Bloemfontein and The Free State have given our country so many sporting, political and literary heroes. It’s a special part of the world to come from and for a mid-winter escape it’s an extraordinary place to go to.
Our guide Ace Mkabane met us at the foot of an eight metre tall Nelson Mandela overlooking the only nature reserve surrounded by a city.
They call it The Franklin Game Reserve and in the middle of the business day it offers an unrivalled chance to escape into Africa without leaving the city limits.
From a man who always helped us to see the bigger picture of what our country could be, our next stop gives you an eye on the universe at the first digital planetarium.
With a physics professor to take you through how stars are born and galaxies created, the planetarium shows get rave reviews on Tripadvisor.
As does a chance to witness the creature known as a gnu, galloping through the veld at eighty kilometres an hour.
Down in the city we take a look at pixel art with Izak Fourie who uses tin cans to create masterpieces.
Perhaps the art form that Bloemfontein is best known for is its warm welcome to visitors – especially in the winter and as a base to explore from, we booked into The Tredenham Boutique Hotel managed by Gavin Jacobson.
From the contemporary menu to their Sunday braai, with the finest Free State beef, dining indoors or alfresco, the food is unmissable too!