Not only is Bloemfontein a beautiful city, but it also has a huge historical and cultural significance in South Africa. It is one of three national capitals – the Judicial Capital of South Africa and is the provincial capital of the Free State. Located in central South Africa, it has ties and links to all aspects of South African history, from the Anglo-Boer War to the birthplace of the ANC.
A trip to Bloemfontein is an exciting and culturally rewarding experience. Check out these six things to do in Bloemfontein for less than R50.
If you decide to make Bloemfontein your home after this visit you are more than welcome to contact the agents of Jawitz Properties for renting or buying your new home.
The Anglo-Boer War Museum
This War Museum is the only museum in the world which is dedicated solely to the Anglo-Boer Wars. The wars took place between 1899 and 1902 and a visit to this beautifully presented and the well-maintained museum is a must when trying to understand the history of South Africa, and how the shared tragedy of these wars helped shape the country as it is today in terms of the social, economic and political impact.
The entrance fee is R10.
First Raadsaal Museum
This museum is the oldest surviving building in Bloemfontein. When it was first constructed back in 1849, it was the first building constructed North of the Orange River. It served as a school building initially but was also used as a church, meeting place and Council Chamber. It was the home of the National Museum from when it was first founded back in 1877 until 1915, after which it was moved to accommodate it’s growing collection. The First Raadsaal was proclaimed a National Monument in 1936. In July 1977 it was opened to the public after an extensive restoration project which restored it to its original form – a pioneer building with sturdy walls, small windows and a thatched roof.
Entrance to the museum is free.
Oliewenhuis Art Museum
The Oliewenhuis Art Museum is housed in a Neo-Dutch style mansion. Not only is the art on display magnificent, but the gardens are too. The name Oliewenhuis is derived from the abundance of olive trees on the grounds.
Entrance to the main building and the gardens is free.
Bloemfontein Botanical Gardens
The gardens are part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). They are spread out over 70-hectares and are a fantastic mix of well-maintained and manicured gardens, grasslands, wetlands and natural beauty. The extensive mix of flora, fauna and indigenous trees is perfectly laid out with meandering walkways and picnic spots, all in a tranquil and peaceful setting. The highlights must surely be the bird hide, medicinal garden, traditional huts and the Garden of Hope.
Entrance to the gardens is R22.
A visit here will provide you with a whole host of sightseeing and outdoor activities. It is located on the grounds of the Franklin Game Reserve, a 250-hectare private game reserve located right in the heart of the city – one of only two of its kind in the world. You can either tour the reserve in your private vehicle, or the more energetic and adventurous visitors can even join the local Naval Hill Park Run, and run or walk through the game reserve (prior registration is required). There are zebras, giraffes, blue wildebeest and other game on the reserve, as well as a large variety of bird species to look out for. It is here where you’ll find the huge bronze statue of Nelson Mandela. It is a great photo opportunity, standing 8 meters in height.
Langenhoven Famers Market / Boeremark
Open every Saturday morning from 07.30 to 13.00, the Langenhoven Farmers Market is the place to be. They offer a huge variety of arts and crafts, fresh produce and hand-made products, with live music playing in the open and the smell of coffee and boerie rolls in the air.
Entrance to the market is free.