Things to do in Free State

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The Free State province in South Africa is generally overshadowed by places like Durban and Cape Town that get all the attention. Even though the province is often overlooked by tourists, it is one of the most beautiful provinces in South Africa and there are many great reasons to visit it.

Following are the 11 best things to do in Free State South Africa:

1.Visit Clarens

Free State
Photography: Clarens Tourism

Visiting Clarens should be your top priority. This must-see small village is a haven for art lovers and artists alike. The town boasts many luxury guest houses, restaurants, and galleries. Not to mention it is situated in the foothills of one of the most magnificent mountain ranges in the country.

2.Visit Gariep Dam Nature Reserve

Gariep dam
Photo credit: Johann Visser

Situated between Colesburg and Bloemfontein, the Gariep Dam Nature Reserve is the largest in Free State. It provides a wide range of water sports, bird watching, game viewing, and picnicking opportunities.

3.See the Bloemfontein Botanical Garden

This spectacular botanical garden offers a quiet patch where you can get away from the growing, busy capital city of the Free State. It has more than 50 mammal species, 54 species of reptiles, 124 species of birds, as well as numerous species of flora.

4.Visit the Vredefort Dome

Vredefort Dome is home to the world’s biggest meteorite impact known as Vredefort Crater. It is possible to walk, cycle, and even drive around various parts of this region.

5.Visit Lionsrock Wildlife Reserve

Photography by Lionscorner

Lionsrock Wildlife Reserve is a wildlife park and sanctuary for big cats rescued from all around the world and includes Leopard, Cheetah, and Lion. Furthermore, it is also home to Wild Dog and numerous species of antelope. Guided game drives are available.

6.Gliding in the Free State

Free State offers plenty of things to do for adventurous souls. Gliding is one of them. There are endless possibilities for gliding thanks to the wide-open spaces. Bloemfontein is the ideal place to begin.

7.Kayaking in the Free State

Even though the province is generally known as an agricultural heartland, it boasts amazing kayaking and rafting activities with tours on the Ash and Vaal rivers. Both towns of Clarens and Parys are welcoming to tourists with their quaint shops and galleries, as well as several options for paddling experiences.

8.Horse Riding

horse riding

Horse riding is one of the best ways to enjoy the fresh air, majestic mountains, and sweeping skies of South Africa’s third-largest province. Guided outrides are available and they are suitable for all levels of ability. Various safe scenic ride options are offered.

9.Guided Hiking in the Free State

Guided hiking can really enhance your visiting experience. Regionally qualified hiking guides can help transform your adventure on a Free State trail into a memorable experience, even if you are not a regular hiker.

10.Quad Biking in the Free State

Quad Biking is another great adventure activity. In fact, it is one of the best things to do in Free State South Africa as quad bikes are easy to learn and make for great fun. They are used for traversing rough terrain, sightseeing, tours, and more.

11. Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Golden Gate
Photography: travellingcheapskates

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is worth paying a visit as it is one of the most special nature reserves in South Africa. The national park offers beautiful landscapes with vast grassland plains and rolling hills and if you love hiking it is definitely the place.

As you can see, the Free State is well worth exploring for its history, wildlife, adventure sports, and natural beauty.

Also read: Best things to do in Limpopo 

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