Free State Tourist AttractionsMangaung cultural route
Where? Mangaung is a township just outside Bloemfontein, Free State
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 close of the tour.
The Mangaung Cultural Route was developed to promote entrepreneurship in a previously disadvantaged community, tracing the colonial history of the area, the period of the liberation struggle and what's been happening in these communities post-apartheid. It has developed into a lively township tour that also introduces one to the vibrancy of the night life in Mangaung.
The route has a series of trained guides to take you through the streets of the township, starting in the CBD of Bloemfontein. From there one travels to the Weleyan Church and Waaihoek, one of the very first township settlements, here since before enforced removals of the apartheid era.
The route then takes in the homes of the ANC founder members and the surrounding Batho area, where streets are named after these leaders. It is really the night life that is the highlight of the tour, where traditional restaurants and jazz clubs bring the place to life.
If you manage to take the tour during October, the Macufe Mangaung African Cultural Festival is ten days of music, drama, fine art and traditional arts and crafts that takes place in Mangaung and attracts thousands of visitors.
Other attractions in Mangaung include the St Johannes Lutheran Church, Madison Square Garden beer hall, close to hostel no 1, Digareteneng or Place of Curtains, Mahatane Hotel, the first hotel in Mangaung and Moshoeshoe Road – a series of barber stalls, migrant hostels and a beer hall. If you can, sample the local brewed beer known as Umqombothi