11 Best Things To Do In Bloemfontein, South Africa

things to do in bloemfontein

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.

Bloemfontein landmarks

1. Hertzog Square

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

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.

Hertzog Square

Address: Charles St, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Website: Hertzog Square

2. Naval Hill

Naval Hill - Bloemfontein - Mandela
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Diether used under CC BY-SA 4.0

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.

Naval Hill

Address: Naval Hill, 9301 Bloemfontein, South Africa

Website: Naval Hill

One with nature

3. Soetdoring Nature Reserve

Zebra South Africa Stripes
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

Free State Botanical Gardens
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Luzelle Nel used under CC BY-SA 4.0

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

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

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

National Museum, Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa (20544249551)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user South African Tou... used under CC BY 2.0

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

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

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

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

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

Water Park Slide The Sun
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

Swimming Pool Water
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

Website: Maselspoort Resort & Conference Centre

11. Windmill Casino & Entertainment Center

Casino Arcade Slot Machines
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

Website: Windmill Casino & Entertainment Center

Sleepy but Not boring

High Court, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Source: Photo by user Ben Bezuidenhout used under CC BY-SA 4.0

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.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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