Zastron is a small agricultural town in the Free State, close to the border of the mountainous Lesotho.
It is situated at the foot of Aasvoëlberg or ‘Vulture Mountain’, named after the rare Cape vultures attracted by a feeding project just out of town. An unusual rock formation in the mountain, called Die Oog or ‘The Eye’, has been adopted as the town's unofficial emblem.
The town was founded in 1876 on the farm Verliesfontein, and named after President Brand's wife, Johanna Sibella Brand, whose maiden name was Zastron. Brand was President of the Orange Free State republic from 1864 to 188.
The original farm owner led a dangerous existence in this region flanked by the Caledon and Orange Rivers. In the mid-19th century when the Basotho, Voortrekkers and San were continually contesting this terrain, cattle rustling was common. San lived in this area before the arrival of the Basotho and the Voortrekkers. Great examples of San rock art, including paintings and engravings, still exist in their ancient caves in the hills.
Popular places to stay in the town include Vultures Lodge and Highlands Guesthouse, originally built in 1914.
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