Tourism Routes

Active N8 Route

The Active N8 route links Lesotho and Bloemfontein, passing inter alia Ladybrand, Thaba ‘Nchu, Botshabelo and Maseru. From Bloemfontein westward the N8 leads via Petrusburg to Kimberley. This route is also an alternative route for travellers from KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape and Cape Town via Bloemfontein. One can experience many tourist attractions, including museums depicting art, literature, war and military artefacts. Most visitors to the Free State will eventually travel through or stay over in Bloemfontein, making the Active N8 route very popular because of its proximity to the capitol.

BBT Heritage Route

Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu are in close geographical relation to each other and, yet, have all have a different and diverse cultural and political heritage. This route offers the true indigenous heartland of the province.

Battlefield Route

The province contains many historic sites related to the Anglo-Boer War, including 13 battlefield sites, 8 military monuments, 2 war museums and 3 war and concentration camp cemeteries.

Diamond & Wine Route

This route follows in the footsteps of the diamond prospectors of yesteryear. Their efforts resulted in a man-made hole (diamond mine) at Jagersfontein, which at 760 m is claimed to be bigger than the better-known “Big Hole” at Kimberley. The wine cellars of Landzicht and Wilreza in the semi-desert Jacobsdal area are a novelty not to be missed out on. The route runs from Bloemfontein to Jacobsdal, Jagersfontein and Koffiefontein in the Xhariep Region, to Kimberley in the Northern Cape and back to Bloemfontein.

Friendly N6 Route

Take the N6 motorway to enter or exit the Free State from the south and take the opportunity to see some of the Xhariep Region. The route links Bloemfontein, capital of the Free State, with East London in the Eastern Cape and includes towns such as Reddersburg and Smithfield. It passes through open countryside where sheep, cattle and goats graze, past Anglo-Boer War battlefields and off-the-beaten track villages and towns in both provinces. Motorists have dubbed this motorway “the friendly way” because of the hospitality and sunny disposition of the people of these small, mostly farming, communities.

Goldfields Route

This route passes through the Lejweleputswa Region of the Free State. Stop over and explore historic towns and the mines around which they were established. Watch as they cast an ingot of gold. Welkom lies at the centre of this tourist region that spans an area of some 9 000 square metres. Some of the well-known gold mining towns on this route are Virginia, Allanridge and Odendaalsrus.

Horizon Route

It stretches from Colesberg in the south via Phillipolis, Jagersfontein, Fouresmith, Koffiefontein and Jacobsdal to Kimberley

Maloti Drakensberg Route

The Maloti Drakensberg Route is a fascinating self-drive tourism route in eastern South Africa. Incorporating parts of the Free State, KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape, it spans a massive area with Lesotho at its heart and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park making up its eastern flank. The route was established to provide access to the central eastern mountains of South Africa, and as such includes dozens of activities capitalising on the beauty of these highland areas. In the north and north west, the route takes in the charming Free State towns of Rosendal, Ficksburg, Clocolan, Fouriesburg and Clarens, renowned for its bustling artists’ community.

Maloti Route

This route forms the gateway to the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho and the Eastern Cape. It starts at Ladybrand (to travel to Ladybrand from Bloemfontein take National Road N8). The route passes Hobhouse (named after Emily Hobhouse, the famous British Human Rights fighter at the time of the Anglo-Boer War), Jammersdrif, Wepener on the Lesotho border, Van Stadensrus, Zastron at the foot of the Aasvoëlberg Mountain Range and further east into the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho. Alternatively, the route passes south-east (on the R726) to Sterkspruit (in the Eastern Cape) or southwest into Rouxville and the Eastern Cape town of Aliwal North and its famous hot springs.

Mangaung Cultural Route

Mangaung township has been a major historic settlement of black inhabitants. “Mangaung” means “place of cheetahs” and is popularly known for its historic legends in art and music as well as its liberation history. Individual early settlements include Cape Stands, Batho, Bochabela, Phahameng, Ten Pounds and Ashberry and reflect the eventful yesteryears. The present Mangaung Cultural Route goes through some key attractions and one meets the friendliest people. The route aims at empowering previously disadvantaged people to benefit from the tourism industry. Trained local guides and local tour operators are available to take tourists through the township route.

Steam Train Route

Steam train enthusiasts can take a trip down memory lane, along the historic Bethlehem-Bloemfontein Railroad to destinations such as Maseru and Ladybrand. Excursions are relatively short, allowing passengers to enjoy the scenery and facilities along the route.

  1. Battlefield Route
  2. Maloti Drakensberg Route
  3. Maloti Route
  4. Motheo Art Route
  5. Riemland Wine Route
  6. Steam Train Route