Ladybrand is a quaint agricultural town on the Maloti Drakensberg Route in the Eastern Free State. As the closest town to the Maseru border of Lesotho, Ladybrand is a gateway for tourists on their way to the Mountain Kingdom and home to many residents who make the daily cross-border commute. Enjoy a quiet, small town getaway at one of the charming B&B accommodations.
Ladybrand was founded in 1867 after the Basotho Wars between the Voortrekkers and the Basotho tribes. The Voortrekkers drove the Basotho across the Caledon River and built the settlement to gain control over the territories they had conquered. It was named after Lady Catharine Brand, the mother of the speaker of the Cape Province legislative assembly, Sir Christoffel Brand. In 1900, during the Second Anglo-Boer War, Ladybrand came under the control of the British.
Ladybrand lies along the Maloti Drakensberg Route, which straddles the borders of South Africa and Lesotho from the Eastern Cape to the uKhahlamba Drakensberg. One of the most beautiful features that be enjoyed along the route is the majestic Maluti Mountains, a beautiful range that can be seen from town. A journey into the mountains will give you the unique opportunity to sleep in a mud hut, visit the Basotho Cultural Village, see the Eye of Zastron, and camp at Egmont Dam.
Ladybrand lies in the Caledon Valley, on the western side of the Caledon River that now marks the Lesotho border. About 3km east of Ladybrand, tourists can visit the Rose Cottage Cave, a Middle Palaeolithic cave that dates back more than 50 000 years. The area is one of the world’s major rock art regions. Thousands of paintings left by the early San tribes can be found in over 300 sites in and around Ladybrand. Tandjiesberg is one of 12 rock art national heritage sites in South Africa.
When visiting Ladybrand, stop for a tasty treat at the whimsical Living Life Station Café. Situated at Ladybrand's old Railway siding, Living Life is an authentic farm style restaurant-café where you can enjoy delicious food prepared with the freshest ingredients, plenty of old-school outdoor entertainment for the kids, and quirky hand-crafted Living Life Products that make the perfect mementos or heartfelt gifts. Alternatively, Little Rock Holiday Resort is open to the public at a small fee and is a lovely spot for picnics and swimming.
Play a round of golf at Landybrand Golf Club or take a 40 minute drive to the Clocolan Golf Club. Hikers can enjoy short trails up the kopjies surrounding Ladybrand or venture to Ficksburg (59km away) for the two-day Langesnek Hiking Trail. Off road bikers will be in their here. The annual Roof of Africa, held in Lesotho, is an Extreme Enduro off road dirt bike race and a calendar highlight that sees accommodation filled to capacity.
Book your Ladybrand accommodation soon to avoid disappointment.