Naval Hill is a remarkable and easily seen landmark within the city of Bloemfontein. The area dominates the skyline of this beautiful city, also known as the “City of Roses” and is located inside the Franklin Game Reserve.
The Franklin Game Reserve is currently the only nature reserve that can found inside a city and covers an area of 250 hectares. Within the reserve you will find wonderful African wildlife, an abundance of bird life as well as indigenous flora. The reserve is popular with both visitors to the city and locals who frequent the area for not only its natural beauty, but also for its historical significance.
Naval Hill stood as a landmark for the British Calvary during the Anglo–Boer war and was the site of the British naval-gun emplacements. On the eastern side of the hill is a carving of a large white horse which was set up by the Whiltshire Remount Regiment, which due to its sheer size served as an excellent landmark for the returning Calvary. The myth stands that every time someone receives a kiss at Naval Hill, the large white horse takes a step forward.
In 1928 Naval Hill was also home to the Mayor of Bloemfontein and today it offers a few more historic attractions for tourists to admire. Apart from the attractions and walking and running trails, visitors are also treated to spectacular panoramic views of Bloemfontein from atop this geographical wonder. It is highly recommended that visitors to the city take a stroll through the reserve and enjoy an afternoon in the area with its many sights to see.
Things to do and see
- Franklin Game Reserve
- Nelson Mandela Statue
- The Naval Hill Planetarium
- Two British Naval Guns
- White Horse Sculpture
- Ghost Tours
The area receives most of its rainfall during the mid-summer months, with January and February seeing the highest levels.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 16˚C.
There are daily flights from Johannesburg , Durban and Cape Town into Bram Fischer International Airport in Bloemfontein. Naval Hill is only a 25 minute drive from the Airport and the surrounding areas of Bloemfontein provide plenty of comfortable and luxurious accommodation. Car rental companies are located at the Airport.
Naval Hill Parkrun – A weekly 5 km Timed Run. Testing runners against the clock every Saturday morning! Free entry.
The Franklin Game Reserve was founded in 1930. Naval Hill was the location of the British Calvary during the Anglo-Boer War in the early 1900’s and the hill was named after the naval guns that were brought in by the British in order to fortify the position against attack.
Modern day Naval Hill includes historical attractions and nature outings, but not all visitors know about the Ghost tours. Naval Hill has a dark past that is not well-known, but the story is that it was the location for many satanic cult sacrifices and a planned ghostly tour will take you to the sites and ruins of these terrible occurrences.