Mangaung Cultural Route
Did you know?
The theme of the Macufe Mangaung Festival is: 'When your heart and soul is African'.
The Bloemfontein-Mangaung area is where JRR Tolkien (Lord of the Rings trilogy) was born - and where the country's ruling party (the African National Congress) has its roots as a liberation movement.
Such a pedigree adds to the lustre of one of South Africa's most attractive cities, a metropolis that has not lost too much of its 'country' feel. As the heart of the Free State province, Mangaung offers a lively township tour.
The Mangaung Cultural Route takes you past a number of historical sites relating to the early days of the ANC - then swings into a vibrant night life that includes jazz clubs and traditional restaurants.
At the Rhythm & Blues B&B in Mangaung Township, you're assured of comfortable lodgings, a hearty breakfast and dinner on request. The establishment can handle a day-conference for 100 delegates.
This exciting cultural route in South Africa was developed to promote entrepreneurship in the previously disadvantaged communities around Bloemfontein and has been set up to portray the colonial history of the area, the period of the liberation struggle and post-apartheid developments.
Your trained tour guide takes you on the Mangaung Cultural Route from Bloemfontein CBD to the Wesleyan Church and Waaihoek, one of the original township settlements that existed before the forced removals took place. You visit the old homes of some of the ANC founder members and the Batho area, where the streets are named after them. After a stopover at the Youth Memorial, guests are taken to a local club or a restaurant for some Mangaung social life.
If you're lucky enough to be in Mangaung, South Africa, during the month of October, you'll experience the Macufe Mangaung African Cultural Festival, ten days of top-class music, drama, fine art and traditional arts and crafts that attracts more than 140 000 visitors.
Travel tips & Planning info
How to get here
Bloemfontein and Mangaung can be reached by plane or vehicle (or train, for that matter).
Around the area
Bloemfontein is a very pleasant ,compact, heritage-filled city with plenty to offer.
Tours to do
A guide can take you to the old Wesleyan Church and Waaihoek.
It's best to have your own vehicle.
Length of stay
Most people would stay one or two nights.
Where to stay
There are no shortage of guest houses, either around the city of Bloemfontein, or in sprawling Mangaung.
The Macufe Mangaung African Cultural Festival is over ten days in October, with music, drama, fine art and crafts.