I was recently in Bloemfontein with the Nickelodeon Genius team. I have driven through Bloem a fair amount on our annual trek to Cape Town but we don’t stop and I have definitely never really considered it a holiday destination. But I discovered that there is actually some really cool stuff to see in Bloem.
- Naval Hill Planetarium. This is in a small nature reserve and well worth the visit if you can make one of their show times. There is a lovely restaurant in the reserve so you can make a whole morning/afternoon of it.
- There is a huge statue of Nelson Mandela in the reserve that is well worth the visit. You also get to look out over Bloemfontein from the view point.
- Boyden Observatory. This was an experience and a half. They have the third largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere here and it is HUGE, it weighs 40 TONS and it is only the 3rd The biggest two are both in Sutherland, incidentally. We got to see Saturn and its rings through the smaller telescope but it was still such a surreal experience. Definitely worth a visit.
- Cheetah Experience. I didn’t get to experience this but we stayed next door to it and I would have loved to have visited it.
- The Anglo Boer Museum. I know this doesn’t sound riveting but it is interesting to give some insight into the history of South Africa.
I doubt Bloem is every going to become a holiday destination but many of us stop there en route to somewhere, so it is definitely worthwhile remembering some of these things when you are planning your next trip.