Tucked in the arid heart of the Karoo desert, Free State is a rural region rich in Afrikaan culture. There’s not a lot of big-name attractions, or tourists—which means voortrekker traditions and lifestyles have endured. Ramble through the countryside and soak in the distinctive landscape and culture. An important agricultural region, farmlands of maize punctuate the grassy expanses, while neon sunflowers and brightly painted houses add a pop of color to the sweeping vistas. Nature reserves are sprinkled throughout Free State, offering opportunities for wildlife watching and outdoor activities. Afrikaan culture is deeply rooted in the region—the state was one of the first to become independent—and the judicial capital of the country is now in Bloemfontein, Free State’s capital and biggest city. And if you really are searching for that wow-factor, head over to Vredefort Dome, the cavernous remnants of an enormous meteor impact. It’ll all conspire to give you fascinating glimpse into a culture that has shaped much of South Africa’s history—and provides much of its sustenance. Dig in.