Bloemfontein, South Africa
Situated in central South Africa, Bloemfontein or 'Bloem' as the locals call it is the provincial capital of the Free State and judicial capital of South Africa. Visitors to the city are generally business orientated and for those travelling across the country to Cape Town (1000km away) it makes an ideal stopover point.
Things to do
The city has a number of options to fill your free time whilst visiting, take a stroll down the historical, tree lined President Brand Street and take-in the architecture of the sandstone government buildings, visit the various museums in the city or enjoy a round of golf on one of the city's two courses.
The Free State National Botanical Garden is on the outskirts of the city covering 70 hectares and is home to around 400 plant types and a haven for wildlife, there's also the small Soetdoring Nature Reserve around 40 km from Bloemfontein.
If you're interested in visiting a township a guided tour will take you to the Manguang Township and visit the founder of the ANC Thomas Mapikela's house, now a national monument.
Out and About
The city is home to two shopping centres, the largest is the Loch Logan Waterfront mall which is wrapped around a lake and also features a cinema, several dining options and a gym. Close to this is the 'Vodacom Park' rugby stadium, the 'Outsurance Oval' cricket stadium, the Bloemfontein Rose Gardens and the Sand du Plessis Theatre, there is also a monthly craft market held nearby.
There are a number of bars and restaurants to be found on Second Avenue just a few minutes from the waterfront mall and as a university town during term time nightlife is generally busy.
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