Fauresmith, Xhariep Region

Fauresmith lies in what is known as the False Karoo in the southern part of the Free State, a little town that serves as a centre for the local lucerne and potato farming community, and apparently one of only a few towns in the world where the railroad joins the main traffic road, right on the edge of town, whereafter they converge through the centre of town, parting ways again on the other side of town.

This rather obviously made Fauresmith quite the place through which to travel in the days when steam trains were popular. Today the little town, which lies on the R704, 130 kilometres south west of Bloemfontein, still has a steam train, donated by South African Railways, where it is mounted for all to see.

Locals know the town for its Endurance ride, which sees as many as 300 horse riders travel over 200 odd kilometres of fairly rough terrain over three days during the winter months. It's more of an endurance for the horses than their riders, as horses are inspected by a vet after the close of every day within 20 minutes of arriving at that day's destination. Should the vet consider a horse stressed or medically unsound that horse is then disqualified.

The Randjiesveld Hiking Trail takes place through the surrounding countryside, all 25 kilometres of it. It takes roughly 2 days to complete and takes one through an old reserve originally established in 1926 as a weather research project where the original laboratory remains standing.

Make sure you see the Church Tree, an old karee tree just north of the town hall next to Kosmos Cafe, whilst you're in Fauresmith. It was under this tree that that Reverand Faure one of the town's namesakes (the other was Sir Harry Smith, governor of the Cape Colony) and Reverand Robertson first served holy communion to 32 members of the Dutch Reformed church.

Travellers' Reviews

2 Reviews from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewvery good

Would like to thank everyboby in fauresmith there's kind people leaviing out there I,m very impressed about the small town I wish they get a bank again won't forget the food out there that bring the freestate tradition to its place

johannes shangu letsika (johannesburg)

Verified reviewgood

My Oupa Grootjie is in Fauresmith gebore. Het daarheen gegaan in die hoop om meer omtrent hom en sy ouers te leer, maar was geskok om te sien in watter gehawende toestand die dorpie is. Ek hoop net dat iemand vir my kan se waar ek die doop rekords van my oupa kan gaan soek, ek weet hy was gebore net na die Dutch Reformed Church in 1848 gestig is. Moontlik is daar nog iemand wat die "Burns familie" van daardie tyd nog kan onthou en my meer kan vertel. Ek sal die Dorpie weer besoek sodat ek fotos van die geskiedkundige geboue kan neem.

Belinda de la Rey (nee Burns) (Kempton Park, Gauteng)

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