CAPE WINE TASTING…
IN THE FREE STATE!
You don’t have to travel to the Cape to experience the delights of some of the best wines in the world. Two farms in the Heilbron District near Sasolburg have come together to form the Riemland Wine Route – an authentic Cape wine tasting experience in 100-year-old cellars with wooden tables, narrow-rimmed wine-sniffing glasses, spittoons and water jugs for cleansing the palate.
Francolin Creek markets the boutique wines of Kloovenburg Vineyards, Shiraz Country, Riebeek Kasteel, Groote Post and Babylon’s Peak. Goedehoop Wine Cellar markets the well-known Van Loveren wines from the Van Loveren Estate near Robertson.
If you want a taste of everything that is typically “Free State”, the Lion Route has it – from culture to nature to history.
The towns along the Lion Route are:
DENEYSVILLE – SA’S INLAND RIVIERA
Situated at the wall of the Vaal Dam, Deneysville is just an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. Known as SA’s “Inland Riviera”, Deneysville is famous for:
• Water sport of all kinds, from power boating to laid-back pontoon boat trips and fishing charters.
• The annual “Round the Island” Yacht Race – South Africa’s biggest inland regatta.
• The Deneysville Croc Ranch which has about 2,800 crocodiles and also farms emus.
SASOLBURG – MORE THAN JUST OIL
Sasolburg is most well known for its unique oil-from-coal installation, but it has plenty else to see and do:
• An Olympic size swimming pool and world-class athletics facilities.
• The Ettienne Rousseau Theatre which hosts a wide range of Afrikaans and other artists.
• Gallery 88 which houses a stunning collection of contemporary South African art.
• A bird sanctuary with up to 70 species of Highveld birds.
• The Riemland Museum and Riemland Wine Route at Heilbron, an hour’s drive away.
PARYS – YOUR FREE STATE PARADISE
The beautiful town of Parys is situated on the banks of the Vaal River, and has become a firm favourite for both art and adventure lovers. With so many attractions, you’ll find it’s the perfect paradise for you.
• 42 restaurants and a wide variety of arts & crafts shops.
• Play a round of golf on Golf Island in the middle of the Vaal River.
• Pick berries off the bush at Bon-Af Berry Farm and see SA’s only black raspberries.
• Interact with the big cats at the Dell Cheetah Centre.
• Visit Tumahole township just outside Parys – birthplace of Free State Premier, Mr Ace Magashule.
• Head for the Vaal River or the mountains of the Vredefort Dome and enjoy nature from land, water and sky.
VREDEFORT’S BIG BANG
The small town of Vredefort is the gateway to the world’s oldest and largest crater, the Vredefort Dome. Recently named a World Heritage Site, the 300km-wide crater was created when a meteorite the size of Table Mountain-sized struck the earth 2,000 million years ago. Attractions include:
• Spectacular rock formations, including the world’s only pink granite.
• A wealth of plant, bird and animal life.
• Water sport on the Vaal River.
• A nearby Lion Breeding Programme.
WALK THROUGH TIME IN KROONSTAD
Kroonstad was the first town established after the Orange Free State became independent. Situated on the banks of the beautiful Vals River, a tributary of the Vaal, it is rich in history and outdoor opportunities. Historical sites include:
• A concentration camp and blockhouse from the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902).
• The Bloemspruit Monument for concentration camp victims.
• A Garden of Remembrance for Allied victims of the two world wars.
• Prehistoric stone corbelled huts.
• San rock art and fossils..
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
• Golf on an 18-hole golf course.
• Interaction with lion and tiger cubs.
• Fishing on the Vals River or the Bloemhoek Dam.
• Boating on the Serfontein Dam.
• Horse riding, gliding, hiking and more.
RESERVES AND RESORTS