The Riemland Route
Did you know?
‘Riemland' comes from the Afrikaans word ‘riem' meaning ‘thong' from the leather thongs produced here in the early hunting days.
The Riemland Route is a 200km tourism route through the north eastern Free State linking the towns of Sasolburg, Heilbron, Petrus Steyn, Lindley, Arlington and Rosendal.
It gently winds its way south towards Ficksburg near the Lesotho border, where it connects with the Maloti Drakensberg Route. It's about an hour's drive between each town, giving you sufficient time to take in the peaceful surrounds and wide open spaces that characterise this area.
The towns themselves are steeped in history, as the region was once a prolific hunting destination, attracting European sharpshooters from the 1800s who were lured by the game that literally swarmed the plains.
The region also played a role in the Great Trek when the Voortrekkers settled here (and clashed with presiding chief Mzilikazi) as well as in the Anglo Boer War. Heilbron was the site of one of several concentration camps established by the British during the war. Several memorials along the Riemland Route commemorate these historical events.
Apart from its history, there's plenty to see and do in the area. In Sasolburg you can visit the Riemland Eco Park, home to at least 14 species of antelope, as well as the local botanical garden and Leeuspruit hiking trail. Heilbron's historical route is a major attraction along with numerous conservancies, game reserves and lodges, bass fishing and mountain biking trails.
Horse cart rides courtesy of famous local horseman, Petros Qokelani and a visit to Riemland O'Kasi cheese shop are must-dos in Petrus Steyn, while the various farm-style restaurants, bakeries and confectionaries of Lindley make for perfect rest stops along the route.
At Arlington, make sure you visit the Leghoya Ruins - the site of an ancient village once occupied by the Leghoya people. Finally in Rosendal, you can revel in the beauty of the mountain surrounds with a hike along the Mosamane Hiking Trail in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains.
The Riemland Route also includes the 50km-long Riemland Wine Route, featuring the wines of at least 4 renowned Western Cape wine cellars on local farms-turned-cellars.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Contact: Johan Colyn
Tel: +27 (0) 72 230 5080
Free State Tourism:
Tel: +27 (0) 51 411 4300