About Naval Hill

Naval Hill in Bloemfontein is called such for the British naval guns used up here during the Anglo-Boer War. There is also a white horse on the eastern edge of the hill that functioned as a landmark for the British cavalry.

Did you know? Best time of day to visit, without doubt, is sundown, when the city lights come on and you can catch a glimpse of the sun setting way off in the distance.

Other than that, it has nothing to do with anything naval or military. The hill forms part of the Franklin Game Reserve, in the middle of the city (apparently the only nature reserve in the world in the middle of a city), which is the reason no-one has been able to build their little mansion up here and mar the landscape.

At the top of the hill is a huge wooden viewing platform from which there are 360 degree views of the city and a couple of other hills in the distance, including Thaba Nchu.

But the star of the show up on Naval Hill, and the reason for so many visitors, is the huge statue of Nelson Mandela, erected here in December 2012. It is eight metres high, a larger-than-life replica of Mandela with his fist raised in the air, overlooking Bloemfontein.

Just about everyone has their photograph taken with the statue - you can stand between his legs, or children clamber over his shoes.

There is also a digital planetarium up on the hill, on the opposite side from Mandela, for astronomy lovers, here since November 2013 and the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.

Need to Know

WhereNaval Hill, Dellville Road, Bloemfontein, Motheo District, Free State, South Africa

WhenDaily from 08h00 to 17h00.

OvernightStay in Bloemfontein Accommodation, Free State


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Nelson Mandela

Fascinated with Past President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela? Nelson Mandela is one of the world's most remarkable leaders. Find out more about his past and his impact on South Africa's present and future, and follow in his footsteps with our curated Mandela Route of South Africa.

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

The Mandela Route

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