About Franklin Nature Reserve

Named after Sir John Stuart Franklin, the mayor of Bloemfontein during the 1920s, Franklin Nature Reserve lies right in the heart of Bloemfontein.

Did you know? Within the Franklin Nature reserve is Naval Hill - a prominent tourist landmark and a popular Sunday drive destination because of its views out over the city.

There are very few cities in the world that can claim to have a nature reserve within their perimeters - other cities include Cape Town (Rietvlei), Nairobi (Nairobi National Park), and Hong Kong (Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve).

As a result it is not safe to walk through the reserve alone. Going in pairs or groups, however, exposes one to a wealth of bird life, and sighting a fairy flycatcher or African red-eyed bulbul is not unusual.

Wildlife includes giraffe, blue wildebeest and zebra, and the indigenous plants and trees of the Franklin reserve give one a good idea of the Free State's vegetation. It is a wonderful reserve through which to ramble or even jog, and given that it is so close to the city, an easy space in which to get close to nature.

Within the Franklin Nature reserve is Naval Hill - a prominent tourist landmark and a popular Sunday drive destination because of its views out over the city. During the Anglo-Boer War the British Naval Brigade was stationed there.

Aside from the views, there are two statues that make a drive to Naval Hill worthwhile.

The first is the White Horse - said to have acted as a direction marker for the British cavalry who could see it miles off. The other more recent statue is that of Nelson Mandela. Standing eight metres high, the statue is the largest of Madiba in the world; larger even than that in Sandton Square in Johannesburg, or the one in London's Parliament Square.

There are plans to upgrade Naval Hill in the near future so that it will attract more tourists.

Need to Know

WhereBloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Bloemfontein Accommodation, Free State

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