Deep in a large area of dry grassland in The Free State, there’s a paradise awash in the red petals of over 4,000 rose trees. That this also happens to be South Africa’s six largest city and judicial capital, displays the distinct allure of Bloemfontein: a bustling, modern city with a small-town charm, fondly known as the ‘City of Roses.’
Fitting of this rose-clad city, Bloemfontein is host to an annual Rose Festival which draws travellers from all over the world who come to experience the spectacle of roses and festive atmosphere. This is a city of historical importance with old buildings and information-packed museums. Bloemfontein is also one of only two cities in the world to house a wildlife reserve within its borders, namely the Franklin Nature Reserve. The reserve is home to blue wildebeest, giraffe, as well as an array of bird species.
Bloemfontein is the only major city in the area. Located on the N1 highway roughly halfway between Cape Town and Johannesburg, it is a popular stopover between the two cities. Appropriately for a city known for its flora, Bloemfontein is home to the only botanical garden in the Free State and the Orchid House with its stunning collection of orchids.
- A haven from the arid surroundings and home to over 4,000 rose trees
- Despite being South Africa’s six largest city and judicial capital, it retains a distinct small-town charm
- Host to an annual Rose Festival
- Home to one of only two city wildlife reserves in the world
- A popular stop on a journey between Cape Town and Johannesburg
- The only botanical garden in the Free State province is housed within its borders