Bloemfontein

The name Bloemfontein means “Fountain of flowers”. The flowery splendour of the 4 000 rose bushes planted at King’s Park earned the city the nickname “City of Roses”. The annual Rose Festival, held in October each year celebrates this unique feature of the city. The spring referred to in the city’s name still surfaces in […]

Botshabelo

Botshabelo – “a place of refuge” is located some 45 km east of Bloemfontein on Road N8 to Lesotho. The town was established in 1978 and is believed to be the largest township settlement in the Free State and the second largest in the country, after Soweto in Gauteng. Botshabelo became notorious during the Apartheid […]

Dewetsdorp

Dewetsdorp lies 75 km south-east of Bloemfontein and was named after the father of the Boer General, Christiaan de Wet. De Wet’s senior was also the founder of the town, which became a municipality in 1890. When a British garrison occupied the town during the Anglo-Boer War, General Christiaan de Wet’s men rallied to its […]

Excelsior

This small town, about 110 km north-east of Bloemfontein, owes its existence to a few farmers who became tired of travelling the long distance between Ladybrand and Winburg and subsequently decided in 1910 to erect their own “Half Way House ” stop. Adventure And Sport Bird-hunting: Pointers Hunting Lodge has accommodation in a beautifully restored […]

Hobhouse

Hobhouse, founded in 1912, was named after the Welsh heroine Emily Hobhouse who, despite heavy criticism from her own people, worked tirelessly to improve conditions in the concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War. She was so dedicated to her cause that she cancelled her engagement and wedding to help Boer women establish a livelihood after […]

Ladybrand

Ladybrand is situated near Lesotho’s north-western border and is one of the towns that has the Basotho War to thank for its existence. It was established in 1867 on land conquered from the Basotho and was named after the mother of President Brand of the Free State. The Ladybrand area is renowned for its many […]

Thaba ‘Nchu

Thaba ‘Nchu is only some 10 km from Botshabelo on the N8 Road to Lesotho. The name means was once the traditional stronghold of the Barolong people (a Tswana tribe). Led by their chief Moroka, the Barolong settled in this area in the 1830s. The Voortrekkers and the Barolong became allies united against their common […]

Tweespruit

This town lies in a primarily dairy-farming district and boasts an excellent agricultural school. Tweespruit is also the “home” of renowned, Father Claerhout, one of South Africa’s most prolific and respected artists. Adventure And Sport Hiking: There are several well-marked hiking trails in the area. Sport: The town has its own bowling green and golf […]

Van Stadensrus

Situated between the Free State towns of Wepener and Zastron, this relatively young town was proclaimed in 1925 and named after the owner of the farm on which the town was laid out. Adventure And Sport Water sport: Egmont Dam, on the Wepener Road, is the ideal venue for those interested in water sport. History […]

Wepener

This town, on the banks of the Caledon River at Jammerbergspruit, was named after the Boer leader Louw Wepener, who was killed in 1865 while attacking the Basotho stronghold of Thaba Bosiu during the Second Basotho War. The town and surroundings were also the scene of many battles fought during the early nineteenth century and […]