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The Free State landscape gladdens my heart, no matter what my mood. When I am here I feel that nothing can shut me in, that my thoughts can roam as far as the horizons.” - Nelson Mandela

The Plains of South Africa’s interior plateau between the Vaal and Orange Rivers from the Free State Province. This Tranquil land of the ever-present windmill is the geograpfic and agricultural centre of South Africa. Of all the provinces, this one presents the classic scene of the sunny veld, the high-lying, spacious grass-covered prairie land with deep-blue African skies, majestic cloud formations in summer and a skyline broken by the occasional flat-topped koppie.

Known locally as South Africa’s “bread basket”, the Free State is cultivated by more than 30 000 farms to produce over 70% of South Africa’s grain consumption. It is also home to the most productive gold and diamond mines in the world.

Climate This summer-rainfall region is warm and temperate in the summer but can be relatively cold during the winter months, especially towards the eastern mountainous regions where temperatures can drop ver low. The western and southern areas are semi-desert.

Eco-Tourism The Free State Province boasts an extensive system of parks and reserves, including one national park, the 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, horse-riding, biking, 4×4 off-road driving, camping and climbing.

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