Free State Tourist AttractionsThe Thabo Mofutsanyana Region
Resting between the Orange River in the south and the Vaal River in the north, the Thabo Mofutsanyana (Eatern Free State) boasts a rugged and mountainous area in the east that is completely contrary to the Free State image of endless maize fields and dry, blue skies.
Thabo Mofutsanyana, the Eastern Free State, is undoubtedly the core of the province, encapsulating the essence of its diversity.
It is here that the Maluti Mountains meet those of the Drakensberg to form a rugged sandstone backdrop to an area that contains: charming towns, despite the distance between them that include Clarens; undulating hills, battle sites, first rate fly fishing, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, and the annual Ficksburg cherry festival.
Resting between the Orange River in the south and the Vaal River in the north, the Eatern Free State (Thabo Mofutsanyana) boasts a rugged and mountainous area in the east that is completely contrary to the Free State image of endless maize fields and dry, blue skies. These served the Basotho people (people of the peaks) who used the caves and slopes of the Maluti Mountains as hideaways and a means of defence in years gone by.
The valleys, by contrast, are densely vegetated, through which hiking trails effortlessly provide one with breathtaking scenery, including the Korannaberg hiking Trail at Excelsior.
The Golden Gate National Park, the Free State’s only national park, lies in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains, close to Clarens.
Some twenty seven farms near Fouriesburg claim instances of Bushman rock art, Tweespruit boasts the Claerhout Art Gallery, Bethlehem, the commercial centre of Thabo Mofutsanyana is also home to the Wolhuterskop Nature Reserve, and November is the time to visit Ficksburg for the famous cherry festival. How much more persuasion does one need?.
Popular Towns in the Thabo Mofutsanyana Region
Overnight? Accommodation in Bethlehem
Despite being a pivotal town of the Free State, Bethlehem has remained largely obscure - too large to make it in to the popular 'village society' of Ficksburg, Fouriesburg, Clarens and Rosendal, yet not quite big enough to compete with the likes...
More information and photographs: Bethlehem Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Clarens
The village of Clarens lies at the foot of Mount Horeb, on the Free State Highlands Route close to the Golden Gate National Park. One of the most popular holiday towns in the eastern Free State, its location inspires not only its own residents...
More information and photographs: Clarens Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Clocolan
Clocolan is perched on grassland at the foot of the Hlohlowane Mountain from which Clocolan derives its name - an incorrect pronunciation of the Sotho word "Hlohlowane". The Hlohlowane Mountain (1,820 metres above sea level) dominates...
More information and photographs: Clocolan Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Ficksburg
Ficksburg is situated in the Eastern Free State between the Maluti Mountains. Ficksburg is the closest town to the Lesotho border. This small village is not only a busy trading town - but is well known for it's scenic game farms. The annual...
More information and photographs: Ficksburg Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Fouriesburg
Surrounded by the glorious Maluti Mountains, the little town of Fouriesburg lies just 10 kilometres from the Lesotho Border in arguably one of the most beautiful corners of South Africa; the ‘little Caledon’ River flowing gently past the town...
More information and photographs: Fouriesburg Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Kestell
While Kestell may be a very small village nestled within the foothills of the mountains of the Free State, it boasts an interesting history and breath-taking landscapes. It was initially established in 1905 on two farms, but has since grown to...
More information and photographs: Kestell Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Ladybrand
The pretty town of Ladybrand, sometimes spoken of as a sleepy border town, is surrounded by the undulating hills of the eastern Free State, almost midway between the towns of Hobhouse and Ficksburg virtually on the edge of the border with...
More information and photographs: Ladybrand Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Marquad
With a total area of less than 10 square kilometres, Marquard is a small town that is known for the excellent condition in which it is kept and for its value in terms of agri-tourism. It is situated in the South African province of the Free State...
More information and photographs: Marquad Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Memel
Memel lies in the north eastern reaches of the Free State virtually in the Drakensberg, and as such, is an utterly beautiful, unspoilt area almost dominated by mountain scenery and water. It lies close to the neighbouring towns of Newcastle and...
More information and photographs: Memel Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Phuthaditjhaba
Phuthaditjhaba is a Sotho town in the province of the Free State, South Africa. It is flanked by the drama of the Drakensberg Mountains and the Maluti Mountains. In fact, it is nestled within a part of the Drakensberg, giving the vistas...
More information and photographs: Phuthaditjhaba Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Reitz
Lying almost halfway between Bethlehem and Frankfort on Route 26 in the Free State, Reitz is described as a peaceful village. Despite its apparent isolation, it lies only two hours' drive from Johannesburg and has thus made it on to Gautengers...
More information and photographs: Reitz Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Rosendal
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...
More information and photographs: Rosendal Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Senekal
Take Route 70 (also known as the N5) through Senekal and some of what you notice are the wide streets, blue skies (when the sun shines) and lovely period cottages, few of which have yet adopted the security walls so prevalent in our cities...
More information and photographs: Senekal Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Sterkfontein
Rugged, steep krantzes silhouetted against the skyline, mountain slopes snugly covered with a grass blanket, deep lushly vegetated kloofs and a crystal-clear lake are facets of the beauty of the Sterkfontein Dam Reserve which covers 18000 hectares...
More information and photographs: Sterkfontein Dam Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Swinburne
Swinburne is a little village perched virtually on the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment. It goes largely unnoticed where it lies between Harrismith and Van Reenen (both more popular stops on the N3), which is a good thing considering how few...
More information and photographs: Swinburne Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Van Reenen
Van Reenen has a history steeped in the Anglo-Boer War, and a lookout point, called Windy Corner, about 3 kilometres out of town with views over the mountains and lower lying regions - virtually all that there is to the town’s credit, apart from...
More information and photographs: Van Reenen Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Verkykerskop
Although it has been described as a 'small scale agricultural town' Verkykerskop, on the R722 north of Harrismith in the Free State, is more akin to an intentional community. The little green living village lies within a 700 hectare working farm and...
More information and photographs: Verkykerskop Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Vrede
The pretty little town of Vrede lies in what is described as the 'spine' of the Drakensberg, surrounded by rolling hills covered in highveld grasses, and home to a particularly striking sandstone church. Situated just off the N3 north east of...
More information and photographs: Vrede Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Warden
Warden is a hundred years old (the town celebrated its centenary in September 2013), has a larger than most Dutch Reformed Church (seating as many as 1750 people at a time), and lies in the middle of a significant potato, maize and meat...
More information and photographs: Warden Information