Philippolis, Free State

One of the historic Griqua cannons looks out over Philippolis.
Philippolis is full of interesting people, fascinating architecture and a colourful history that is still a work in progress.

This little southern Free State village, tucked away off the N1 at the toe of the Horizon Route, has the idyllic kind of atmosphere most people have come to expect from the Karoo.

That’s why there’s never a shortage of weekend visitors wandering the streets, checking the real estate prices and dreaming of the day they can quit the city and move to such a place.

It was the home of adventurer-writer Sir Laurens van der Post and Griqua leader Adam Kok. Human rights activist Emily Hobhouse established a weaving and spinning school here in 1905.

These days the area is home to wildlife legend John Varty and his tigers and a large group of breeding blue cranes.

There are active social programmes to help the disadvantaged, there are artists and crafters a-plenty and a group of young people who have come to love Philippolis with a passion. They represent a significant turnaround in population trends – normally the younger set can’t wait to head off to the bright city lights.

One of the most delightful new projects in Philippolis is the local vegetable garden between Colin Fraser Street and the main road. It is run by a young man who is actually a qualified engineer but has ‘semi-retired’ to set up and run this essential service which ensures the village has good access to fresh produce.

Take a drive up to the Philippolis reservoir and drink in the view. Now imagine coming to live here one day…

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3 thoughts on “Philippolis, Free State

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