Picture: GERRIT PENNING
Bloemfontein, the Capital City of the Free State Province and Judicial Capital of South Africa is situated in the dry, central highlands of South Africa, roughly in the middle of the Province and the country.
Bloemfontien, known locally as the "City of Roses" because of its large central rose garden and annual rose show, is considered to offer a pleasant, relaxed lifestyle where family values are appreciated.
The historical tree-lined President Brand Street exudes graceful charm and stately museums and small monuments are preserved within the neat Bloemfontein business districts and suburbs.
Sport is popular in Bloemfontein and the major sports facilities including the Free State Stadium are situated close to the centre of the city in a park-like environment. The area includes the international cricket ground, Olympic size swimming pool, Kings Park with the expansive Bloemfontein Zoo - known for it's collection of primates, President Swart Park and the Loch Logan Waterfront. Loch Logan Waterfront is an entertainment complex situated around a large lake and offers water sports, restaurants, bistros, theatres, cinemas, shops and a craft market. The area is relaxing place to spend time in the city.
Naval Hill just to the north of the Bloemfontein city centre is a 200 hundred hectare park with tremendous views of the city and surrounding plains. Within the park there is a small game park with giraffe, zebra and many species of buck. The old observatory in the park is now a small theatre. The modern tropical Orchid House is situated just to the west of Naval Hill and the Botanical Gardens are in the same area.
There are many good schools and education institutions in Bloemfontein. The largest tertiary institutions in Bloemfontein are the University of the Free State and the Central University of Technology. An international observatory, the Boyden Observatory, is situated on the outskirts of Bloemfontein.
Bloemfontein has a contintental climate with hot summer days and cooler, dry winter days, often with frost.