The thing about Bloemfontein is that it is a rather slow city, not to say that it is a boring city. On the contrary, Bloemfontein folks do have quite the barrage of activities they love doing when they have time. Activities such as having a braai (what they call a good old barbecue), fishing, taking a safari and so much more. The following are some of the best things to do in Bloemfontein.
1. Hertzog Square
Every city does have its historical landmarks with a story behind it and such is Hertzog Square. It is a commemoration of General Hertzog who was very vocal politically in South Africa and a standout Army soldier during the Anglo-Boer War.
Address: Charles St, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Website: Hertzog Square
2. Naval Hill
This hill was a strategic position for the British during the Anglo-Boer War as they used it to position their naval guns. Today, it still stands high but as part of Franklin Game Reserve and many people go up there to have a spectacularly panoramic view of Bloemfontein. The star of the show though is the late Nelson Mandela’s statue that has become a stalwart figure on the hill standing 8 meters (27 feet) high and placing its gaze down on Bloemfontein. For Instagrammable Bloemfontein sundowns, get to the top of Naval Hill, you won’t regret it.
Address: Naval Hill, 9301 Bloemfontein, South Africa
Website: Naval Hill
One with nature
3. Soetdoring Nature Reserve
Soetdoring Nature Reserve Soetdoring Nature Reserve is a beautiful place to go game-viewing or bird-watching close to...Posted by Nightjar Travel on Monday, 11 January 2016
Soetdoring Nature Reserve is a whole package of activities for the whole family to partake in. Modder River is one of the entrances into the nature reserve and this is where one can get to peacefully do some angling. To get the blood pumping, many locals go for some water skiing. For some time with the kids, you can take a hike along the river or visit the lion sanctuary before settling in for a picnic or a good braai at designated spots found on the river banks. The nature reserve hosts a variety of animals such as gemsbok, springbok, zebras, wildebeests, kudus, duiker, otters, spotted genet, African wildcats, birds, and so many other animals.
Soetdoring Nature Reserve
Address: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Website: Soetdoring Nature Reserve
4. Free State National Botanical Garden
This botanical garden in Bloemfontein is home to many historical and ancient plants such as the petrified tree which is thought to be over 150 million years old. There are a lot of other plants calling this place home. If you can, make plans to visit it during springtime for obvious reasons. If not, you still will not be disappointed as the garden is beautiful at whatever season, more so with the added chirps of the birds living there. They also have quite an interesting educational program.
Free State National Botanical Garden
Address: Rayton Rd, Dan Pienaar, 9301 Bloemfontein, South Africa
Website: Free State National Botanical Garden
5. Zanchieta Wild Cat Farm
Driving 22 kilometers (13 miles) out of town will get you to Zanchieta, a rehabilitation center for all wild cats of South Africa. You can plan a one or two-day visit where you get to board in their lavish rooms. Take part in their guided walk around the farm and meet William Wallace, their white lion who does not shy away from any photo opportunity
Zanchieta Wild Cat Farm
Address: Helena Street, Waterbron, 9300 Bloemfontein, South Africa
Website: Zanchieta Wild Cat Farm
History at the museums
6. Bloemfontein National Museum
Opening its doors in 1877, this museum has an extensive collection of South rare African and international artifacts. Leaning more towards cultural history science, natural history, and art, it has quite the extensive collection. Dinosaur enthusiasts will be happy to know that the museum houses one of the early dinosaurs, the Euskelosaurus.
The museum has a herpetology section, paleontology section, archaeology section and an ethnological section among others. Whether you enjoy these kinds of things or not you must make a point to stop at the museum. If not for the historical wonders, then you should at least visit for the restaurant at the museum that will have you thinking you are in a movie set filming Victorian scenes.
Bloemfontein National Museum
Address: 36 Aliwal St, Bloemfontein Central, 9301 Bloemfontein, South Africa
Website: Bloemfontein National Museum
7. Anglo-Boer War Museum
A museum solely dedicated to the Anglo-Boer war that took place in 1889 to 1902, you will find exhibitions and a lot of historical background on the war. When walking the sites, you will be given a detailed account of what happened there by the well-informed guides. This museum also holds the Women’s Memorial.
Anglo-Boer War Museum
Address: Monument Rd, Generaal De Wet, 9301 Bloemfontein, South Africa
Website: Anglo Boer War Museum
8. Queens Fort Military Museum
Built in 1848, the Queens Fort was built to keep away the natives. This museum now houses all the equipment and other materials used in wars at the Free State since 1820 from armored vehicles, cannons, and even a fighter jet.
Queens Fort Military Museum
Address: 116 Church Street, City Centre, Free State, 9301 Bloemfontein, South Africa
Website: Queens Fort Military Museum
Bloemfontein with kids
9. Gwenbali Water World
Watch as your kids turn into little gleeful balls of joy as you enter this water park. Jam packed with fun activities geared for kids, the whole family will have fun swishing done the kamikaze slide or the two lane racers. If that is not their cup of tea, then bob along the Lazy River ending up at the swimming pool.
For a different activity, find your way to the paintball section for an action packed adventure. Start your tots early in golfing at the driving range. The best thing is you can braai and have a picnic at provided space at the venue.
Gwenbali Water World
Address: Bultfontein Road, 9301 Bloemfontein
Facebook: Gwenbali Water World
10. Maselspoort Resort & Conference Centre
Found on the banks of Modder River, this facility provides space for great leisure activities for the whole family such as enjoying downtime at the swimming pool and fishing.
Maselspoort Resort & Conference Centre
Address: Maselspoort Road, 9300 Bloemfontein, South Africa
11. Windmill Casino & Entertainment Center
Looking for a venue in Bloemfontein? Your search ends here. We cater for conferences and events of all sizes: http://l.ctx.ly/r/156u6Posted by Windmill Casino on Tuesday, 16 August 2016
Okay, so the first thing one would ask is what can make a casino an ideal place for kids? But with family friendly rooms, kid friendly restaurants, an extensive list of outdoor activities that the kids can do and kid entertainment, it is definitely obvious that Windmill Casino will have you sorted when you visit them with your whole family, kids included.
Windmill Casino & Entertainment Center
Address: Jan Pierewiet Rd, Musgrave, 9301 Bloemfontein, South Africa
Sleepy but Not boring
We have established that Bloemfontein does not warrant being called sleepy as the folks there do know how to keep themselves busy. The activities they take part in are wholesome and family friendly. You will definitely have a great time when you visit Bloemfontein.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.