Free State Nature & Game Reserves

Finding accommodation in the Free State thanks to the many reserves and their game lodges; where the raw beauty of South African landscapes can be celebrated. Wide open spaces, wheat fields that stretch their golden blanket right to the horizon, windmills, and the ever-changing skies of Africa set this province apart. For a more urban setting, there are hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs in Bloemfontein, the capital city. There are also many charming little towns, like Clarens and Ficksburg, that are lovely to experience and make for convenient bases for visitors to the Free State.

The Free State is home to a number of excellent nature reserves and parks. The best known of these is the magnificent Golden Gate Highlands National Park, which sits snugly in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. This reserve boasts resident wildebeest, springbok, eland, African wild cat, caracal, silver fox, black-backed jackal, and Burchellís zebra. Other popular reserves in the Free State include the Gariep Dam Nature Reserve and the Sterkfontein Dam Reserve; both of which are home to an impressive variety of mammals, birds, fish, and insects. The Gariep Dam Nature Reserve is the largest in the province and is, as its name implies, perched on the banks of the magnificent Gariep Dam on the Orange River. So, in addition to getting up-close to some awesome fauna and flora, this is a great destination for those who love water sports. Head to the dam for some serious swimming, sailing, skiing and stand-up paddling after a morning of exploring the reserve. The Maria Moroka Game Reserve is another particularly beautiful one, thanks to its locale at the Thaba Nchu Mountains near Lesotho. Here, white rhino and plenty of antelope can be seen grazing the gorgeous plains. There are also hiking trails to tackle on foot, which is an unbeatable experience for anyone that loves the outdoors.

Safaris and game drives through the various game reserves of this area are a must for visitors that want to experience the wildlife (especially the predators) in their natural environment. There are routes for self-driven tours or for guided safaris, with the aid and input of an experienced ranger. Having a guide increases your chances of seeing some of the more elusive species, as the rangers can track them, and know how to spot them despite excellent camouflage. Walking through the nature reserves allows you to ignite the senses and get in touch with nature in a very different and personal way.

Savour the Free State beauty and glimpse into its wildest habitats when you visit the nature and game reserves of this beautiful province.

Click on the game reserve, national park or nature reserve you wish to visit on the Free State map or select from the full list below, to view additional information about the reserves and for listings of all lodges listed in the relevant area.

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