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A Lively Township Tour

Mangaung is a township just outside Bloemfontein and is famous for being the birthplace of the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party. The Bloemfontein-Mangaug area other claim to fame is that this is where the author of The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, JRR Tolkein, was born.

The Manaung Route was developed to promote entrepreneurship of this previously disadvantaged community and so the beneficiaries are the tour guides and operators as well as the restauranteurs on the Mangaung community.

The Route starts in Bloemfontein CBD and traces the colonial history of the area, the period of the liberation struggle and what has been happening in the community post-apartheid. Your trained guide will take you through one of the original townships before forced removals took place and on to a few former homes of some of the ANC founder members. The highlight of the tour is the night life, visitors are taken to a traditional restaurant, a shebeen and jazz club, bringing the tour to life.

If you choose to, a night can be spent in the area and the Rhythm & Blues B&B assures you of comfortable lodgings and a hearty breakfast.

The best time to take the tour is in October when the Macufe Cultural Festival takes place in Mangaug. The Festival offers 10 days of top class music, fine art, drama and traditional arts and crafts. It has been known to attract as many as 140 000 visitors.

Things to do and see

  • Weleyan Church
  • Waaihoek – original township
  • Batho Area
  • Mafikela House – Home of Thomas Mafikela, ANC Founder
  • Youth Memorial
  • Shebeen
  • Jazz Club
  • Rhythm & Blues B&B (optional)
  • Macufe Mangaug African Cultural Festival (October)


Tour fees are approximately R300, however prices are subject to change, please contact the Bloemfontein  Tourist Information Office directly to confirm prices.

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