Are you planning a road trip from Free State to the Northern Cape? If you are, try the Springbok route that boasts scenic routes like the farmlands and nature reserves of the Xhariep District. The towns along the Springbok route include Jakobsdal, Koffiefontein, Jagersfontein, Bethulie, Gariep Dam and Philippolis. Here are some of the things you can do while driving to these towns:
FIRST STOP: Jakobsdal
The town of Jakobsdal is part of the Diamond and Wine Route which extends down to the The town played a major role in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. The Magersfontein Battlefields and Museum are 20km out of town.
MAKE A STOP: Koffiefontein
Travel time from Jakobsdal: 42 minutes
Koffiefontein may be a small town, but it has many historical significances. Must visit spots here include an Open Air Museum dedicated to the prisoners of war who were held in the area during World War II, the Diamond Game Farm and the Burger Monument, the Great Trek Monument and the famous Paardeberg Battlefield near Fauresmith, en route to Jagersfontein.
FOLLOWED BY: Jagersfontein
Travel time from Koffiefontein:51 minutes
Jagersfontien is known for producing two of the biggest diamonds that was discovered. The open-pit Jagersfontein diamond mine was dug by hand between 1870 and 1909. It is 2.65 hectares bigger than the Big Hole in Kimberley. While you in town, visit the Jagersfontein Graveyard where many Anglo-Boer war heroes were buried and the moth museum.
DO NOT FORGET: Bethulie
Travel time from Jagersfontein: 1h19 minutes
Bethulie is a small sheep and cattle farming town. Its name means chosen by God. Here you can visit the Klaversfontein Angora Rabbit Farm or Tussen-die-Riviere Reserve
STOP: Gariep Dam
Travel time from Bethulie: 44 minutes
Gariep Dam was voted the Volksblad Tourism Town of the Year for 2010. It is the site of the first hydro-electric power station built by Eskom and has 13km of passages and halls within the Gariep Dam wall.
Tips to consider before the long drive:
* The total trip time from Jacobsdal to Gariep Dam is 2 ½ hours 2 h 27 min (234,2 km) via R704 and N1.
* Start the trip early in the morning, depending on what time the facility at the next location opens.
* Prepare snacks and food at home. It will save you time to explore more and you can
Source: Free State Tourism