This tranquil land is the geographic and agricultural centre of South Africa. However, The Free State is fast becoming a tourist destination in its own right.
Famous for its warm South African hospitality, `boerekos' (traditional Afrikaner farm-style cuisine) and decidedly slower-paced lifestyle, this province has become a draw-card for holiday-makers intent on exploring small-town South Africa.
Known, locally, as South Africa's 'bread basket', the Free State is cultivated by more than 30 000 farms to produce over 70% of South Africa's grain consumption. It is also home to the most productive gold and diamond mines in the world. The Free State lies in the heart of South Africa, with the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho nestling in the hollow of its bean-like shape. Between the Vaal River, in the north, and the Orange River, in the south, this immense rolling prairie stretches as far as the eye can see. Formerly known as the Orange Free State, this province has had its share of battles - most importantly, perhaps, the Anglo Boer War.