The Northern and Eastern regions of the Free State are bordered in the East by the majestic Drakensberg Mountains and the Lesotho border, and in the North by the Vaal River. In the far east of the region on the Lesotho border and nestled in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains is the 11600 hectare Golden Gate Highlands National Park. While some national parks are noted for their wildlife, the Golden Gate is one of those noted for its natural beauty, and takes its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the majestic sandstone cliffs of the park.
Just to the North of the Golden Gate is the small town of Bethlehem, whose biblical name means "house of bread", an appropriate name for the town that is at the heart of the country's wheat growing region. In fact the whole of the Northern and Eastern Freestate is a most important agricultural area, producing a great percentage of South Africa's maize and wheat.
The small town of Deneysville was proclaimed in 1939 and its existence is a direct result of the construction of the Vaal Dam, completed in 1938. The 32000 hectare Vaal Dam is the main source of water for the Witwatersrand and the village owes its early reputation on it being the southernmost terminal for BOAC's flying boat service from Britain to South Africa during the second world war. Deneysville is a main venue for water sports enthusiasts, housing four yacht clubs, boat chandlers and boat building and repairs.
Right on the border between the Northern and Eastern Free State and Kwazulu-Natal is situated the charming little country town of Harrismith. Established in 1849 on the banks of the Wilge River, Harrismith gets its name from Sir Harry Smith who was a govenor of what is now known as the Free State. Harrismith is easily recognized when traveling through the region by the large flat topped mountain, the Platberg, which sits just behind the town. The town is the last before making the long climb up the Van Reenen's Pass where the N3 highway cuts through the Drakensberg. There are many reminders of the Anglo-Boer wars in the area.
In the extreme South of the Northern and Eastern region and situated on the Highlands scenic route that follows the Lesotho border lies the small town of Hobhouse. The town is on the banks of the Leeu River and is named after the Anglo-Boer War concentration camp heroine, Emily Hobhouse. This suffragette was so appalled at the conditions in the concentration camps that she started a nursing and welfare service amongst the Boer women. She was so dedicated to her new calling that she called off her wedding -her wedding veil can still be seen on display in Bloemfontein.
A little to the North of Hobhouse is the thriving little agricultural town of Ladybrand, founded in 1867. Ladybrand sits at the base of the Platberg ridge and is an important administrative town in the wheat and sunflower belt of the Freestate. There are many fine examples of sandstone architecture in the town, which lies just a few kilometers from the Caledon Bridge, the main border post between South Africa and Lesotho.
One of the most important towns of the Northern and Eastern Region of the Freestate is Kroonstad which, according to legend, has the distinction of being one of few towns anywhere to be named after a horse, Kroon, which belonged to the prominent Boer leader Sarel Cilliers. Kroonstad is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful towns of the Free State, and is an important centre for the production of maize, wheat, meat, sunflowers, dairy products and wool.
Experience the beauty of the jewel we call Umfula Resort on the banks of the Vaal River, only 5 km from the picturesque town of Parys. Launch your boat at the jetty, enjoy an icy cold drink at the Sports Bar or go fishing, whilst the children can swim in
The Barbet Country Cottages are situated on a large farm, 17 km from Clarens along the magnificent Maluti route, a beautiful, scenic drive, including our very own 'God's Window', overlooking the vast Maluti Mountain ranges.
MacFarlanes' picturesque setting on the bank of a large lake offers self catering accommodation for up to 14 guests. Warm hospitality and a beautiful countryside await our guests and their pets.
Titanic View is a self catering establishment situated in Clarens, with beautiful rooms viewing the surrounding mountains and only a mere five-minute walk from the Village Square. There are 3 cottages and 1 main house available. Whole Titanic View Self Ca
Red Mountain House is situated in the heart of the beautiful village of Clarens. Our accommodation consists of 6 luxury double rooms furnished with turn of the century antiques and one standard room.
Vaal Waterfront, penthouses, fully equipped, self-catering accommodation at Deneysville, straddling the Gauteng-Free State border, 60 mins from Jhb, 90 minutes from Pretoria.
A beautiful river-front retreat less than one hour from Johannesburg, suitable for the whole family! Situated on the banks of the Vaal River, between Sasolburg & Vanderbijlpark, near Stonehaven on Vaal. 4 x Double Bedrooms (3 en-suite).
Family farm accommodation nestled in the Rooiberge, situated on the banks of the Caledon River with easy access to Clarens, Lesotho's Ski Slopes and Katse Dam. Rates are inclusive of all meals and teas.
The Mountain Villa is a situated on the Clarens Golf and Leisure Estate and has wonderful views of the Maluti mountain range. Overlooking Mount Horeb, this newly built villa has 3 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 6 guests.
Bersheba River Lodge is situated on the banks of the Vaal River, Bersheba River Lodge, offers a unique accommodation experience, combing the tranquillity of the river with exquisite luxury, a cosy ambiance offering an escape to the country experience.
Rehoboth Lodge and Meerkat lodge are self-catering lodges, situated five minutes away from Clarens, on Bethel Estate farm. Rehoboth lodge sleeps 6 guests, Meerkat lodge sleeps 2 guests and has a sleeper couch for 2 children. Both lodges have spectacular v
This unique thatched roofed, sand stone guest house nestles at the foot hills of the Platberg Mountain. Harrismith is equidistance from Gauteng, Bloemfontein and Durban. Five spacious bedrooms each with bathroom en-suite of which two have spabaths...
Clarens Retreat offers superb, three self-catering units in the very heart of this beautiful village. Set in it's large, safe garden, the Retreat enjoys beautiful views into the mountains...
Create your own "Year in Provence" in this beautiful stone French style farmhouse with natural rock pool. It has featured in Elle Decor, Country Life and many more. Sleeps 12 very comfortably. Every window frames a magnificent view.
Situated in the village of Swinburne, just 1 km of the N3 highway. This is the ideal spot to overnight or spend a few days discovering the back roads of the Drakensberg Highlands.
Mt Horeb Manor, an upmarket Bed and Breakfast provides guests with an unforgettable stay in the charming town of Clarens. The guest house is tastefully decorated to offer each guest a luxurious, exclusive and unforgettable stay topped with warm, friendly
The lodge, nestled below massive sandstone cliffs, consists of a beautifully renovated double storey English Cottage with four charming en suite bedrooms and a majestic, renovated sandstone farmhouse with 5 comfortable en-suite bedrooms and huge ...
Welcome to 278 On Main. Luxury accommodation right in the center of the picturesque village of Clarens in the Eastern Free State. Close enough to all Restaurants, Galleries and Shops to be able to park your car and forget it but secluded enough for...
488 on Villiers is a large self-catering house with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms which sleeps 6 guests