Senekal was named after a fallen Boer Commander, Commandant-General Frederik Senekal, who was killed in the Basotho War in 1865. Although established earlier, the town was only acknowledged by the then Orange Free State House of Assembly in 1877. The town is laid out on the banks of the Sand River, a tributary of the Vaal River.
Adventure And Sport
Arcadia Vacation Farm: Tennis, swimming and horse-riding are some of the activities offered on this farm. Accommodation is supplied in a beautiful Cape Dutch farmhouse and guests are treated to traditional Free State cuisine.
Biddulphsberg Resort: The resort has a Caravan Park with ablution facilities, two self-catering units, a thatch roofed “lapa” and a dam suitable for swimming. Game drives can be arranged and walking and hiking trails are laid out on the farm.
Biking: This is a popular biking area and there are numerous biking routes in the surrounding area and on Biddulphsberg, a farm that belonged to Voortrekker leader, Sarel Cilliers.
Golf: The town has an 18-hole golf course and annually stages several tournaments and golf-days.
Hiking: The Fern Route Hiking Trail is established on a game farm in the vicinity. The trail is suitable for young and old. Many species of game, birds and trees can be viewed. The routes followed by the hiking trails on the farm Biddulphsberg are very scenic.
Hunting: There are a number of game ranches and game lodges located on private farms, such as Arizona and Biddulphsbergoord Hunting Safaris, that provide hunting facilities and hunting packages.
Sport: The Senekal Country Club has squash, badminton, tennis, netball, rugby and bowls facilities. The town also has a Motorbike Club.
Antiques: The local antique shop is a collector’s paradise.
Fauna And Flora
Bible Garden: A visit to the Bible Garden is well worth while. It is a collection of several smaller gardens containing plants mentioned in the Bible. There are palm, herb, olive, aloe and pomegranate gardens. Several other types of plants also grow here.
History And Architecture
Battle of Biddulphsberg: The site of this battle between Boer and British forces in 1900 is situated on the farm Biddulphsberg. Two monuments now mark the place where 400 Boers overcame a superior force of 4 000 British soldiers. This location is also famous for its historical ties with the renowned anti-British Ossewabrandwag organisation that was founded in 1938 to further Afrikaner Nationalism.
Church Square Monuments: Monuments located in the square include the Burger Monument, which was erected in memory of the Boers who lost their lives during the Anglo-Boer War, the Angel Statue, a bust of Commandant-General Frederik Senekal and two monuments commemorating the Great Trek of 1838.
Dutch Reformed Church: The present mother church was erected in 1896 on the site of the original church, which was built in 1875. Although the church itself is an impressive sandstone structure, the sandstone wall surrounding the church usually gets most of the attention. This wall is topped with fossilised tree trunks dating back to between 250 and 350 million years ago.
Keet House: Visit the house of the late Dr AD Keet, renowned Afrikaans poet.
Memorial Needle: A marble memorial needle situated within the Municipal premises on the corner of Voortrekker and Van Riebeeck Streets commemorates Senekal’s centenary (1877-1977).
Museum: The museum attached to the library has exhibits honouring local notables such as Commandant-General FP Senekal, after whom the town was named, and Dr AD Keet.
Private Collections: A collection of more than 3 000 different teaspoons from all over the world and a large collection of antique and war weapons from different eras may be viewed on request. Contact the local information office for more information.