If you would like to experience wildlife in Bloemfontein head for the Franklin Game Reserve in the heart of the city. Established in 1930, it is one of only two city wildlife reserves in the world. The other is in Hong Kong.

Did you know?

The Franklin Game Reserve is named after Sir John Stuart Franklin, mayor of Bloemfontein in the 1920s.

The Franklin Game Reserve is a unique 250-hectare wildlife reserve in the heart of Bloemfontein.

Giraffe, blue wildebeest and city views are on offer and apart from the game, there are many bird species, including Karoo scrub robin, the fairy flycatcher and violet-eared waxbills.

For safety reasons, it's best not to walk alone in the reserve, even though walking is permitted. You can also take a day drive to the top of Naval Hill in the reserve, where you can take in the city view.

An iconic feature on the east side of Naval Hill is the 'White Horse', a sculpture of a white horse created from rocks painted white. The most widely accepted origin of this sculpture is that it was created during the South African War (also known as the Anglo-Boer War) as a direction marker for the British cavalry who could see it from afar. A remount camp was stationed here after the British captured Bloemfontein from the Boers on March 15th 1900. The White Horse was most likely the handiwork of men of the Second Battalion of the Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire regiment, and is said to be the only Wiltshire white horse that is not in Wiltshire.

One of several urban legends about the White Horse is that every time a maiden is kissed on Naval Hill, it moves a step forward.

Tour guides are available – simply ask the host at your guesthouse, hotel or backpackers' lodge to advise you.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

The Franklin Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)51 412 7016

How to get here

Fly or drive to Bloemfontein and ask to be directed to Naval Hill, a distinct landmark in Bloemfontein.

Best time to visit

All year round.

Get around

Walk or drive around the reserve. Visitors are advised to enlist the services of a recommended tour guide to show them the reserve. Enquire about a guide at your hotel, guesthouse or backpackers' lodge in Bloemfontein.

What will it cost

Visitors are welcomed into the Franklin Game Reserve at no charge.

Length of stay

Two nights in Bloemfontein would be ample.

Where to stay

Bloemfontein has a wide range of hotels, guesthouses and backpackers' lodges.

What to eat

There are lots of restaurants and supermarkets in Bloemfontein.