South Africa
skoonheid jy sal nooit vergeet nie

1. Allanridge

Allanridge was named after one of the pioneers of the Free State gold fields, Allan Roberts, geoligist and Prospector. Loraine Gold Mine Allanridge is the centre for the Loraine Gold Mine and is dominated by the tall headgear and complex reduction works which treat 75 000 tons of gold-bearing ore every month. Water pumped from the underground workings fills an extensive lake where several thousand flamingoes and other birds make their homes. The town was designed in 1950 on futuristic lines by William O. Backhouse, who also planned the city of Welkom.

2. Bloemfontein

City of Roses The beautiful city of Bloemfontein lies perfectly in the heart of the Free State and is also the most centrally situated city in the country. It is a favourite stop over for travelers between Johannesburg and Cape Town or Port Elizabeth. The city lives up to its name, Bloemfontein translated into Afrikaans means “fountain of flowers”, as thousands of rose bushes line the city streets and more than 4000 rose trees have been planted in the rose gardens in Kings Park. The locals fondly refer to their city as “Bloemies” and the residents have created a virtually stress free atmosphere, unlike the other major cities in the country. Less stress and less haste is their…

3. Bothaville

The peaceful little town of Bothaville lies at the crossroads of the R30 and the R727 and is the centre of what is known as the sandveld and maize triangle. The district produces maize in large quantities, and the town is a busy shipment point with a grain elevator and a mill. Annually the town plays host to one of the largest agricultural festivals in the world, NAMPO as well as the annual Food & Witblits Festival. Boating, fishing, sailing and swimming are popular on the Vals River that meanders south of town. Worth a visit are a few historical buildings such as a small three-roomed sandstone building in President Street that originally served as the town's police station.

4. Brandfort

A landscape of maize fields, sheep farms and gold mines surrounds the small town of Brandfort in the Free State province. The town was originally a church centre established in 1866 on the farm Keerom which belonged to Jacobus van Zijl, a Voortrekker elder. A small fort on the farm burned down during the wars with the Sotho in the 1850s, hence the name Brandfort ('burned fort'). It is also said that the town was named after President Brand as both he and the fort are depicted on the town crest. In front of the Dutch Reformed Church there is a memorial to the Voortrekkers. The house where the first aeroplane was built in Africa is still in the town. History Brandfort was home to former prime minister H.F. Verwoerd who matriculated here. Winnie Mandela, ex wife of Nelson Mandela was…

5. Franklin Nature Reserve

Toegang tot Naval Hill en die Reservaat

There are very few cities in the world that can claim to have a nature reserve within their perimeters but the Franklin Nature Reserve is one of these, a unique 250-hectare wildlife reserve right in the heart of Bloemfontein. It was named after Sir John Stuart Franklin, the mayor of Bloemfontein during the 1920s. Within the Franklin Nature Reserve sits Naval Hill. During the Anglo-Boer War the British Naval Brigade was stationed there.  There are beautiful panoramic views of the city from the overhanging platforms that were especially designed for this purpose. There are also two statues that make a drive to Naval Hill worthwhile : White Horse - said to have acted as a direction marker for…

6. Klerksdorp

Klerksdorp is a mere 50 km from its neighbour Potchefstroom and less than 200 km from Johannesburg . It is the centre for a large mining and agricultural economy and boasts the second largest grain co-operative in the world. Despite the fact that the town today thrives on agriculture and mining, it is still surrounded by unique scenery. The Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve is only 13 km out of town and a must for nature lovers. The Johan Neser Dam lies on the Schoonspruit just northwest of the town and also worth a visit if you are looking for the greener attractions that Klerksdorp has to offer. Klerksdorp is full of history and has many places to visit that may not always be…

7. Odendaalsrus

Oldest Gold Mining Town in SA Odendaalsrus is a small mining town some 20 km north of Welkom and under 3 hours from Johannesburg. This is a small tranquil town with much of the surrounding area used for agriculture. Odendaalsrus has highly successful farmers and is proud of its flourishing farming community. Despite being a large farming area, Odendaalsrus still boasts all the necessary facilities and services and it is in close proximity for residents who enjoy a bit of city life once in a while.   This may not be a big tourist town, however the natural beauty of the landscape has an inviting appeal and visitors will enjoy the warm sunshine and peace and quiet. Odendaalsrus has a unique vibe where photographers and artists can express themselves. A few attractions can be found in the…

8. Orkney

Orkney is a small town situated just 20 minutes south of Kleksdorp and approximately 45 minutes from Potchefstroom. The town is also conveniently located only 180 km from Johannesburg. Orkney is known for being the location of the biggest gold mine is South Africa, the Vaal Reef Gold Mine, but its other claim to fame is that it is also the site and namesake of a popular South African Afrikaans sitcom during the 1980’s and 1990’s, Orkney Snork Nie, which roughly translates to “Orkney Never Sleeps”. The town lies along the banks of the Vaal River creating a peaceful sanctuary that is home to many different bird species and lends to a quiet and laid-back ambiance. As a tourist destination Orkney’s rural surrounds provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking,…

9. Ventersdorp

The Eye of the Schoonspruit attracted people for hundreds of years to this fertile valley and it still is a never-ending source of life for the people of the town, even during the harshest drought. Some BaTswana groups settled in the Ventersdorp region in the mid 18th Century, but fled the area in the early 19th century during an invasion by other groups. Most of them fled to the Free State. They later returned only to find that white farmers had already claimed the land along the Schoonspruit River. The first white people came to the area in 1840, making it one of the first settlements in the old Transvaal Republic. The first farm in the area was called Sterkstroom ('strong stream'). The town was established on the farm Roodepoort 22, property of Mr J. H. Venter. With the development of…