Senekal, Thabo Mofutsanyana

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.

The centre of town is no great shakes although at least five petrol stations vie for the attention of the large trucks and traffic that use this major route. The bridge across the little Sandspruit (sand stream) River makes the river's name abundantly clear, for blue it is not. But travellers are fond of Senekal, the little Free State town that has become a popular spot in which to retire, and where it is still affordable to buy a house, as Senekal is one of the most underdeveloped towns in the Free State. More importantly Senekal's tourist office is open and helpful, and you can pick up brochures for the town's historical monuments of relevance.

The rather austere sandstone Dutch Reformed Mother Church stands right in the middle of town, in Van Riebeeck Street, encircled by a wall of petrified tree trunks (the second main attraction in town).

These tree trunks, after the scrutiny of scientists, are said to hail back some 250 million years, believed to be related to our current pine and yellowwood trees. The largest of these stands seventeen and a half metres high on the western side of the ring wall. They make wonderful photograph material.

Senekal also claims the house of AD Keet, the poet whose family lived and worked in the house that now stands in Zuider Street, a marble memorial needle, an angel in honour of commandant-general FP Senekal, and the Burger Monument in memory of the fallen Boers of Senekal during the South African War, as other attractions.

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Senekal as a destination

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