Fouriesburg is located at the R26 and R711 intersection in the Free State. Clarens is just 36 km’s away in the R711.
Surrounded by the glorious Maluti Mountains, the little town of Fouriesburg lies just 10 kilometres from the Lesotho Border in arguably one of the most beautiful corners of South Africa; the little Caledon‘ River flowing gently past the town and close to a number of well-known hiking trails. Fouriesburg was founded in 1892.
Touted as a typical eastern Free State town with its rolling hills and wide open plains, nestled in amongst sandstone mountains, and enough sunshine days to make the most hardened traveller envious, Fouriesburg lies in the Brandwater Basin, formed by the Witteberge to the west and the Rooiberge in the north. The little sandstone church in town was built in 1893 and this historic building, together with the blockhouse and the President Steyn House, make a visit well worth the effort.
Just a few kilometres away is the charming little village of Clarens just outside the Golden Gate National Park. Clarens, richly endowed with trees, is much sought after by artists and those in retirement who have moved here to settle, and the town is much visited by people from all over the country and further afield.
The Boesmanskrans hiking trail is one of several incredibly beautiful trails in and around Fouriesburg. Even in winter this hike takes in a surprising amount of greenery and offers two one-day hiking trails. Meiringskloof is a beautiful little nature reserve quite close to Fourisburg that is well worth a visit. It not only has some pretty little picnic spots, but is also the departure point for the Brandwater Hiking trail.
Foutiesburg is part of the Eagle Route in the Free State. Every bit as majestic as the eagles that glide over the Northern Drakensberg peaks, the Eagle Route is a little piece of heaven for tourists. Whether you’re in the mood for a quiet retreat in the countryside or an invigorating taste of local life and culture, you’ll find the Eagle Route in the Thabo Mofutsanyane district a true feast for the senses. Spanning the Free State’s southern border with Lesotho, the route runs from Ficksburg to Harrismith through some of the most picturesque landscape in the country – including the famous ‘Cherry Region’. Along the way it takes in majestic mountain views, interesting historical monuments, pristine nature reserves and fascinating towns. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a culture vulture, there’s plenty to see and do: from dinosaur fossils, rock paintings and arts & crafts to ski slopes, horse trails, hot air ballooning and 4X4 trips.
The towns to explore on the Eagle route are:
FOURIESBURG HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Surrender Hill Battle site As a temporary seat of the Orange Free State government during the Anglo Boer War, Fouriesburg was nearly completely destroyed during heavy fighting in the region and several of these battle sites can be visited by interested tourists. Surrender Hill is a monument to fallen British soldiers situated on the spot where 4000 Boer guerrillas surrendered and were sent to India as prisoners
Dinosaur footprint and fossil sites Evidence that prove that South Africa and South America were once joined is that fossils of the same Dinosaurs have been found in corresponding rock strata in both countries but nowhere else in the world.
Caledonspoort – Shallow cave overlooking the Caledon River near the Fouriesburg-Butha Buthe road, close to the Lesotho border. Scene of San drawings of fish. Meaning ‘Caledon’s defile’, it was named after the river which flows past it.
Nestled in a narrow river valley with beautiful rock formations, it’s easy to see why this place is a sacred ground. The area has the largest cliff overhang in the southern hemisphere which is spectacularly beautiful. The Sangomas live in traditional huts inside the cave.
Motouleng Cave Cotact: Tel: 058 256 1260
Traditional healers and herbalists come to learn from the ancestors. A short 30-minute hike leads you to the cave where you must respectfully ask permission from the Sangoma to enter the cave.
There are several areas for prayer where you may light candles and leave gifts of food for the ancestors.
The cave holds a San people’s burial area and a place for the elder women to pray. A drink from the sacred spring makes this an extraordinary historical and cultural experience.
Thabo Mofutsanyane Information Office: 058-7130012
Holhoek Hiking Trail The two-day figure of eight trail traverses a variety of terrains including mountain tops, sandstone krans, kloofs and valleys. The beauty of the Eastern Free State comes to life as you walk this trail.
Boesmanskrans Hiking Trail This is one of the better marked hikes around Fouriesburg and Clarens. It is also incredibly beautiful, set right in the surrounding mountains. There is an overnight hut, should you need to arrive the night before.
Meiringskloof Nature Park
Meiringskloof is situated in the Eastern Free State, 1.7 km from Fouriesburg.
It is located in a beautiful kloof surrounded by sandstone cliffs with open caves, thick indigenous bush and abundant bird life. Accommodation is provided in self-catering sandstone chalets and caravan / camping facilities.
Meiringskloof offers excellent hikes in beautiful surroundings and a swimming pool to cool down in. Horse riding and 4×4 trails are available in the area.
The Lesotho border is only 11km away- people often stay at Meiringskloof and take a day trip to AfriSki to ski and snowboard in winter; or travel to the Katse dam high up in the mountains of Lesotho for the day.
Bookings: Tel: 058 223 0067
• Meiringskloof Nature Reserve – Tel: 058 223 0067
• Motouleng Cave – Tel: 058 256 1260
• Surrender Hill Battle site
• Fouriesburg Spring Fair (Sept)
Fouriesburg Annual Events
Surrender Hill Marathon
This is a qualifying race for Two Oceans and Comrades. It takes place every year, the last Saturday in February. Bruce Fordyce & Frith vd Merwe are regular participants,. Contact Bethlehem Marathon Club. There is a new Chair Person every year.
This takes place in March. It is an event where the skills of man, horse and hound are combined.
Contact: 011 – 804 1614
The last weekend in September. For more information
Contact: 082 560 2957
Although this is held in Ficksburg, the event draws a lot of people in the area.
Contact: 082 823 0215
Key Statistics 2011
|Working Age (15-64)||64,2%|
|Population density||65 persons/km2|
|No schooling aged 20+||1,7%|
|Higher education aged 20+||32,4%|
|Matric aged 20+||36,9%|
|Number of households||223|
|Average household size||2,2|
|Female headed households||31,8%|
|Housing owned/paying off||59,2%|
|Flush toilet connected to sewerage||83,3%|
|Weekly refuse removal||92,4%|
|Piped water inside dwelling||89,7%|
|Electricity for lighting||93,2%|