Bloemfontein, Motheo Region
Once you've booked your accommodation in Bloemfontein explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Bloemfontein.
Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, serves as something of an oasis, lying as it does plum in the middle of the Free State and indeed the country. The only major city for miles around, it is also the sixth largest city in the country, the Judicial Capital of South Africa, and it lies on the N1 between Johannesburg and Cape Town, often functioning as a stop off to break the major journey between the two cities.
Despite being situated in an area of dry grassland, Bloemfontein more than lives up to its name - spring of flowers. Thousands of rose bushes line the city; more than 4000 rose trees have been planted in the rose gardens in Kings Park, and many homes, still minus the ubiquitous six metre wall of other major cities in South Africa, boast colourful gardens littered with flowering plants and trees. Bloemies, as the locals fondly call her it, is a city of little stress and very few residents buy into the rush, rush syndrome typical of a major city. The city centre is lined with historical buildings, including the beautiful tree-lined President Brand Street - a national monument - its pavements home to several graceful museum buildings, right in the centre of the CBD.
For holiday makers (or even those stopping off here on business trips), accommodation in Bloemfontein is plentiful. Hotels and B&B's abound and those who prefer to self cater will find that a stay in Bloemfontein is reasonably priced and accompanied by true South African hospitality.
There is no shortage of Things to Do in Bloemfontein: The Art in the Park, held in Kings Park on the first Saturday of every month is an extremely popular event amongst residents; Loch Logan Waterfront offers a series of restaurants, shops, pubs and entertainment, and the Oliewenhuis Art Gallery - a beautiful neo-Cape Dutch house with frequent exhibitions and sprawling lawns - has gardens under shade trees that provide a wonderful space in which to picnic or simply enjoy tea at the little garden tea house.
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"Only spent a couple hours here as we were passing through, bet it was swelteringly hot and we stopped at the Mall to grab some lunch. If we'd had more time I ..." - Tania, Cape Town
Visitorials: We Love South Africa
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We’ve asked those in the know to share their favourites things about Bloemfontein. Find out where locals go for the best cup of coffee, lunch suggestions and much more. We’re letting you in on all of their secrets ... I Love Bloemfontein because ...
Featured Attractions in (or near) Bloemfontein
The Bloemfontein Golf Club is situated about 6 kilometres from the city centre just off Maselspoort Road - more commonly known as the Airport Road. Bloemfontein's last five holes - all water holes, rival the toughest in South Africa. The 14th, is a par-five of 478 metres. The river that flows though ... more information
Sanctuary is provided in the Bloemfontein Zoo in pleasant surroundings for the "Big Five" as well as several antelope species, tigers, panthers, hippos and apes. A large variety of birds is an added attraction. The most unusual inhabitant is the liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger.
Roughly 120 kilometres south east of Bloemfontein and 15 kilometres south of Wepener on Route 701, the Caledon Nature Reserve, through which the Caledon River flows, is also home to the Welbedacht Dam situated in the southern parts of the reserve. Despite sounding as if the reserve is off ... more information
Franklin Nature Reserve
Situated at the the base of Naval Hill, the Franklin Nature Reserve (size 250 hectare) is home to many birds and indigenous wildlife, including herds of springbok, blesbok, eland and zebra. The Franklin Nature Reserve is the only reserve of its kind in the world completely surrounded by a city.
On the north western fringes of Bloemfontein lie 70 hectares of botanical garden, in a valley peppered with dolerite koppies, tall grassland and woodland; some magnificent examples of wild olive and karee trees, an orange blossom arbour and a petrified tree, thought to be over 150 ... more information
The Free State Stadium is a dedicated sporting environment with ample parking and excellent corporate hospitality. The Free State Stadium will host 5 first-round matches and 1 second-round match of the 2010 World Cup. For the 2010 World Cup, a second tier was added to the main grandstand, which increased the seating ... more information
Mangaung is a township just outside Bloemfontein, famous as the birthplace of the African National Congress (ANC), the country's ruling party. The cultural route takes in the highlights of Masenkeng stadium, Maphikela House and the Youth Monument, including local restaurants and cultural events at the ... more information
One of the only game reserves named after a woman - Dr Maria Moroka was a hero from the struggle against apartheid – the Maria Moroka Game Reserve lies close to the large mountain, and little town, known as Thaba Nchu, roughly 70 kilometres outside of Bloemfontein. It is also one of several nature ... more information
Notable for its large collection of fossils, cultural historical exhibits and archaeological displays, including the Florisbad skull which was discovered in the 1930s at the Florisbad Spring some 50 km north of Bloemfontein. (Florisbad Man is estimated to have lived between 50 000 and 35 000 years ... more information
Sand du Plessis Theatre
Completed in 1985 at a cost of over R60 million, the Sand du Plessis complex is one of the most modern theatres in the world. The facade features massive glass panels; and works of art form part of the decor. Throughout the year, the theatre is the venue for opera, ballet, drama and music performances.
Schoeman Park Golf Club, as it is known today, had its origin in 1904 when a few Scottish members of the old Bloemfontein Railway Institute started playing golf on a nine hole golf course. Today the Club building and grounds still belong to Transnet, but the club is a separate legal entity, operating as a ... more information
Soetdoring Nature Reserve has two entrances. The eastern entrance is at the Modder River on the Bloemfontein / Bultfontein road (R700). Here visitors enjoy angling, pic-nicing and game viewing. Braai (BBQ) facilities are located along the river and the dam. The Modder River entrance is at the eastern ... more information
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