Xhariep Region, Free State
Once you've booked your hotel or Xhariep accommodation explore our destination pages below for info on attractions and what to do in the Xhariep Region.
Lying in the south western Free State, the Xhariep Region, named after the Gariep Dam, is typically dry and probably the region most likely to fulfil the picture held by many of the Free State as a place of endless space, vast tracts of sheep and cattle farmland, a generous dollop of tranquillity, and a part of the world known to few.
A mere 129 000 odd people live in Xhariep, a region regarded in the past as the country’s backwater. But now, as the need by tourists to venture into authentic territory away from the country’s over visited and generally overextended hot spots, grows, this region is unhurriedly being ‘discovered’. The !Gariep Dam, lying in the southernmost part of the region, and regarded as the Karoo heartland, is the largest expanse of fresh water in the country. It lies on the Orange River, one of the country’s largest rivers, its shoreline extending some 435 kilometres near the towns of Bethulie, Venterstad, Colesberg, Oviston and Aliwal North.
Other highlights of the Xhariep region include the chance to visit open mine museums, the Laurens van der Post Memorial at Philippolis, the ‘Eye’ of Zastron - a hole in a sandstone ridge on the hill at Zastron, and the Landzicht wine cellar at Jacobsdal.
Destinations / Town & Suburbs of Xhariep Region
Where to Stay: Xhariep Region Accommodation
Koffiefontein is situated on the R48, 140kms south-west of Bloemfontein. This charming town is thought to have got it's name from transport riders who often drank coffee here during their trips. A visit to Koffiefontein ... Koffiefontein information
Where to Stay: Xhariep Region Accommodation
Situated on the R48, 80 kms west of Bloemfontein, Petrusburg was named after Petrus Albert Venter whose estate provided the money to the farm on which Petrusburg was established in 1891. The main activity in the area is ... Petrusburg information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Springfontein
The little town of Springfontein, lying in what is largely farming country, derives its name from an artesian well on the original farm Springfontein. Despite the fact that the little farming community today suffers ... Springfontein information
Featured and "Must See" Attractions in Xhariep Region
The Free State's largest nature reserve is a combination of the 36 487 ha Gariep Dam on the Orange River and an 11 237 ha game sanctuary on its northern shore. From the Gariep dam some 200 000 ha of land is irrigated, by means of a tunnel of 83,8 km, delivering water to the upper valleys of the Fish River, and then ... more information
Lying just south east of Koffiefontein in the south western Free State, Kalkfontein Dam Nature Reserve on the Riet River is not usually visited en route to anywhere - it is some way from the N1 and, unless you are going to Petrusburg from Fauresmith, you would probably never stumble across the pretty ... more information
Karoo is a “quenna” word meaning “dry and hard”. Gariep is also a “quenna” word meaning “big water”or river. The Karoo Gariep Concervancy is found on the Karoo “dry and hard” side of the Gariep “big river”. Like its name describes this is a very natural diverse part of South Africa. The fact that ... more information
The 80 000 hectare Tankwa Karoo National Park, proclaimed in 1986 and still in a development stage, is at present in a veld recovery phase and it will be some time before the original vegetation re-establishes itself. Even so, after the occasional shower, the park erupts into a dazzling display of flowering ... more information
Tussen die Riviere Game Reserve is one of the most accessible game reserves in the Free State. Situated in Bethuli, you can get there from Bloemfontein, Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape and Springfontein along the N1 and the reserve is exactly as its name suggests - it lies at the confluence or 'between' two rivers, in this ... more information
Featured Things To Do in Xhariep Region
Holiday Accommodation in Xhariep Region
"The Free State landscape gladdens my heart, no matter what my mood. When I am here I feel that nothing can shut me in, that my thoughts can roam as far as the horizons" - Nelson Mandela.
destinations / attractions in free state