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  Must-see Free State Attractions


Wedged between the magnificent Orange and Vaal Rivers, lies the Free State Province. With its rolling hills, wide golden plains, impressive sandstone mountains and almost 340 days of sunshine per year, the Free State is a haven for the outdoor enthusiast.

A region blessed with such beauty and grace that for scores of years, thousands of pioneers paid the ultimate sacrifice for the honour and privilege of calling the Free State their home. Embraced by several of South Africa's provinces, the Free State assumes its rightful place at the heart of the country. Today, visitors and inhabitants alike are rediscovering their souls through the majesty of this land and the moulded spiritual ethos of its people.

The Free State is a rural province of wide horizons and blue skies, with farmland, mountains, goldfields and widely dispersed towns. The land of the windpomp and krummelpap is peaceful, with a high quality of life, good infrastructure and a low crime rate. The province, nestled in the heart of South Africa, is comprised of 5 beautiful districts - each with it's own unique character.

Events Calendar - Brought to you by The Heartbeat | Pulsing life into Bloemfontein
Free State National Botanical Garden
On the north western fringes of Bloemfontein lie 70 hectares of botanical garden, in a valley peppered with dolerite koppies, tall grassland and woodland; some magnificent examples of wild olive and karee trees, an orange blossom arbour and a petrified tree, thought to be over 150 million years old.

Bloemfontein National Museum
Notable for its large collection of fossils, cultural historical exhibits and archaeological displays, including the Florisbad skull which was discovered in the 1930s at the Florisbad Spring some 50 km north of Bloemfontein. (Florisbad Man is estimated to have lived between 50 000 and 35 000 years ago).

Vredefort Dome
The Vredefort dome is the oldest and largest meteorite impact site (Asrobleme) in the world. Formed an estimated 2000 million years ago when a gigantic meteorite (larger than Table Mountain) hit the earth close to where Vredefort is today. The force of the impact opened up a crater, which is still visible from space today. Each year, a challenging adventure-sports festival is held, aptly named after the mammoth crater and undoubtedly the challenges it brought with it to all life on the planet.

The Free State Clivia Route
This unique route was introduced by the FS Clivia Club to showcase their members' spectacular collections to the public. By doing so, clivia lovers from all over are able to experience expert assistance in growing and maintaining clivias, as well as being able to purchase selected plants and seedlings directly. [ DOWNLOAD PAMPHLET ]

Basotho Cultural Village
A visit to the Basotho Cultural Village which nestles at the foot of huge sandstone mountains, will give you a deeper insight into the lifestyle of the South Sotho from the 16th century to the picturesque present. On arrival, a friendly receptionist will show you an introductory video which illustrates the historical richness and timeless beauty of this unique, proudly South African culture.

Golden Gate National Park
Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north-eastern Free State lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park's sandstone cliffs, especially the imposing Brandwag rock, keeping vigil over the main rest camp.

Sterkfontein Dam Reserve
Rugged, steep krantzes silhouetted against the skyline, mountain slopes snugly covered with a grass blanket, deep lushly vegetated kloofs and a crystal-clear lake are facets of the beauty of the Sterkfontein Dam Reserve which covers 18000 hectares of fertile land. Scores of Oribi, Mountain Reedbuck and Grey Rhebuck inhabit the reserve.

Gariep Dam Nature Reserve
The Free State's largest nature reserve is a combination of the 36 487 ha Gariep Dam on the Orange River and an 11 237 ha game sanctuary on its northern shore, greatly popular for its watersports, fishing and outdoor activities. From the Gariep dam some 200 000 ha of farming land is irrigated, by means of an impressive 83,8 km-long tunnel.

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