Pathfinda
find your secret place

1. Ficksburg

Cherry Town Ficksburg is a beautiful small town situated on the west bank of the Caledon River, the border with Lesotho, at the foot of the Imperani Mountain. It is the only town in South Africa in which a border post is part of the town and it serves as an important gateway to Lesotho. Visitors come year-round, the town offers spectacular views of the majestic Maluti Mountains, views which change with the seasons, from the purple haze of summer to the snow-clad slopes of winter. A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, Ficksburg offers hiking, horse riding, 4X4 trails, mountain biking and water sports and angling are enjoyed on the Meulspruit Dam, which is surrounded by a nature reserve. Also known as “Cherry Town”, its annual Cherry Festival is the longest running festival in South Africa…

2. Hennenman

Hennenman is a small town situated in the region known as the Free State Goldfields, just east of Welkom. Hennenman, unlike the other towns in the vicinity is interestingly not a gold mining town. This means Hennenman is free of the gold mine towers that characterize most other towns in the district. The town instead boasts two large cement factories, a prosperous economy and friendly residents. Not a tourist town, Hennenman’s main claim to fame is a tragic air accident, but visitors will find warm hospitality and old traditional culinary delights in this very Afrikaans town. Welkom is only a thirty-minute drive and has a host of other attractions to explore. Despite being a small town Hennenman still offers some good guesthouses and B&B’s in the town. Further accommodation can be…

3. Odendaalsrus

For many years, Odendaalsrus was one of the most isolated towns in the Free State. Founded in 1899 as a church centre, it was named after Jesaja Odendaal, who owned the farm on which it was established. All around the town stretched the flat, featureless sandveld, and there was an almost impassable track meandering off to a railway whistle-stop 34 kilometers away. Vehicles travelling along this track were frequently bogged down and a common sight was a wagon up to its axels in soft sand. By 1946 Odendaalsrus had grown into a town of 40 houses, 3 shops and a hotel. Then came a golden explosion as in that same year a diamond drill probed down and produced from the Geduld borehole a core revealing such a treasure of gold that within days a flood of fortune-seekers descended on…

4. Senekal

Senekal is a small town on the banks of the Sand river, a Vaal River tributary in the Free State province which flows into the Vet River near Hoopstad, and which in turn flows into the Vaal River at the Bloemhof Dam. Senekal is named after Commodant-General Frederik Petrus Senekal, who was killed in 1865 during skirmishes with the Basuto people. The Witteberge mountain range lies less than 70Km to the east of Senekal, and the Korannaberg mountains to the south.

5. Ventersburg

Dutch Reformed Church

Ventersburg is the only Free State town situated on the N1 highway, between Bloemfontein and Kroonstad, and is the agricultural centre for the surrounding areas. Mr P. A. Venter originally owned the farm Kromfontein on which Ventersburg was developed. His son, B. G. Venter inherited this land in 1857 and allowed it to be used initially as a church centre and then later for the community that grew around the church. The Ventersburg railway station, called Ventersburg Road, is about 18Km from town. The biggest draw card to Ventersburg is the close proximity of the Willem Pretorius Game Reserve, overlooking the Allemanskraal Dam, which is fed by the Sand River. Even though a small game…

6. Welkom

The Gold CountryWelkom is situated about 90 minutes northeast of Bloemfontein  and despite being a young town, it still has plenty to offer its visitors. Directly translated from Afrikaans or Dutch, the name Welkom means “welcome”.As its name suggests, Welkom has welcomed many visitors over the years that come to immerse themselves in all that the “circle city” has to offer.  The nickname “circle city” was adopted due to clever use of many easy flowing traffic circles that make up the traffic design of the city and this system has become an attraction in itself as visitors try to count just how many circles there are this fascinating city.Welkom has also come to be known as a “city within a garden” due to the many parks and gardens that give the city its many shady…