Bloemfontein is often overlooked as a major metropolis due to its small-town atmosphere. In fact, it’s one of the biggest cities in South Africa.
Are you visiting Bloemfontein these holidays? Here are a few attractions to add to your to-do list:
Cool off at the Maselspoort Resort & Conference Centre
Only 23km from Bloemfontein, Maselspoort Resort & Conference Centre on the banks of the Modder River is the perfect refuge from the Free State’s summer swelter. The super tube, swimming pool and river barge will help you beat the heat and have some fun along the way. If you are looking for more, you can also play mini-golf, go on a game drive, and work up a sweat at the volleyball and tennis courts. When planning your trip, keep in mind that the super tube is closed on Mondays.
Step back into history at the National Museum
The National Museum was established in 1877 to exhibit rarities from across the globe. Today, the museum is internationally renowned for its collections focusing on natural history, cultural history and art. With its mission to provide heritage resources and an enjoyable experience to all people through research, conservation, education and exhibitions, the museum offers something of interest to locals and visitors alike.
Get lost in nature at the Free State National Botanical Garden
The Free State National Botanical Garden offers a glimpse of the province’s distinctive vegetation. Situated in a valley between dolerite koppies, the garden displays the grasslands and woodlands the area is famous for.
Explore the garden with a guided tour (offered Mondays to Friday 8am to 3.30pm, and on weekends if booked in advance) or simply pick up a map at the reception and take a walkabout. If you’re exploring by map, keep an eye out for the water-wise, succulent, medicinal, fragrance, Nama Karoo and grassland gardens to enhance your trip.
Buy crafts and fresh produce at the Langenhoven Market
The Langenhoven Market (formerly known as the Boeremark) is open every Saturday from 7am to 1pm. If you haven’t bought festive season gifts yet, or are simply looking for the freshest produce around, this market is for you. Come hungry and indulge in the delicious treats on offer from the food stalls.
Get close with big cats at the Cheetah Experience
Cheetah Experience is a non-profit conservation centre that aims to raise awareness of the vulnerability of endangered species such as cheetah, leopard, tiger and lion. It is also a sanctuary to animals such as caracals, servals and Canadian wolves. Here you can learn more about these animals as well as see them up close for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.
See a tank at the South African Armour Museum
An unusual, but sure to be entertaining, activity is an outing to the South African Armour Museum, featuring several exhibitions including an exterior display of armoured fighting vehicles, a hanger displaying restored vehicles and a national monument. If you’re keen on learning more about armour or South Africa’s military history, visit the research library and the Hull-Down Annex that houses additional equipment and training aids.