Flat? The Free State? You’ve got to be kidding! Adventurers who’ve explored the Moolmanshoek or Golden Gate (up in the north-eastern corner of the province) will be quick to counter such a ‘flat earth’ fallacy. Nonetheless, it does rate as one of South Africa’s Cinderella Province when it comes to tourism, but only to uninitiated. With its easy-to-reach central location within the country and a fresh take on outdoor activities, perceptions are sure to change, and I would suggest you head that way now before the crowds arrive.

Regions where adventure has boomed in the past decade includes Bloemfontein, where everything from sky-diving to singletrack riding have become de rigueur. Venture to the Thabo Mofutsanyana region, and you’ll soon come face-to-face with gravity along the slopes of Harrismith’s Platberg. In the vicinity of Clarens – often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Free State’ – the picturesque Golden Gate Highlands National Park boasts sky-high hikes, relaxing horse-back rides, wild trout angling and crackingite-water paddling

The Xhariep Dam rates as a personal favourite spot; the extensive nature reserve surrounding this manmade lake is a treasure trove of note for outdoor addicts. Plus there is the Dome Conservancy to add to your destination list, so best you book an extra week! www.freestatetourism.org

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