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Free State

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The Free State lies in the heart of South Africa, with the Kingdom of Lesotho nestling in the hollow of its bean-like shape. Lying between
the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south,
the region is one of flat, rolling grassland and crop fields, rising to lovely sandstone mountains in the northeast.

The province is the granary of South Africa, with agriculture central
to its economy, while mining on the rich goldfields reef is its largest employer.

Bloemfontein is the capital, and home to South Africa's Supreme
Court of Appeal, the University of the Free State and the Central University of Technology.

It's the country's third-largest province, only slightly bigger than the Western Cape, taking up 10.6% of South Africa's land area. Two-thirds of the people speak Sesotho, the language of neighbouring Lesotho, followed by Afrikaans and a sprinkling of isiXhosa.
A summer-rainfall region, the Free State can be extremely cold during the winter months, especially towards the eastern mountainous regions. The western and southern areas are semi-desert.

Farmland near Clarens



Golden Gate Highlands
National Park
The birthplace of JRR Tolkien
JRR Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, the epic fantasy novel that was made into a trilogy of successful films, was born in the Free State capital of Bloemfontein on 3 January 1892.









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