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Free State, a province in the central region of South Africa, has over 30,000 farms and is thus considered the country's bread basket. The Drakensberg and Maluti mountains raise the province to an elevation of at least 3,200 feet, with self-drive being the best way to take in the spectacular scenery. Major towns include Bloemfontein, Sasolburg and Bethlehem, with Bloemfontein being South Africa's judicial capital.
Public transportation in Free State is not well established and can be difficult for foreigners to comprehend. Thus, car rental in Free State is your best bet to get around. Avis along with other major suppliers have depots in the capital of Bloemfontein. You will find great deals if you remember to compare car hire before leaving home.
The provincial capital, Bloemfontein, has a domestic airport with flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth. Those visitors driving from any of these cities can take the major highways running from all four compass points. The N1 runs south from Johannesburg, passing through the entirety of Free State towards Cape Town of the Western Cape. The N3-N5 runs east from Durban. From the Eastern Cape in the south, drivers can take the N6.
For car hire in Free State, as with the rest of South Africa, drivers need to have a valid International Driving Permit as well as five years of driving experience Driving is on the left side of the road. The speed limit on highways is 75mph (120kph), while it is 60mph (100kph) on secondary roads.
Visiting the early stages of South Africa's largest river, the Orange, with the Maluti Mountains as its source, is a must-do for any tourist to Free State. The Gariep Dam, built to tame this great river, has a number of increasingly popular resorts on its banks. The district of Thabo Mofutsanyana is another must-see as its nearby wilderness offers visitors a different treat in every season of the year.
Because of its elevation, Free State has a climate that is largely continental. Summers are warm and hot, while winters are cool to downright freezing. In the capital, Bloemfontein, summer temperatures in January are pleasant, at around 15°C to 31°C, while winters sees temperatures of -2°C to 16°C in July.