Vredefort Dome is the world’s largest and oldest known meteorite-impact site.
Vredefort Dome is the world’s largest and oldest known meteorite-impact site.

#TourismMonth: Wonders of the Free State

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Sep 11, 2017

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The Free State has much to offer travellers, from cultural and historical to culinary adventures. With an offering so large, it will be hard to be bored. 

If you are adventurous, why not try the following: Be a culture vulture Nothing compares to a visit to a cultural village filled with historic gems and showcasing the culture of its people. At the Basotho Cultural Village, guests can learn the fascinating traditions and ways of the South Sotho people. 

Towns like Clarens and Parys prove tourist gems Whether it’s food or art, these two towns have brought many travellers to its doors. Clarens, known as the “jewel of the eastern Free State,” is located on the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in the Free State. A must for the thirsty is a visit to the Clarens Craft Brewery. 

A town to behold, Clarens, is situated in the foothills of the majestic Maluti Mountains.

Also, take in the sights at the Maluti viewpoint or go mountain biking. Parys, the Afrikaans translation of Paris, is a town situated on the banks of the Vaal River in the Free State. Enjoy abseiling, art classes or get a thrill on a 4x4 expedition. 

Learn the ways of the South Sotho at the Basotho Cultural Village.

Taking in the views The Witisieshoek Resort, believed to be about 2 286m above sea level, offers great views over the Northern Drakensberg mountains. 

The QwaQwa region around Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge.

Visitors can get a glimpse of the QwaQwa region around Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge that is inhabited by members of the Batlokwa chiefdom. If you are lucky, you may just have an opportunity to learn traditional art and craft or visit a local church.

Must-see attractions

Vredefort Dome

Renowned for being the world’s largest and oldest known meteorite-impact site.

This Unesco World Heritage site in northern Free State is believed to have struck earth two billion years ago.

Scientists gauge that the meteorite was 10km in diameter, larger than South Africa’s Table Mountain.

According to the South African Tourism website, it is estimated the impact vaporised 70cubic kilometres of rock, leaving a 300km-diameter crater.

This crater is now visible by a ring of hills, north-west of the impact point, called the Vredefort Hills. Visitors can enjoy an array of activities including hiking, horse riding, abseiling and canoeing around Vredefort Dome.

Big cats

At Dell Cheetah Sanctuary, get up close-up and personal with one of the big cats, and learn more about the intriguing animals.

The Farm Vaal Rock, near Parys, is committed to cheetah conservation.

The Farm Vaal Rock, about 10km outside Parys, was founded in 2009 by Estelle and Pieter Kemp as part of their ongoing commitment to cheetah conservation.

Find out more about the establishment’s reinforcement project on a rewarding visit to there.

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