Philippolis has a rich history – not only as the oldest
settlement in what is now the Free State, having been
established as a station of the London Missionary Society (LMS)
in 1822/1823, but also as a centre of the Griqua captaincies
from the 1820s to the 1860s and, later, as a conflict zone in
the Anglo-Boer war.
Close to the geographic centre of South Africa, Philippolis is
well placed as an off-the-highway stop-over for tourists
travelling between the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape in the
south, and Botswana, Johannesburg-Pretoria in the north, and
KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga in the east. The deviation off the
N1 highway on the R717 between Colesberg and Trompsburg is in
fact shorter than the actual N1, making this not a detour at
Philippolis is a major centre for sheep-farming, horse-breeding,
game hunting and eco-tourism.