Free State Province
Afrikaans name: Vrystaat provinsie
The Free State is home to game reserves and other great places to visit. Many people think of the Free State of being a flat, featureless landscape with endless farms stretching into the distance. This is true to some extent but it also has spectacularly scenic spots such as the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. There are also a number of historic sites to visit or you can enjoy the tranquillity of the Willem Pretorius Game Reserve.
Bloemfontein, the judicial capital of South Africa, is the capital city of the Free State. Some of the towns are popular destinations for weekend getaways or holidays. Amongst them is Clarens, with its many art galleries, restaurants and shops, and Parys which is located on the banks of the Vaal River.
Sterkfontein Dam is also a popular getaway place. This large dam is part of the Tugela-Vaal Water Project which reroutes water from KwaZulu-Natal into the Vaal River system to help supply the residents of Gauteng. The Free State is a major agricultural region with most of the land being devoted to crops or grazing. 30% of South Africa’s gold production comes from the province.
129,825 square kilometres
2,745,590 (in 2011)