Free State

Almost all the land of Free State Province is at least 1,000 metres above sea level and The Drakensberg and Maluti Mountain foothills raise the terrain to over 2,000 m in the east.

The Free State has a continental climate with warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. This province experience frequent snowfalls in eastern areas, especially on the higher ranges and in the west it gets extremely hot in summer.

Most rainfalls occur in the summer months as brief afternoon thunderstorms, with areas in the east around Harrismith, Bethlehem and Ficksburg getting most of the rains. The capital, Bloemfontein, experiences hot, moist summers and cold, dry winters frequented by severe frost.

In the north-eastern Free State, nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti mountains, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park is the province's prime tourist attraction. The park gets its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the spectacular sandstone cliffs, especially the imposing Brandwag or Sentinel Rock, which keeps vigil over the park.


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