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Bloemfontein

Fascinating Naval Hill in Franklin Game Reserve

Dominating the Bloemfontein skyline, standing proudly in the heart of the City of Roses is Naval Hill. Standing atop this geographic wonder, you are provided with an exquisite panoramic view of Bloemfontein. Located within the Franklin Game Reserve, it is known for both its natural beauty and its historical significance.

Franklin Game Reserve on Naval Hill is currently the only nature reserve in the world to be located in the middle of a city. The reserve was established in 1930 and encompasses an area of 250 hectares. Within the reserve you will discover amazing African wildlife including zebra, blesbok, springbok, giraffe and eland as well as abundant bird life. Visitors are welcomed into the Franklin Game Reserve for free. A wonderful outing surrounded by indigenous flora and fauna, the reserve attracts residents, tourists and many joggers.

Standing on the crest of flat-topped Naval Hill are 2 British naval guns. Many years ago, Naval Hill was home to Back in 1928 the Mayor of Bloemfontein opened the Lamont-Hussey Observatory on Naval Hill. At that time it was under the ownership of the University of Michigan. It was however closed in 1974 and later revamped into a lovely theater called Observatory Theater or Sterrewag Theater. Why not venture here for a performance in this unique setting. Also standing on Naval Hill is the White Horse, a sculpture set-up during the Anglo-Boer War by Wiltshire Remount Depot’s men. The massive statue was an excellent landmark for the British cavalry who were returning to the depot. Certain of Bloemfontein’s Sotho people say that the White Horse was created in the image of King Mosoeshoe’s top steed. It is said that every time someone receives a kiss at Naval Hill the large White Horse moves one step forward.

Franklin Game Reserve along with Naval hill is accessible between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Naval Hill is an easily seen and remarkable landmark within the city of Bloemfontein. Providing people with an escape into nature and magical views of the City of Roses, visitors to Bloemfontein should take some time to stroll through the reserve.