The following information was made available by the Free State Department of Tourism Web site.

Click on the following activities to find out more details.

About Free State
Select a Region :
Xhariep | Motheo |Lejweleputswa | Thabo Mofutsanyana | Northern Free State

Bird Watching | Wildlife | Hiking | Sports/Adventure

The Free State Province disposes of an extensive system of parks and reserves, including one 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 and game viewing, trophy and biltong hunting, hiking, horseback riding, biking, 4X4 off-road driving, camping, climbing and spelunking.


Motheo is the Sesotho for "foundation" or " strong base of a building" and is derived from the geographic positioning at the heart of the economic and industrial development of the province. Three local municipalities fall within the jurisdiction of the Motheo Region:

Mangaung Local Municipality

Bloemfontein: Known as the "City of Roses", it is the sixth largest city in SA and the capital of the Free State in all respects. It is also the seat of the Appeal Court, while forming the cultural, tertiary educational and shopping hub of the province. Also from a historical point of view, Bloemfontein/Mangaung ranks top of the list.

Botshabelo: 45km from Bloemfontein on the N8 road to Lesotho it is the largest township settlement in the Free State and the second largest after Soweto. Botshabelo contains a massive industrial complex comprising 240 000 mē of floor space, currently 100% occupied by a total of 154 factories.

Thaba 'Nchu: Situated 12km from Botshabelo, this town is a site for luxury hotels and casino's, with the Maria Moroka Nature Reserve surrounding Thaba 'Nchu Sun and Setlogelo Dam. At Thaba 'Nchu, industrial development is coming on stream, with the revamped Selosesha Industrial Park, the 13 000mē Ratlou shopping complex, an office block, houses and blocks of flats.

Mantsopa Local Municipality

Tweespruit and
Thaba Phatswa

The area is also traversed by the Maluti Route on the R26 from Kwazulu Natal via the Eastern Free State, up to the Eastern Cape highlands and the Lesotho Kingdom. Ladybrand especially is an economically bustling town with high property prices and sometimes being populary referred to as the "capital" of Lesotho.

Naledi Local Municipality

Wepener and

Stretched along the Highlands of the Maluti Route, the R26 Route winds through this area.

Places of interest in Bloemfontein

Civic Centre
Anglican Cathedral - one of the oldest buildings in the city
Aventura - Maselspoort, 21 km from Bloemfontein
Botanical Gardens
Freshford Museum
Zoo Gardens
Sand Du Plessis Theatre
National Museum - huge collection of fossils and archaeological discoveries
Women's Memorial Monument
Anglo-Boer War Museum
Loch Logan Waterfront
Mimosa Mall Shopping Complex
Naval Hill and Franklin Game Reserve
Oliewenhuis Art Gallery
Free State House - Premier's residency
Twin-spired Church
President Brand Street -housing inter alia Appeal Court, Free State Legislature
Gen.C R de Wet Statue, City Hall, Afrikaans Literature Museum
Rose Festival
SA Military Museum

For more information contact : Tel: 051-352 4820

Mangaung township attractions

St Johannes Lutheran Church, established 21 July 1929
Motshabi Centre, formerly YMCA club
Madison Square Garden Beer hall next to hostel no.1
Drive through Fort Hare Road, the Mangaung CBD
Digareteneng (Place of Curtains)
Maphikela House built in 1926
Coostah House, the only sandstone building in the township next to the Arena.
Klein Makhasa hall.
Moods and Flavours for top quality jazz.
Jack Parr House: Victorian style house in Bloemanda
The first hotel in Mangaung - Mahatane Hotel - today still standing proud
Ramkraal Prison - Now Setshabelo Art Centre
Paradise Hall
Ten Pounds
Moshoeshoe Road - barber stalls, beer hall, migrant hostels
Traditional African home-brewed beer - "Umqombothi"

For more information contact: Tel 051-352 4820

Bloemfontein/Mangaung can be viewed from the top of Naval Hill, where one also come across wildlife in the Franklin Game Reserve, the only reserve of its kind in the world completely surrounded by a city. Bloemfontein offers all the modern elements and facilities needed to ensure its viability as a competitive urban destination. These include upmarket shopping centres, hundreds of restaurants and a host of nightlife opportunities, etc. The streets of Bloemfontein are lined with magnificent sandstone architecture especially President Brand Street, which is well worth a walk down. There are many impressive museums and monuments - one of which is the national Women's Memorial commemorating the 27 000 women and children who perished during the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. A little later in history the ANC was formed in 1912 in the Mangaung township of Batho, while the Nationalist Party was founded in Bloemfontein in 1914.

