Serving as the judicial capital of South Africa, Bloemfontein sits almost directly in the center of the country. The city is appropriately nicknamed the “City of Roses,” thanks to the nearly 4,000 rose trees planted in the area. If you’re visiting in October, be sure to attend the Mangaung Rose Festival, which honors the city’s namesake flower with parades, pageants and events throughout town.
Kick off your list of things to do in Bloemfontein with a trip to the National Museum. Founded in 1877, the National Museum features collections including natural history, cultural sciences and art displays. Visit the Anthropology Hall to learn more about African cultural groups like the Ovambo, or head on over to the Mammals display, featuring life-size replications of African animals.
For an outdoor adventure, head over to the Free State National Botanical Garden. Covering over 70 hectares, the garden features over 400 plant species, including red-hot pokers and wild daggas. If animal life is more your forte, the Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein may be just up your alley. Aimed at conserving endangered species, the Cheetah Experience offers guided tours of the center and even provides volunteer opportunities for those interested in helping out.
End your day in Bloemfontein with a visit to Franklin Game Reserve. Aside from catching views of local wildlife like giraffes and fairy flycatchers, the reserve offers some of the best views of the city from atop Naval Hill. Keep your eyes open for the white horse painted into the side of the rocks. It once served as a directional marker for the British during the Anglo-Boer War. Legend has it that a kiss atop Naval Hill makes the horse move. Explore this and many other attractions on your visit to Bloemfontein, South Africa.