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TThe Free State villages of Zastron and Wepener form part of the scenic Maluti Drakensberg Route which acts as a gateway to Lesotho. This exciting initiative spans the borders between South Africa and the mountain kingdom.
There are four entry points into Lesotho within a 75km radius. Travellers, bikers and 4x4 enthusiasts from Gauteng and the Cape who like to head off the beaten track often take this route.
Zastron and Wepener are agricultural towns surrounded by productive livestock, dairy, wheat and cattle farms, situated in a dramatic landscape creased with mountains.
Thousands of years ago the region was home to the San (Bushman) people who lived in the surrounding sandstone caves. Their legacy lives on in their rock paintings on the surrounding farms, some of which you can visit.
During the 1800s the region was a fierce battleground for possession of land between the Free State settlers and the Basotho people, and between the Boers and the British during the Second South African War (also known as the Anglo-Boer War).
Hunters from all over the world, the United States in particular, visit here each year, frequenting the hunting lodges in and around Zastron. If you're a golfer, bring along your clubs as there's a fine 9-hole golf course just 2km outside of the town.
The Montagu Dam offers excellent fishing and watersports. Hiking trails, mountain biking, rock climbing and quad biking are also favourite pastimes in this area.
The legendary woolen Basotho blanket with its distinctive patterns can be traced back to Lord Ian Fraser, an early resident, who first imported them from Britain. Spend a winter in these parts and you will well understand why the blanket, worn as a cloak, is an essential piece of clothing.
Zastron is a lively village, and you will be warmly welcomed by the locals who are always keen to show visitors around
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Free State Tourism Authority
+27 (0)51 409 9900
How to get here
Zastron and Wepener are approx 550km from Johannesburg and 120km from Bloemfontein. From Johannesburg, follow the route to Kroonstad, Senekal and Clocolan, and take the R26 to Zastron.
Best time to visit
All year round, unless you specifically wish to hunt as this is a winter activity.
Things to do
Visit the Kingdom of Lesotho while you are in the region.
What to pack
You will need your passport to enter Lesotho. It can get very cold at nights, especially in the winter, so pack accordingly.
Where to stay
The towns of Zastron and Wepener in the Free State offer a range of guest houses, B&Bs and farmstays.
What to eat
Most of the guesthouses, B&Bs and farmstays offer meals - ask your host. Zastron has restaurants and pubs.