Did you know?
Lejweleputswa's major attraction, its goldfields, sprang up after a borehole sunk for water found gold ore lava instead.
Lejweleputswa in the Free State is a golden district in every way. its gold mines with their towering shafts give way to rural cameos of golden corn and sunflower fields that roll towards sandstone mountains. These are major Lejweleputswa attractions with a wealth of activities on offer.
A must-do is the Goldfields tourism route. It takes visitors on an intriguing trail of gold prospecting, gold discovery and the resulting Lejweleputswa's Free State gold rush. Follow the route from Bothaville and explore its many mines, including some of the deepest in the world at Welkom.
While in Welkom, look into the fascinating history of this town, which is one of only a handful of cities in the world that was planned to completion before being constructed.
The region also offers an impressive historical heritage. East of Welkom, at Ventersburg, is the Sand River Convention monument - the site where this legendary convention between the Afrikaners and the British was signed.
Further south, at Brandfort, you can visit the former home of Winnie Mandela, first wife to struggle icon Nelson Mandela. While in exile, she spent much of her time at what is now the Winnie Mandela House museum.
As a major agricultural hub, one cannot visit Lejweleputswa without stopping at Bothaville. Considered the country's maize capital, the Bothaville landscape is characterised by undulating maize and sunflower fields.
This little town lays claim to one of the biggest agricultural festivals in the world, the NAMPO Harvest Day. Its abundant sunflower production has also made it the site of South Africa's first ethanol plant.
A fantastic way to see this beautiful countryside is to hop on the steam train that operates on the Bloemfontein to Bethlehem line. It is one of the last operational steam trains in the country and a wonderful experience.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Free State Tourism
Tel: +27 (0) 51 411 4300
How to get here
Fly direct from any of South Africa’s major cities to Bloemfontein Airport. If you’re driving; from Johannesburg and Cape Town take the N1 south and north respectively to Bloemfontein. From Durban, take the N3 out of KwaZulu Natal, and pick up the N5 at Harrismith to Bloemfontein. From Bloemfontein, you can access any of the major roads that head north into Lejweleputswa.
Best time to visit
Lejweleputswa is generally an all-year-round destination. Summers are hot, cooled down by afternoon thunder showers, while winter days are mild, with cold nights.
Tours to do
Willem Pretorius Game Reserve at Ventersburg; Winnie Mandela House at Brandfort; the Gold Museum at Welkom; Voortrekker Monument and MT Steyn Museum at Winburg; the Goldfields tourism route.
What to eat
Mielies (corn on the cob), traditional boerekos (farm-style food) such as potjiekos (pot stew) with mieliepap (maize meal).
The NAMPO Harvest Day fair at Bothaville in May.