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Destination Details

Welkom, South Africa

Welkom is a city in the Free State province of South Africa, located about 140 kilometres (90 mi) northeast of Bloemfontein, the provincial capital. Welkom is also known as Circle City, City Within A Garden, Mvela and Matjhabeng. The city's Sesotho name, Matjhabeng means 'where nations meet', derived from the migrant labour system, where people of various countries such as Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique etc. met to work in the mines of the gold fields.Welkom is now the second largest city in the Free State.

 

A settlement was laid out on a farm named "Welkom" (which is Afrikaans and Dutch for "welcome") after gold was discovered in the region, and it was officially proclaimed a town in 1948. The town became a municipality in 1961. It now falls in the Matjhabeng Municipality, part of the Lejweleputswa District. Welkom was officially declared a city on 14 February 1968.

 

History

Much of the history of Welkom is centred around the discovery of gold in the northwestern Free State. It was proclaimed a town in 1948, nines years after a major gold discovery was made in Odendaalsrus, just north of Welkom.

 

Geography

Koppie Alleen is the only hill near Welkom and therefore is aptly named for its odditity. The terrain elevation above sea level is 1435 metres.

 

The largest water catchment is the Sand River to the south-east of Welkom in Virginia’s direction.

 

Large saline pans such as Flamingo Pan and Theronia Pan are situated to the south-west of Welkom. Flamingo Pan is coded as an Important Bird Area (IBA)

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