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Fouriesburg, 330km or about 3-hours' drive from Johannesburg, provides the opportunity for outdoor adventure in the mountains on the Lesotho border, where there is snow in winter and inspiring views all-year round. It is a short drive from the popular town of Clarens and the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
'If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure in the mountains, you will not run out of things to do in this area,' says Fouriesburg resident Lucinda Hooley, who has an excellent knowledge of the region.
Hooley moved to the small town in the Free State province over a decade ago when she was looking for a place in the country with beautiful scenery but not too much tourist glitz.
'There are superb hikes and horse trails, or you can simply sit under a tree and take in the scenery,' she says.
For those interested in horse trails, there are excellent options. One of them, Shumba Valley Guest Farm, operated by Di Armour, offers anything from 1-hour rides to trails lasting several days.
Hikers have several routes from which to choose, ranging from 2km paths to multi-day hikes, including a trail to see dinosaur footprints at the Mafube Mountain Retreat.
Fouriesburg is about 30km from the popular town of Clarens, and many visitors enjoy the drive through the mountains to spend the day in Clarens or the nearby Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
Winter is a particularly popular time in Fouriesburg, when the surrounding Maluti, Rooiberg and Witteberg mountains are covered in snow.
Cherry season, in November, is also popular, when Fouriesburg and nearby Ficksburg offer visitors the opportunity to see a working cherry farm, where they can walk through the orchards, ride on tractors and pick their own cherries.
The food and accommodation in and around Fouriesburg is an adventure in itself. Visitors can stay at a guest farm, working farm, in one of the nature reserves or in a B&B in town.
A novelty in town is Issy’s Supermarket, one of the last remaining old-style general dealers where you buy anything from a bag of maize to a bicycle.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
The Fouriesburg Country Inn
Tel: +27 (0)58 223 0207
Lucinda Hooley (resident with an excellent knowledge of the area)
Tel: +27 (0)58 223 0429
How to get here
Fouriesburg is an easy 330km drive from Johannesburg and based close to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Free State.
Best time to visit
All-year round. If you would like to see the cherry blossoms, visit in spring (October), and if you would like to pick your own cherries, go in November. For those who enjoy snow, it frequently snows in winter.
Things to do
Take the R711 from Fouriesburg to Clarens for a wonderfully scenic drive. The Caledonspoort border post between South Africa and Lesotho is 10km from Fouriesburg if you would like to visit Lesotho.
Tours to do
You'll find a choice of trails on horseback and on foot in the area.
It's best to drive your own vehicle or explore the area on foot or horseback.
Length of stay
At least 2 to 3 days.
What to pack
Where to stay
Visit the Fouriesburg Info website for a choice of accommodation in and around the town.
What to eat
The town has a couple of restaurants and many of the accommodation options offer meals. Try eisbein and spare ribs at Die Plaas Stoep Pub and Grill; try the steaks at The Windmill; or enjoy a buffet at the Fouriesburg Country Inn, which also has a wine cellar.
A range of gifts and crafts are on offer at Matsoho Arts and Crafts in Fouriesburg.