Free State road trips

2013-01-18 08:46

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When planning a road trip, don't overlook the Free State - found in the heart of South Africa - it is ideal for exploring the inner parts of our country.

With the Kingdom of Lesotho close at hand, you'll also find the Vaal and Orange River to its North and South respectively - and our country's newest metropolitan authority Manguang, comprising Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu can also be found here. So expect some spectacular scenery and pit-stops as you try one of these five interesting routes...

1. Bloemfontein to Kimberly

A lovely 2-hour drive with so much to see and learn. Head to the Diamond Mine city Kimberley to explore its rich history. Checkout the once operational diamond mine and shop for some good quality jewellery.

Explore its famous Big Hole, equivalent to approximately 8 soccer fields. This historical heritage site spreads through from the Kimberly Mine Museum, to the oldest
Kimberly Museum Belgravia. There’s also The Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre for art lovers.

Mangaung/Bloemfontein Tourism Information
Tel: +27 (0) 51 405 8489

2. The Battlefield Route

If you're a history buff this is the route for you. Start off at the Anglo-Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein as you journey along the Battlefields Route and get to grips with the South African War, previously known as the Anglo-Boer War. View hundreds of artifacts as you take in 13 battlefields, 8 memorials, 2 museums and 3 concentration camp cemeteries. All siege towns along the route have monuments and museums dedicated to the South African War and well-organised tours of the battlefields. Especially impressive is Magersfontein, which has an interactive centre and lookout points.

League of Researchers of South African Battlefields
Tel: +27 (0) 12 355 6405

3. Golden Gate National Highlands Park and Clarens

The route is about an hour-long drive from Bloemfontein. Golden Gate Highlands National Park is in the western foothills of the Maloti-Drakensberg with wildebeest, springbuck and Burchells adding to the experience of this scenic route. Explore the large historical Cathedral cave. Hike up the Ribokkop, which is the highest point in the bank and dine at the vulture restaurant. Mountain biking, horse riding or game drives are some of the enjoyable experiences on hand.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park
+27 (0)58 255 1000

4. The Friendly N6 Route

This route takes you from Reddersburg in the Free State to East London in the Eastern Cape. As you meander you'll be able to explore more interesting remnants of the South African (Anglo-Boer) War, in Smithfield you can get in touch with your creative side as you encounter its charming network of artists. Further along, Rouxville is pure Karoo in spirit and architecture. The majestic Maluti Mountains and the fringes of the Great Karoo will give you some spectacular moments to capture.

Free State Tourism
Tel: +27(0)51 411-4300

5. Bloemfontein to Maseru (Via Ladybird)

The Maletsunyane Falls in Lesotho

Just over two hours drive from Bloemfontein will lead you to the beautiful Lesotho and its capital Maseru. Some of the attractions include Lancer's Gap for spectacular panoramic views, the notorious Sani Pass which is best travelled with a 4x4,  Africa's second largest dam the Katse found on the Malibamat'so River and the Afi-ski resort, also found in the Maluti Mountains.

South African Tourism head office

Tel: + 27 (0)11 895 3000

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Read more on:    free state  |  kimberley  |  travel south africa

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