Explore the Free State
The Lejweleputswa Region
The name Lejweleputswa, meaning ‘gray rock’, replaces the rather mundane former ‘Free State Goldfields’ that lacked the imagination of the African name that now describes the area in the Free State with a history rich in gold prospecting and mining.
The Lejweleputswa region lies in the north western part of the Free State, bordering on North West Province in the north and the Northern Cape to the west - an area that also lies in the heart of the country’s agricultural belt, and includes two of the province’s nature reserves.
The Motheo Region
Motheo is one of five districts of the Free State in South Africa. The term ‘Motheo’ comes from the Sesotho for “foundation” or “cornerstone” and was consciously chosen to represent the heartbeat of the province, regarded as an area of entrepreneurial and investment opportunities and the centre of the economic and industrial development of the Free State.
The three municipalities of Mangaung, Mantsopa and Naledi fall within Motheo and include the city of Bloemfontein and other towns like Ladybrand, Hobhouse, Tweespruit, Wepener, Dewetsdorp, Thaba Phatswa.
The Northern Free State
The Northern Free State is at once rural and far enough from the major tourist routes to offer a hint of true ‘platteland’ living to newcomers and locals alike. It is not only the most accessible part of the Free State to Gauteng - it lies not even an hour from OR Tambo International Airport - but this rustic area is also rich in water, and manages to whirl together a rich collection of activities and weekend getaways that make it attractive to both those travelling through, and others wanting a break from it all.
Resting between the Orange River in the south and the Vaal River in the north, the Thabo Mofutsanyana (Eatern Free State) boasts a rugged and mountainous area in the east that is completely contrary to the Free State image of endless maize fields and dry, blue skies.
Thabo Mofutsanyana, the Eastern Free State, is undoubtedly the core of the province, encapsulating the essence of its diversity.
It is here that the Maluti Mountains meet those of the Drakensberg to form a rugged sandstone backdrop to an area that contains: charming towns, despite the distance between them that include Clarens; undulating hills, battle sites, first rate fly fishing, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, and the annual Ficksburg cherry festival.
The Xhariep Region
Lying in the south western Free State, the Xhariep Region, named after the Gariep Dam, is typically dry and probably the region most likely to fulfil the picture held by many of the Free State as a place of endless space, vast tracts of sheep and cattle farmland, tranquillity, and a part of the world known to few.
A mere 129 000 odd people live in Xhariep, a region regarded in the past as the country’s backwater. But now, as the need by tourists to venture into authentic territory away from the country’s over visited and generally overextended hot spots, grows, this region is unhurriedly being ‘discovered’