The town of Fouriesburg, Free State


Ever heard of the town of Fouriesburg? It’s amazing how many small towns you’ve never heard of before planning a road trip.

Following our stay in Clarens, our next destination is the small town of Fouriesburg, which is only 10 kilometers from the Lesotho border. The drive is simply breathtaking, with rolling hills and wide open plains nestled between sandstone mountains.

We arrive too early to check in, so we visit Jenlee’s Country Shop and Kitchen, an eccentric padstall. It’s just us browsing the mismatched collection of vintage and nostalgic items. It’s a hot day, we sit outside and order a scone with cream and jam, followed by an ice cream waffle.


A sign above our setting area reads, “Many have eaten here, few have died,” and it’s impossible not to fall in love with the rural people and their hilarious sense of humour.

Fouriesburg was founded in 1893. It was once the capital of the Free State, and that has not changed. Driving through, the town is steeped in history, with unpaved roads and wired gates. We arrive at our Village Studio, a house divided in two. One home sleeps six people, while ours only sleeps two.

It’s one of the most peculiar establishments we’ve ever stayed in. The paint is peeling, the bed is right next to the kitchen, and the bathroom door is a curtain. We spent the afternoon playing UNO in the sun while cattle passed by on wired tables and chairs. The owner couldn’t believe her eyes and asked if she could take a photo of us playing cards.


The next morning, we awoke to the sun shining and rumbling stomachs. After a night spent searching for a missing spider, a strong cup of coffee is in order. Di Plaasstoep Restaurant is the first restaurant you see as you enter the town, and it has a local feel to it. There’s an open field next to the establishment where a horse helped to create a country atmosphere.

After a delicious cappuccino and a hearty breakfast of bacon, toast, mushrooms, and fries, we set out to explore the town in greater depth. Our first stop is Orange Apple, a country store full of local goods and produce. It’s also a small coffee shop.


Then we saw the most beautiful structure of all. The Dutch Reformed Church. The church, built in 1894, stands on the site where Paul Kruger’s commando once made camp. One can see that this church is a notable landmark worth seeing. The roads are quiet as we drive through town, taking various roads and marveling at how the locals live.

After driving down back roads, we returned home to sit in the sun and read while the afternoon slipped away. You will notice the town’s stillness; there is little noise to be heard.


It’s nighttime, and we’re looking for dinner spots. As a traveller who mostly visits small towns, we understand how difficult it is to find dinner spots. Fortunately, Fouriesburg Country Inn allows guests to eat dinner at their establishment.

With only another couple in the restaurant, the atmosphere is cozy, with an old fire burner crackling on a chilly night. Unfortunately, it would have been a wonderful evening if I hadn’t been ill, but we were able to order quick meals so I could get home and rest.


The following morning, we awoke bright and early for our more than 8-hour drive to our final destination on this road trip. With our bags packed, it was time to say goodbye to a wonderful town full of character, beauty, and history. I only wish we had found a tour guide to tell us more about Fouriesburg and why it is so special to many locals. It is not a town one hears of often, so I’m glad to include it in our travel itinerary.

Until the next town.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog