The Transgariep region situated in the southern tip of the Free State with the Orange River forming the natural boundary in the south. This area is unspoilt, unpolluted and sparsely populated. The Goldfields region was shaped by the discovery of Gold in 1938. Today the goldfields are rivaled only by those of Gauteng.
The Goldfields region occupies the northern half of the Free State. It was in 1938 that gold was first discovered here, causing prospectors and miners to flood into this region. Today only the gold mines of Gauteng rivals those of the Free State goldfields. The Transgariep area occupies the rest of this region. The Transgariep region is characterised by vast grassy plains which are fed by the Orange River which rises in the far northeast of Lesotho. The Gariep Dam, which was opened in 1972 and covers 36500 hectares, is situated on the Orange River.
Bloemfontein is the Capital of the Free State and the judicial capital of South Africa. Bloemfontein has its origins as far back as 1840 and is home to a great number of museums which are to be found throughout the city. Just outside the city centre of Bloemfontein you will find the Free State National Botanical Garden which is home to more than 400 species of indigenous flora.
Welkom, the second largest city in the Free State. Welkom was planned by the chairman of Anglo-American and is a garden city with a commercial centre built around a central square. The mines in and around Welkom are extremely deep, and flooding of the shafts is an ever present threat with large quantities of brackish water being pumped to the surface daily. The water is collected in evaporation pans which have become home to an abundant bird life including flamingo, the sacred ibis, Egyptian goose, Muscovy duck, Marsh Owl, and seagulls.
Philippolis is the oldest town in of the Free State. Philippolis was founded in 1823 by the London Missionary Society for the benefit of displaced Khoikhoi and San. Many of the typical Karoo houses in the town have been declared as National Monuments. In the southwest you will find the Kalkfontein Dam Nature Reserve. The reserve is home to one of the few fishing dams in South Africa where yellowfish are plentiful. The reserve is open daily and has become a favourite venue for weekend picnickers, campers and fishermen. Some of the prominent towns include Bloemfontein, Gariep, Philippolis, Smithfield, Thaba Nchu, Welkom and Wepener.
Information on towns in the Transgariep and Goldfields Region
Bloemfontein, Brandwag , Dan Pienaar , Gariep Dam, Langenhovenpark ,Philippolis, Rayton , Smithfield, Thaba Nchu, Welkom, Wepener