Welcome to South Africa.
The Free State of South Africa. The plains of the South African interior plateau between the Vaal and Orange rivers form the Free State province.
This quiet land of the ubiquitous windmill is the geographic and agricultural center of South Africa. Of all the provinces, this one features the classic scene of the sunny veld, the tall spacious grassy prairie with deep blue African skies, majestic cloud formations in summer, and a horizon broken by the occasional flat-topped koppie. (hill-shaped mountain).
The Free State is fast becoming a tourist destination in its own right. Famous for its warm South African hospitality, `boerekos (traditional farm-style Afrikaner cuisine), and a decidedly slower lifestyle, this province has become a Mecca for tourists wanting to explore the small town in South Africa.
Known locally as the “bread basket” of South Africa, the Free State is cultivated by more than 30,000 farms to produce more than 70% of South Africa’s cereal consumption. It is also home to the most productive gold and diamond mines in the world.
The Free State is located in the heart of South Africa, with the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho nestled in the hollow of its bean shape. Between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south, this vast rolling prairie stretches as far as the eye can see. Formerly known as the Orange Free State, this province has had its share of battles, the most important, perhaps, the Anglo Boer War. This was the last large-scale war to be fought on South African soil and it was not only a turning point in the history of modern wars of our time, but also the last of the wars between knights.
The Free State is the third largest province in South Africa. However, it has the second smallest population and the second lowest population density, housing some 2.8 million people on some 129,480 km2 of land. Many of the cities display a mix of culture clearly evident in the names of streets, public buildings, monuments, and museums. Decorated sandstone buildings abound in the eastern highlands, while beautifully decorated Sotho houses dot the grasslands. Some of South Africa’s most valued San (Bushman) rock art is found in the Free State.
The Free State’s climate in the summer rainy region is warm and temperate in the summer, but can be relatively cold during the winter months, especially towards the eastern mountainous regions, where temperatures can drop as low as 9 ° C. western and southern areas are semi-desert.
The south of the Free State shares the true semi-desert of Karoo and its arid landscapes, while the north is blessed by the liquid gold of the Vaal River. The western free state cuts through savanna and substantial mineral wealth, while the eastern highlands offer a great deal of scenic splendor.
The provincial capital, Bloemfontein, has a well-established institutional, educational and administrative infrastructure, and is home to the Supreme Court of Appeals. The province has a recognized university and many other training institutions.
The Free State province has an extensive system of parks and reserves, including a national park (Golden Gate) and more than 80 provincial, municipal and privately owned nature parks, nature reserves, game reserves and game farms. Activities include bird watching and games, trophy and biltong hunting, hiking, horse riding, cycling, 4×4 off-road driving, camping and climbing.