There are many great reasons to visit the boundless plains of the Free State, the breadbasket in the heart of South Africa. The vast open spaces and great outdoor climate of this welcoming province offer endless outdoor adventure opportunities for adventure seekers.
The mighty Drakensberg and Golden Gate National Park are definite highlights for hikers. The Free State might be landlocked but there are also plenty of water based activities in the Vaal and Ash Rivers.
The list of things to do seem to grow every year, but a good start is by a visit to the wealth of historical and cultural attractions in thriving Bloemfontein. From here, make your way north and follow the renowned Highlands Route. Start in Harrismith, end at Zastron and choose your favourite adventures along the way.
In the east, the foothills of the Drakensberg and Maluti Mountains raise the terrain to over 2,000 meters. Hiking in the eastern Drakensberg is an outdoor adventure not to be missed.
The weather-sculpted sandstone cliffs are an inspiration to artists who have settled in the thriving town of Clarens. Recently established as a trendy destination with arts, crafts and fine dining, Clarens offers plenty of outdoor activities. Watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon, try paint balling or get up close and personal with the cliffs in a rock climbing adventure.
Spend a morning on horseback exploring nearby Golden Gate Highlands National Park or choose between the many excellent hikes among the magnificent golden sandstone cliffs.
Despite being landlocked, the Free State offers much in the way of water sports. Clarens has some of South Africa’s best trout fishing and paddlers raft on the Ash River year around.
To the south, the Orange River forms the border to the Eastern and Western Cape. Here, the river winds its way north towards the Atlantic Ocean. The Orange flows into one of South Africa’s great engineering feats, the Gariep dam. This inland sea is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts and offers sailing, swimming, paddling and fishing. Not keen on water? Try mountain biking, hiking or a hunting adventure.
In the north, the Vaal River separates the Free State from the bustling province of Gauteng. Anglers and water sports enthusiasts thrive along the banks of this river that flows through green fertile valleys lined with willow trees.
If you are looking for an adventure in a relaxed, laid back environment, surrounded by natural beauty, then the Free State is where you will find it.