Bloemfontein has a busy cultural and social events calendar. One of the annual events not to be missed, is the Macufe Festival in September, a cultural eisteddfod of storytelling, poetry, art, music and dance. In terms of arts and entertainment, Bloemfontein offers the world-class Sand du Plessis Theatre. This draws nationally acclaimed events and artist performances. Close to it, one can enjoy meals at Loch Logan Waterfront at one of the exquisite restaurants. This Waterfront has a permanent flea market which offers the best craft found from this region. Meanwhile, for a true African ghetto experience, visit the historical township jazz performances. Today Mangaung Municipality covers Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba 'Nchu, with the administrative head office at Bloemfontein.

60 Km from Mangaung lies Botshabelo and Thaba 'Nchu. Botshabelo is believed to be the largest township in the Free State and second largest in the country after Soweto. Thaba 'Nchu is well-known for the Barolong tribe and Chief Moroka the famous. Apart from Thaba 'Nchu Sun and Naledi Sun, while exploring the heart of the Free State you will also get great resorts like Philip Sanders and Aventura Maselspoort. Finally, watch the sun set at Soetdoring Nature Reserve after having watching the lions in the park being fed.


Botshabelo - "a place of refugee" - is 45 km from Bloemfontein on the N8 road to Lesotho and is believed to be the largest township settlement in the Free State - and the second largest in South Africa after Soweto. It is also well-known for its struggle for national liberation and against their incorporation into Qwa-Qwa, the then homeland. Even though there is few job opportunities, it has a low crime rate.


Arts and crafts
Botshabelo Creation Co-op
Heroes' families - get the stories of loneliness, brutality and pain
Petro Sanchez Clinic
Community radio station
Rustfontein Dam and Nature Reserve, 10km from Botshabelo
Onverwacht farm house - where the first settlement of Botshabelo was established in 1979.

Tourist Info: Tel: 082 422 0605 / Fax: 051 534 6187

Thaba 'Nchu

Situated 65 km from Bloemfontein on the N8 - 10km from Botshabelo - this town was established in 1873 after long being inhabited by Chief Moshoeshoe and Basotho. "Thaba 'Nchu" is the Sesotho name for "black mountain". Today Thaba 'Nchu is home to two luxury hotels and casino's and the Maria Moroka Nature Reserve which surrounds Thaba 'Nchu Sun and Setlogelo Dam.


Villages of tribes and communities which reigned supreme in the 1800's
Chief Albert Moroka's house and seat of the Barolong tribal authority
Historical memorial buildings - hospital and college
Mmabana Cultural Centre
Thaba 'Nchu Sun and Naledi Sun
Serwalo Sangoma Kraal
Leroane Jazz Tavern
Kromdraai forced removal ruins
Arts and crafts

Adventure and eco- tourism: Water sport

Rustfontein Dam N8 off to Botshabelo
New Berry Dam Westminster
Philip Sanders Resort Bloemfontein
Tierpoort Dam Bloemfontein
Maselspoort Dam Bloemfontein
Wimaweh Resort Thaba Patshwa
Caledon River Wepener
Welbedacht Dam
Leeu River Dam Thaba Phatshwa
Egmont Dam Vanstadensrus

For more info call: 051 447 1362/3

Caravaning and camping

Reyneke Park Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein Caravan Park Bloemfontein
Dagbreek Caravan Park Bloemfontein
Tom's Place Bloemfontein
Soetdoring Nature Reserve Bloemfontein
Philip Sanders Resort Bloemfontein
Maselspoort Holiday Resort Bloemfontein
Tweespruit Municipal Caravan Park Tweespruit
Hobhouse Municipal Caravan Park Hobhouse
Thaba Patshwa Camping Site Thaba Patshwa
Rusfontein Dam / Palmietfontein Botshabelo
Maria Moroka Park Thaba 'Nchu
Egmont Dam Vanstadensrus
Caledon Nature Reserve Wepener

For more info call: 051 447 1362/3

Visitors Information