Eastern Highlands of South Africa
Willem Pretorius Game Reserve
This reserve is the biggest in the Free State and offers visitors amazing landscapes that Nelson Mandela has even expressed “gladdens my heart” along with some of the Big Five and many other wildlife and bird life. The park centers on the Allemanskraal Dam where you can see large leafy hillocks. One of these, Doringberg, is of extreme interest as there are prehistoric ruins at the top, thought to be ancient homesteads belonging to the now vanished Leghoya people. The wildlife you can see here are mainly giraffe, black rhino, wildebeest, red hartebeest, gemsbok, springbok, kudu, eland, zebra and more. There are also places where you can fish and enjoy some sports.
The Highlands Route
This route includes various towns like Bethlehem, Kroonstad, and starts at Harrismith ending at Zastron.
It includes great areas for fishing and enjoying the outdoors as well as exploring the quaint towns. This route will lead you through the Golden Gate National Park with its extensive plant and animal life with various boating and fishing adventures as well as other leisure activities, and the Gariep Dam in the South where activities like golf, water sports, horse riding, tennis, and bowling will get your blood pumping. You can also view the surroundings in one of the other 13 nature reserves.
Some of the most gorgeous scenery lies towards the Lesotho border where there is lush vegetation and rolling hills. You travel along to the seat of the Basotho kings at Taba’nchu and along the route past Ladybrand and Ficksburg which leads into Lesotho. At Ficksburg there is an annual cheery festival in the spring and in Rustler’s Valley, a new age town, there is a music festival in the autumn. Towards the Drakensberg / KwaZulu-Natal area you will find stunning colors of yellow, orange and red that adds warmth and exuberance to the surroundings.