Transgariep is the vast, outstretched landscape that lies in the southern tip of the Free State. Its semi-desert vegetation of grass, shrubs, karoobossies and mesembryanthemums covers the hills and vales, and epitomises the wild and free spirit of this land.

The Orange River forms the natural boundary in the south. This country is unspoilt, unpolluted and sparsely populated. The quaint, small towns are clean, and harbours the friendliest people, who are always ready to welcome visitors, whether they are from South Africa or abroad.

Bloemfontein, the Capital City of the Free State, with its annual Rose Festival, has excellent shopping facilities, restaurants, theatres, entertainment venues, parks and gardens, and is located on the N1, between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Amongst the many museums of Bloemfontein in the city is the Military Museum in the old Fort, the Anglo Boer War Museum and Women's Memorial, the Bloemfontein National Museum, renowned for its collection of cultural historical exhibits, fossils and archaeological displays, and the Open Air Agricultural Museum.

Bloemfontein also has numerous historical buildings and art galleries, and for entertainment the Sand Du Plessis Theatre complex and the Civic Theatre offer opera, ballet, music, drama performances as well as concerts.

Many beautiful gardens and parks offer attractive floral displays, these include the Botanical Gardens and Orchid House in Hamilton Park, Kings Park Rose Garden, which also incorporates the Zoological Gardens, the Franklin Game Reserve on Naval Hill and President Swart Park.

A diamond town of days gone by. Jagersfontein has the largest man-made diamond-hole in South Africa and the 971-carat Excelsior diamond found here, is one of the largest diamonds found in South Africa. The hole is open for visitors.

The Roman Catholic Church, built in 1881, is another of the places worth seeing, as is the Open Mine Museum and Look-out Post, the Jagers Mining Village and the original water pumps in the streets.

Koffiefontein's Bird Park, featuring indigenous and imported species, and the De Beers Open Mine, as well as the Open Air Museum at the entrance of Koffiefontein, is worth the trip.

At the Magersfontein Museum and Battlefield site 20 km north-west of Jacobsdal, where you will also find wine cellars in the middle of Transgariep, far from the Cape.

Wepener's Memorial Gates and statue of Cmdt Louw Wepener in front of the City Hall and Memorial Gate at the northern side of the Town Hall bearing names of soldiers who died in World War 2.

The first mission station in the Free State. Philippolis is the oldest mission station in the Free State, and it is home to several declared national monuments. The town has retained its historical appearance, making it a special tourist attraction.

Sir Laurens van der Post was born here, and his birth place is a declared national monument. His ashes is part of a monument that was erected in his honour. Tour the Emily Hobhouse School of Weaving which forms part of the Transgariep Museum. If you're there during April, do not miss the annual Witblits Festival!

And in Springfontein you will see the history relating to the hardships of the Anglo-Boer War, with the Concentration Camp Cemetary and the Children's Graveyard.

Bethulie, lying on the banks of the Orange River and western corner of the Gariep Dam, is a small town, but a delightful attraction for tourists. The Pellisier House Museum warrants a visit, and on the outskirts of town, the DH Steyn Bridge at 2 993 meter, is the longest bridge in the country. Here you can visit Tussen-die-Riviere Nature Reserve for game viewing and hunting.

Gariep Dam
Gariep Dam on the N1 and situated on the Orange River, is the site of one of the country's most outstanding engineering projects, the Gariep Dam, a vast expanse of water of some 375 square kilometres. It is an excellent venue for water sport and recreation, and offers amenities for golf, tennis, swimming and yachting.

The Nature Reserve surrounding the Dam is a sanctuary inter alia for a large population of springbok.

Visit the town of Reddersburg, linked in history to the Reformed Church, even to the town's name, which relates directly to the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Various monuments, historical buildings and memorials are to be found, as well as the Mosterthoek Battlefield.

Smithfield is the third oldest town in the Free State that houses the interesting Caledon River Museum, and also Mission Stations, well worth visiting. A two-day hiking trail can be undertaken and farm holidays may be enjoyed on farms along the Caledon River.

Nestling at the foot of Aasvoƫl berg, Zastron is situated in the extreme south-east corner of the province, against the Lesotho border, and is famous for its beautiful examples of Bushman paintings. A hole, 9 meter in diameter, through a sandstone cliff in the Aasvoƫlberg Mountain, known as the famous eye of Zastron, is an interesting tourism attraction.

These are but a few of the towns in the Transgariep Region - there are many more. The only way for you to experience this rich historical area, is to actually come and enjoy the friendly and welcoming, down to earth people of the region.
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