Ladybrand, Thabo Mofutsanyana

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 Lesotho. For this reason, and the fact that many of its residents commute daily to Maseru, Ladybrand is often lovingly referred to as the 'capital' of Lesotho, and is considered its gateway.

Ladybrand also lies in the Caledon Valley, believed to have been man's stomping ground for tens of thousands of years, where the likes of Rose Cottage Cave, a Middle Paleolithic cave on the Platberg, roughly 3 kilometres east of Ladybrand, dates back more than 50 000 years. This area is also one of the world's prime rock art regions, where the 'first people' of this country, the San, left thousands of paintings on rock about their lives - an inspiration to artists today. Over 300 sites occur in and around Ladybrand and Tandjiesberg is one of 12 rock art national heritage sites in South Africa.

Ladybrand lies on the Maloti Drakensberg Route, a route that straddles the borders of South Africa and Lesotho including parts of the Eastern Cape, Eastern Free State and the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg. It passes through the towns of Ladybrand, Hobhouse, Wepener, Vanstadensrus and Zastron, and the route features the beautiful Maluti Mountains and a series of mountain passes. It includes highlights such as sleeping in a mud hut, the Basotho Cultural Village, scenery beyond description, the Eye of Zastron and camping at Egmont Dam.

Travellers' Reviews

2 Reviews from travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

I have seen both the pharmacy exhibit in Mystic Seaport, USA and that of Norwood Coaker in his pharmacy in Ladybrand. Ladybrand is far superior because of its personal touch. Created (I believe) by Horace Coaker, my husband's uncle, it would be hard to surpass the Ladybrand one. We visited it in December 1986. What a terrific thing Horace Coaker created !!!!!!!

Barbara I. Coaker (North Olmsted, OH USA)

Verified reviewexcellent

Although I selected the year 2008 there were no earlier years available: I visited Ladybrand in December 1996. It is a lovely town. One of the reasons for our visit (my husband William and I accompanied by his cousin Rosemary C. Basson) was to visit the small museum dedicated to William's grandfather, Norwood Coaker, who founded Coaker Pharmecuticals now a part of Protea and Julienne Cosmetics. Norwood's pharmacy is a fascinating place. A life-size wax figure of Norwood in his establishment, I'm told is an excellent likeness. It "personalizes" the museum in a dramatic way that could only be accomplished by specific detailed knowledge of what the shop was really like. The only museum I've seen in the USA that comes close is a pharmacy reproduction in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. The Ladybrand Norwood Coaker pharmacy is quite superior because of the personal connection but also because it has greater attention to detail. Kudos to the Coaker descendent who created and funded it!!

Barbara I. Coaker (North Olmsted, Ohio, USA)

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