town in the Free State, South Africa

Ladybrand is surrounded by the beautiful hills of the eastern Free State at the foot of the majestic Maluti Mountains in Lesotho. It is a cosmopolitan town serving as a trade and business centre on the border of Lesotho, and is the administrative centre of Mantsopa District Municipality, which includes the towns of Tweespruit, Excelsior, Thaba Phatswa, and Hobhouse.

Understand edit

The town was founded in 1867 and named after Lady Catharina Brand, the mother of President Brand, then president of the Orange Free State Colony. Ladybrand, a frontier post, was established specifically to defend the conquered territory from the “marauding” Basotho.

Many of the inhabitants commute daily to work in Maseru, which is 18 km away.

The area is traversed by the Maluti Route on the R26 from KwaZulu Natal via the Eastern Free State, up to the Eastern Cape highlands and the Lesotho Kingdom.

Ladybrand especially is an economically bustling town with high property prices and sometimes being popularly referred to as the ‘capital’ of Lesotho.

Get in edit

Ladybrand is a 15-minute drive from Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. It's about 4 hours from Johannesburg, and 1½ hours from Bloemfontein. The Bloemfontein - Durban Intercape bus stops here. One of the well-known writers in the town, George Rampai, has dubbed it "the Vibrant Ladybrand" due to its bustling life, though it is relatively small.

Get around edit

Map of Ladybrand

A pair of shoes is all you need.

See edit

The sandstone church in the centre of town is the main landmark. There is an old airstrip runway that makes for a nice perspective photo. As with many eastern Free State towns there are some pleasing old sandstone houses dotted around.

Do edit

There are some nice walks around the edge of town – head west towards the hills behind Ladybrand. You can also play a round of golf at the club, horse ride, paintball, and other things, ask in the tourist information office. The Oldenburg Lodge[dead link] 10 km up the road offers horse riding, games drives, rock climbing, swimming and other activities.

Buy edit

In general the prices of goods are the same or cheaper in Ladybrand, especially for white goods and furniture, however delivery charges may well exceed the savings compared to purchasing things in Maseru.

  • Spar Supermarket. 9AM-7PM. Great supermarket for stocking up before heading in to the mountains in Lesotho. Considerably better quality than Shoprite.

Eat edit

Ladybrand is a culinary oasis in this part of the Free State - driven mainly by the exacting standards of the many foreigners living in Ladybrand and Maseru. Prices are very reasonable also.

  • Duck Pond Restaurant & Bar (Attached to Cranberry Cottage), 37 Beeton St, +27 51 924-1961. Nice little restaurant dishing out items such as Balsamic Mushrooms with goat's cheese and Caramlized Onions on Bruschetta and Dill and Ginger Fish with Pineapple & Lime Salsa. No booking required.
  • Spizzy Pizza (near the church) used to be a fantastic cozy little Italian place serving great pizzas. The pizzas are still good but the curiously stark grey interior is a little off-putting.
  • 1 Rocky Saloon Pub & Grill, Little Rock Resort, 1 Leliehoek Ave, +2751 924 0260, . 11AM-9PM. Nice and vibrant with great pizzas and burgers along with beer on tap.

Drink edit

Cheaters (opposite Spar) offers the best place for a drink. Spizzy Pizza In summer makes a good place to sip a beer under the veranda, watching the sun set behind the church. Ciao Ciao Cocktail Lounge enjoy the chilled atmosphere.

Sleep edit

Ladybrand offers considerably better accommodation than Maseru. You will you pay on average twice as much for a room in Maseru.

Go next edit

Explore Lesotho via Maseru. Head north to Clarens. Head west to Bloemfontein.

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