Bloemfontein (South Africa)

Bloemfontein Travel Guide and Trip Resources

South African Tourism

South Africa's judicial capital

Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa
Some good museums (the Anglo Boer War Museum in particular) and monuments
Naval Hill has giraffes and wildebeest right in the middle of town!

South Africa has three national capitals. Cape Town and Pretoria are the legislative and administrative capitals of the country, while Bloemfontein is the country's judicial capital (the Supreme Court of Appeal is located here). This city of three quarters of a million people if you count the whole metropolitan area is also the capital of the Free State - or Vrystaat - Province. Historically this was one of the heartlands of the Afrikaner people and about half of people living in the city speak Afrikaans as their first language.

Located right at the heart of the country and with highways crossing through it from all directions, you are likely to pass by this city at some point if you head north-east to Johannesburg or Pretoria from the Cape. The city makes for a good stopover point on trips like that, as well as a convenient base for eyeing the rest of the region from. Free State attractions like the Soetdoring Nature Reserve (featuring eland, wildebeest and lions) and Gariep Dam/Reserve are nearby, as is the city of Kimberley. Closer to town, or rather within it, you have Naval Hill featuring the Franklin Game Reserve. This reserve is sat on a plateau overlooking the city and features giraffes and wildebeest as well as an enormous Nelson Mandela statue.

The National Museum in the center of the city with adjacent to it the Renaissance style Fourth Raadsaal (the most appealing building in the city, in my opinion) and as a satellite the First Raadsaal (the oldest building in town) is a must. Museums like the Oliewenhuis Art Museum and Anglo Boer War Museum (featuring the enormous obelisk of the National Women's Monument, dedicated to the 27,000 women and children who died in the war) are very different but both very interesting and worth a visit. [Review by travelindicator]

Key info

  • Bloemfontein is a city in South Africa's region of Free State. It has a population of 747,431, is situated at an altitude of 4649ft and the best airport to fly into is BFN (Bloemfontein, Bloemfontein)
  • The main spoken language here is Afrikaans / English / Sotho / Xhosa, and the average English skill is high
  • The currency used in South Africa is the South African rand (ZAR)

Bloemfontein Weather

Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):

88 84 81 73 68 63 63 68 75 79 82 86

Historical average rainfall per month (inches):

3.3 4.4 2.8 2.2 0.7 0.5 0.3 0.6 0.9 1.7 2.3 2.4

More Bloemfontein travel resources

Read on at Planetware or Wikitravel. The National Museum's website can be found here.

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