Hidden gems of the Free State

20 Sep 2016

In need of an adventure? Set yourself free and explore the vibrant streets of Bloemfontein or the province’s vast plains that stretch as far as the Maluti Mountains. Besides the many tourist attractions including the Franklin Game Reserve, the Free State boasts an ethnic diversity and is buried in a rich cultural history dating as far back as 1854.  

Must-do activities

The African Carousel 

oliewenhuis

When you’re in Bloemfontein, be sure to visit the Oliewenhuis Art Museum and check out The African Carousel. This unique and interesting artwork combines African and European mythology in a kaleidoscope of colours, and it took three years to build the carousel. 

The Church Cave

freestate_ladybrand_0030

Situated near Ladybrand is a church cave which is a pilgrimage site the followers of the Zionist church. The cave can be dated as far back as the Stone Ages, and visitors will be in awe of the ancient San paintings found on the cave walls. For a guided tour, contact 082 550 4555.

Basotho Cultural Village

freestate_goldengate_0001

Travel 55km from Harrismith on the N3 to the Golden Gate Highlands and you will come across the Basotho Cultural Village. The village combines cultural, social and architectural lifestyles of the Basotho people dating back to the 16th century. A guided tour includes visiting the homestead of the village chief – you’re even welcomed to drink Sotho beer on arrival.

The Blanket  Shop, Clarens

freestate_clarens_0006

Wearing blankets have become an integral part of the Basotho culture, and Gertie de Jager and her sister Minnie di Mezza are all too familiar with its importance. They have run the Blanket Shop in Clarens since 1970, and their blankets consist of deeply symbolic patterns and in a range of colours. 

Tired? Stop here

Metcourt at the Frontier Inn and Casino

freestate_bethlehem_0001

Upon arrival, you’ll be impressed by the sandstone blocks from which this three-star establishment is built. The Metcourt was voted “Best Three-Star Hotel Accommodation in the Free State” in the prestigious Lilizela Tourism Awards in 2015.

Black Mountain Leisure & Conference Hotel

At the heart of the Maria Moroka Nature Reserve lies the plush Black Mountain Leisure & Conference Hotel, 80km east of Bloemfontein. It boasts 115 en-suite rooms as well as conference facilities that include nine venues. Be sure to visit the Moroka Restaurant for a fine-dining experience.

Eat here

Living Life Station Café, Ladybrand

freestate_bloemfontein_0027

Eating on the run has never been this easy when you stop over at the Living Life Station Café. The service is fast and efficient, and the cuisine served will satisfy any palate. This beautiful farm-style restaurant is surrounded by the Maluti Mountains giving diners the perfect view while tucking in.

With so much to do, there’s never a dull moment in the Free State. Take advantage of these amazing Sho’t Left deals and explore this inspiring province.