Free State National Botanical Garden Bloemfontein
Explore the Free State National Botanical Garden Bloemfontein. From the winding footpaths that lead through the picnic grassy areas. Or venture up the hiking trails into wooded koppies overlooking a stunning view of the dam, bird hide and the rest of the 70 hectares of natural space.
Plant & animal life
The Botanical Garden is home to more than 400 plant species. Most of which are indigenous to the Northern Cape, Free State and Lesotho arid and semiarid regions. Expect to find plant life such as Lion’s ear also known as Wild Dagga (Leonotis leonurus), Red-Hot Pokers (Kniphofia) and Dwarf Coral tree (Erythrina zeyheri). Not to forget, the well established Karee trees which have grown since before the formal establishment of the garden.
The gardens are green and luscious with very warm temperatures averaging 30°C. Especially by November. Expect afternoon thunderstorms every now and again. By contrast, the autumn season from March proposes beautiful arrays of yellow and red hues. The Botanical Garden is in well balanced harmony with 144 bird, 54 reptile and more than 35 mammal species. Meerkat (aka Suricate) and Yellow Mongoose being the majority.
History and location
It was no small task in choosing the right location for the garden. There were many locations under consideration. ..From city centre, Naval Hill, the area known as “Brandkop” and the farm called Winter Valley. In the end, the area known as, “The Kloof” just north of Bloemfontein was the final choice.
Officially opened by the then State President Jim Fouche on 22 February 1969, an Olea europaea subsp africana tree was planted.
Art and food market
The botanical garden food & art market takes place every last Sunday each month. With music in the air and a hint of something tasty on the grill, there are activities for all ages. A variety of art and food stalls await your perusing. With a fresh approach, you will find handmade art, clothing and furniture food . The best times to visit the food and art market are between 9am & 3pm.
Botanical Garden Contact Details
Braaing allowed in the designated Braai area where there is plenty of shade under the trees. Alternatively, book the lapa out for special occasions, especially when entertaining after 5pm.
Guide dogs are allowed.
The Free State National Botanical Garden is a great place to enjoy hiking, running and walking. For those who wish to relax, the garden is ideal for bird watching, taking photos and picnicking on the lawns is a must.
- Beware of snakes
- Wear appropriate comfortable shoes
- Bring your sunscreen and water if hiking & running