May 2013
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Free State is a province of South Africa – Part 1

The Free State is a province of South Africa.

Overview of Free State

• This is found in the heartland from the Karoo semi-desert.
• Its capital is Bloemfontein.
• South Africa’s judicial capital is also Bloemfontein.
• It has its origins in the Orange Free State Boer republic.
• It also has connections with Orange Free State Province.
• The current state borders on the province date back 1994.
• The Bantustans were abolished.
• These were included into the provinces of South Africa.
• It is additionally one of the former provinces of South Africa.
• The government type is Parliamentary system.
• The Total area is about 129,825 km square.
• It is ranked 3rd in South Africa in total area.
• The highest elevation of this state is 3,291 m.
• Total population as in 2011 is 2,745,590.
• It is ranked 8th in South Africa with respect to population.
• The Density of this state is 21/km square.
• It is ranked in 8th in South Africa with respect to density.
• Black African is 87.6%, White is 8.7% and Colored is 3.1% with least being Indian or Asian 0.4%.
• The Free State is found on flat boundless plains down the middle of South Africa.
• The rich soil and pleasant climate allows a thriving agricultural industry.
• More than 30,000 farms are present here.
• Free State is well known locally as South Africa’s breadbasket.
• The province is high-lying.
• The land is concerning 1,000 m above above sea level.
• The Drakensberg and Maluti Mountains foothills boost the terrain to 2,000 m within the east.
• The Free State is based on the center with the Karoo Sequence of rocks. It contains:
– Shales
– Mudstones
– Sandstones
– Drakensberg Basalt
• This forms the youngest capping rocks.
• Mineral deposits are many in number.
• There are gold and diamonds here which are worldwide popular.
• This is mostly found in the north and west of the province.

Facts about Free State

• Country : South Africa
• Orange Free State : 17 February 1854
• OFS Province : 31 May 1910
• Free State : 27 April 1994
• Capital : Bloemfontein
• Languages: 25
– Sotho : 64.2%
– Afrikaans : 12.7%
– Xhosa : 7.5%
– Tswana : 5.2%
– Zulu : 4.4%
• Time zone : SAST (UTC+2)
• ISO 3166 code ZA-FS
• Website :

Fauna and Flora in Free State

• The grassy plains in the south in the reserve provide conditions that are very friendly for large herds of plain game.
• This includes:
– black wildebeest
– springbok
– kudu
– red hartebeest
– white rhinoceros
– buffalo
– african wildcat
– black wildebeest
– zebra
– eland
– wild dog
• Vegetation includes:
– Ridges
– Koppies
– Plains
• This is visible at the Soetdoring Nature Reserve near Bloemfontein.

• Western Free State
• Free State Gold Fields

• Sesotho for Foundation
• It is located in the South East.
• It borders onto Lesotho

Northern Free State
Thabo Mofutsanyana
• Eastern portion of the Free State
• It borders onto the Lesotho highlands to the south.

These are the southern grass plains.

• Bloemfontein
• Harrismith
• Parys
• Vredefort
• Ladybrand
• Clarens
• Borders

The Free State borders 7districts of Lesotho in the southeast direction:
• Mokhotlong – farthest to the east
• Butha-Buthe – northwest of Mokhotlong and northeast of Leribe
• Leribe – southwest of Butha-Buthe and northeast of Berea
• Berea – southwest of Leribe and north of Maseru
• Maseru – south of Berea and northeast of Mafeteng
• Mafeteng – southwest of Maseru and northwest of Mohale’s Hoek
• Mohale’s Hoek – southeast of Mafeteng
• Domestically, it borders the following provinces:
• KwaZulu-Natal – east
• Eastern Cape – south
• Northern Cape – west
• North West – northwest
• Gauteng – north
• Mpumalanga – northeast

The Free State’s major towns include:
• Bloemfontein in Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality
• Bethlehem in Thabo Mofutsanyane
• Sasolburg, Parys and Kroonstad in Fezile Dabi
• Welkom, Odendaalsrus and Virginia in Lejweleputswa

Best time to visit / climate:
• The Free State experiences a continental climate.
• It really is seen as a warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.
• Areas within the east experience frequent snowfalls.
• This is particularly about the higher ranges.
• The west can be hugely hot in summer.
• In summer, the precipitation falls as thunderstorms in afternoon.
• There exists aridity increasing towards the west.
• Areas inside the east around Harrismith, Bethlehem and Ficksburg are very well watered.
• The administrative center, Bloemfontein, experiences hot and moist summers. It experiences cold, dry winters that are frequented by severe frost.
• Bloemfontein averages: January maximum: 31 °C, July maximum: 17 °C, annual precipitation: 559 mm.
• Bethlehem averages: 27 °C, July maximum: 16 °C, annual precipitation: 680 mm.

Location on Google Maps

View Larger Map
Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:,+South+Africa&gl=in&t=m&z=7

How to get there?

1. By Car
• The N1 highway runs over the Free State.
• It comes down from Cape Town and goes further to Johannesburg and Pretoria and following that to Harare in Zimbabwe.
• Employ this route when coming from/likely to Mozambique, too.
• The N3 runs inside east in the Free State through Harrismith.
• Apply it to venture to Durban or the Gauteng area.
• The N8 route is from Bloemfontein to Kimberley.
• It goes further to Upington.
• The N6 goes south on the Eastern Cape
• The N5 only serves as an association between the N1 and the N3.

2. By Plane
Bloemfontein Airport has flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town and a few other cities in South Africa. Flights are operated through the South African Airways family.

Some Travel Books on South Africa

South Africa South Africa – Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at
Hotels at
Hotels at

Blogs/Sites about Free State

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blogs and reviews at

Images and photos about Free State

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Videos of Free State

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