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The interior of South Africa is quite dry, so it is not surprising that the early inhabitants chose to stay close to dependable water sources and that many of the towns have names ending with "-fontein", meaning spring.
The name of the capital of the Free State is a particularly pretty one, meaning "spring of flowers". Not quite as aesthetic as its name suggests, it is, nevertheless, an attractive, spacious medium-sized city with many parks, gardens and monuments.
During the Anglo Boer War, M T Steyn was President of the Republic of the Orange Free State, as it was known at the time. In 1880 Bloemfontein became a municipality, with Robert Innes elected as the first mayor. Bloemfontein’s status was considerably enhanced in 1919, when it was named the judicial capital of the Union of South Africa, and even more so when it finally acquired city status in 1945. It was the discovery of gold and the subsequent exploration of the goldfields in the northern region, which shifted the city’s development from that of an agricultural settlement into the steadily thriving commercial and industrial city it is today.


  • Orchid House

  • Franklin Game Reserve and Observatory It is othe only game reserve in a city centre to be known in South Africa. The Lamont Hussey Observatory, inside the game reserve, has been converted into an intimate theatre

  • Against the south-eastern slopes of Naval Hill is the well known white horse. This horse was laid out during the Anglo Boer War by the men of the Wiltshire Remount Dept as a landmark for horseman coming in from the plains

  • More then 4000 rose trees have been planted in the rose gardens in Kings Park, which was opened in 1925 by the Prince of Wales.

  • The Bloemfontein Zoo is also in this park, well known for it's large collection of primates.

  • The Sand du Plessis Theatre and Opera House is one of the most modern in the world.

  • The City Hall, one of numerous impressive sandstone buildings. This building with its unusual hall was designed by Sir Gordon Leith.


  • Enjoy world class performances at the Sand du Plessis Theatre and Opera House

  • Enjoy game and bird watching in the Franklin Game Reserve and Observatory

  • Skydiving

  • Have a round of golf at the Bloemfontein Golf Club

  • Fly Fishing

  • Abseiling

  • Hiking

  • 4x4 Route

  • Paintball; Hunting

  • Horse Riding