The Franklin Game Reserve or Franklin Nature Reserve on Naval Hill was founded in 1928, when a number of game was released on the mountain. It remains one of the most known features of Bloemfontein and surroundings worldwide, as numerous websites refer to this exceptional phenomenon situated close to the heart of the city. Since the mid eighties, some 30 000ha of natural open spaces was added to the Section Nature Conservation Services’ responsibilities, which includes custodianship and protection of the natural environment within the boundaries of MANGAUNG Metro Municipality.

Within the reserve you will discover zebra, blesbok, springbok, giraffe and eland as well as abundant bird life. Visitors are welcomed into the Franklin Game Reserve for free. A wonderful outing surrounded by indigenous flora and fauna, the reserve attracts residents, tourists and many joggers.

Activities on Naval Hill

Game drive or walk in the Franklin Game Reserve

Naval Hill forms part of the Franklin game reserve. Giraffe, buck, ostrich and many more forms of wildlife live in the game reserve. There are no large predators and not hunting allowed. This makes the Franklin game reserve safe for walkers and joggers (be aware of cars though!)

Thanks to the lack of predators, the wildlife has become quite tame. This is great for photo opportunities, but keep your distance to 5 meters as they are still wild animals.

There is a strict policy of “do not feed the animals”, so please take all food and trash home with you when you leave.

The animals prefer the early morning light, so get there at sunrise to see the most wildlife.

The major part of the area on the hill is part of the Franklin Game Reserve where various indigenous species of game are kept.

Return to the Free State Tourism page HERE.