The Transgariep and Goldfields region of the Free State is bordered in the South by the Orange River and Gariep Dam, in the East by the Lesotho border and in the West by the Northern Province border. Goldfields occupies the northern half of this Freestate region but it was not until 1938 that gold was discovered in the region when a borehole being sunk on the farm St Helena struck a continuation of the reef that was being mined in the Witwatersrand. Soon prospectors and miners were flooding into the region known now as goldfields and allied industries sprung up in the region. Today the Free State goldfields are rivaled only by those of Gauteng, and Welkom's residents enjoy an income second to none in South Africa. Above the ground the countryside is rich with endless fields of maize.
The Transgariep occupies the southern part of this region, which is a mass of vast open grassy plains. In the south the plains are fed by the 2000 kilometre long Orange River which rises in the far northeast of Lesotho, circumnavigates that country and eventually flows into the Atlantic Ocean. On the Orange River (now called the Gariep) was built the Gariep Dam, which was opened in 1972 and covers 36500 hectares. Together with an 11250 hectare game sanctuary on its northern shore this makes up the Free State's largest nature reserve.
Bloemfontein is the Capital of the Free State and the judicial capital of South Africa. Its Tswana name is Mangaung which means "the place of the spotted cat", which is a name derived from times of old when cheetahs and leopards roamed the region at will. Bloemfontein originated back in 1840 when a Voortrekker farmer named Johannes Brits built himself a house alongside a spring surrounded by flowers. Bloemfontein is home to a great number of museums, including the National Museum, dotted about the city giving the visitor to this beautiful city a wide choice of subjects. Outside the centre of the city is the Free State National Botanical Garden, home to more than 400 species of indigenous flora.
Welkom is the second largest city in the Free State. It was laid out in 1947 on the farm. Welkom, became a municipality in 1961 and a city on 14 February 1968, making it South Africa's newest city. The city was planned by the chairman of Anglo-American and is a garden city with a commercial centre built around a central square, and more than one million trees planted. The mines in and around Welkom are very deep and flooding of the shafts is an ever-present threat. Enormous quantities of brackish water have to be pumped to the surface daily where they are collected in evaporation pans. Bird life on these pans is prolific. Species include flamingo, the sacred ibis, Egyptian goose, Muscovy duck, Marsh Owl, and many seagulls. Some of the water from the mines is desalinated and used for domestic purposes.
By far the oldest town in the Transgariep and Goldfields region of the Free State is Philippolis, founded in 1823 by the London Missionary Society for the benefit of displaced Khoikhoi and San. The streets of the town are lined with quaint Karoo houses with 19th Century front doors and stoeps. Many of these houses have been declared as National Monuments.
The Kalkfontein Dam Nature Reserve in the far southwest of the province is one of the few fishing dams where yellowfish are plentiful. The land area around the dam is too small to support wildlife and the dam has become a favourite venue for weekend picnickers, campers and fishermen. The reserve is open daily and visitors may camp overnight.
Dante Deo Guest House is a modern double-storey bed and breakfast in Bloemfontein on one hectar of land with large indoor and outdoor areas suitable for functions, conferences, meetings , group activities and overnight facilities. …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
@ Mamma’s Guesthouse is the place to stay if you are looking for an ad home experience with great South African hospitality from the friendly and helpful Staff. Going the extra mile is what we do. …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
Allegro Guest House offers guests beautiful rooms on a bed and breakfast basis in the suburb of Bayswater in Bloemfontein. We offer seven individually themed luxury en-suite rooms. Rooms are furnished with double, queen-size or king-size beds. …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
Lily Guesthouse in the northern suburbs of Bloemfontein is easily accessible from the N1, yet situated in tranquil surroundings. We take pride in our true hospitality and excellent personal service. …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
Rietpoort Game and Guest Farm offers guests an option of bed-only, bed & breakfast or dinner, bed & breakfast accommodation near Trompsburg, Free State .Rietpoort Game and Guest Farm is situated 11km from Trompsburg which is on the N1 to Cape Town. …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
Bedrock provides visitors to Bloemfontein with self catering accommodation set in the leafy suburb of Bayswater. Set in the northern suburbs, close to a shopping center, take away, eating places, medical facilities and schools in a quiet safe garden. …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
We are an Up-market Guest House situated in Welkom Free State in the heart of the Goldfields. You can find the Central Business District and entertainment, within a radius of 2 km. …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
Cherry Tree Cottage provides guests to Waverley in Bloemfontein with self catering accommodation in a lush tranquil setting. Cherry Tree cottage's accommodation comprises 3 Garden rooms and 2 cottage rooms. …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
De Witt'e Gastehuis is a stately, thatched guest house, situated in a quiet area in the Northern part of Bloemfontein. It offers tranquil, quality accommodation with its stylish rooms and a swimming pool for those hot summer days. …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
Rose Cottage at Gariep Dam is a self catering complex that is situated half-way between Johannesburg and Cape Town. It is an ideal pit-stop for the weary guest... wanting to break their journey... …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.
Angela's Guest Lodge is ideally suited for the weary traveler wanting to break their long and tiresome journey or alternatively for the guest who wants to spend some extra days enjoying all that the Karoo and Gariep Dam area has to offer... …see more for bookings / enquiries and info.