Free State DestinationsRosendal, Thabo Mofutsanyana
The little farming town of Rosendal lies 43 kilometres north of Ficksburg in a valley surrounded by the Witteberge - part of the Drakensberg range of mountains. It used to be that Rosendal was little more than a 'dorpie' through which to drive in the eastern Free State Highlands, and then only en route to Senekal or Paul Roux, if you chose to take the R70. Yet today it shares the map with places like Clarens and Fouriesburg, and gets mentions in most literature about the Free State.
It is true that Rosendal has little more than one tarred road but it is touted as the next Clarens; a place of undiscovered beauty with simply stunning views and a lot of rustic charm. It helps that actor Chris van Niekerk has opened a theatre here that has attracted a list of established South African greats - Lizz Meiring, Elzabe Zietsman, Elize Cawood and Winston Dunster have, by all accounts, already appeared at the theatre that lies alongside Die Ou Handelshuis en Koffiestoep (the 'old dealers house and coffee verandah' in rough translation) where you can add to your antique collection and chat to complete strangers at the table d'hôte.
Rosendal has attracted more than its fair share of artists, which is much the way Clarens became the sought after town it is today. A couple of art galleries already dominate the town, as do a number of unusual boutique-style shops, handwoven textile studios, producers of herbal soaps and music, and a fair number of accommodation locales. As well as the rather austere NG church in the centre of town.
For an in depth review of the this delightful town, see out article "A rose by any other name – how Rosendal steals the show in the Free State".