kroonstad on the main national road in the north western part of the Free State. It is the only town in the Free State through which the N1 passes, and also serves...
More information and photographs: Ventersburg Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Virginia
Roughly 25 km south east of Welkom is the little goldmining community of Virginia, named after the state in America by Louis Seymour, a mechanical and mining engineer who scratched the name of his birthplace on a boulder close to where a railway...
More information and photographs: Virginia Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Welkom
Reputed to have grown at much the same rate as the major metropolis of Johannesburg, Welkom, South Africa’s youngest town - it received city status only in 1955 - is the hub of the Free State gold fields about 160 kilometres northeast of...
More information and photographs: Welkom Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Wesselsbron
The quaint maize farming town of Wesselsbron lies about 75 kilometres south of Bothaville - worth mentioning as together they fall into what is known as the “maize triangle”, an area dominated by fields of corn and sweet corn that lend...
More information and photographs: Wesselsbron Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Winburg
Winburg lies just across the Laaispruit River alongside the N1 where it merges with the N5. Hugged by a few little koppies and shrub trees, the town is described by its residents as something of a ghost town, with little to recommend it other...
More information and photographs: Winburg Information