Price range, per nightmin R max R
The quiet suburb of Brandwag lies in the city of Bloemfontein, South Africa and is surrounded by schools, sports grounds, a military base, shopping centres, fine restaurants and the University of the Free State. The word Brandwag is Afrikaans for Sentinel but the origins are not known.
Some of the finest academic institutions are located here; Grey College is rated the best secondary school in South Africa while the University of Free State is one of the ten best in the country.
The area experiences hot summers averaging 25° Celsius and the cold winter mornings sometimes fall below freezing, however, the wintry days quickly warm up to an acceptable 9°-12° Celsius.
Brandwag has a village-style atmosphere, close to all amenities and is a pleasant location for anyone staying over in the City of Roses.
Top 8 reasons to visit Brandwag
1. Scarcely 1km from Brandwag is Bloemfontein city centre, walk the area to discover the historic legislative buildings, the town hall, the twin-spire church, various monuments and the old presidency museum, all built mostly from sandstone. End the journey at the Bloem Plaza for refreshments.
2. Take a guided tour of the Free State National Botanical Gardens to fully appreciate the 400 flora species set amongst the trails and frequented by small mammals and reptiles.
3. Bloemfontein has two 18-hole golf courses, the Bloemfontein and Schoeman Park Golf Clubs and the Tempe Golf Club alongside Brandwag is a 9-hole course.
4. Spend a day shopping at the multi-level Mimosa Mall in the suburb. The mall has a nice tenant mix to suit all tastes, a cinema complex, food hall, entertainment centre and ample parking. The centre recently introduced 5D Cinema X-Riders, a first in Bloemfontein.
5. Further afield is the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, named for the strangely shaped cliffs coloured a golden hue by the setting sun. The reserve has some challenging hikes and majestic views from the mountain peaks. The endangered bearded vulture is resident in the park.
6. The Oliewenhuis Art Gallery is housed in a building visited by King George VI and family (his daughter is Queen Elizabeth II) in 1947. The gallery showcases art related to heritage and culture.
7. The Soetdoring Nature Reserve is an ideal venue for a family outing. The reserve has a number of designated picnic areas along the river banks and several buck species and zebra roam the park. There is a lion enclosure and the best time to see them is during feeding times, early on Wednesday mornings.
8. Watch a game of rugby. Enquire from your host regarding the next game scheduled at the Free State Stadium and if not already a fan, the locals will help you to understand and appreciate the sport.
Brandwag is 12km from the Bram Fischer International Airport. There are several car rental companies both at the airport and in Bloemfontein city centre, otherwise order your rental online. Metered taxi operators are available throughout the city and Uber intends to begin operating here in the near future. Main bus liners servicing the Johannesburg-Cape Town route stop off in Bloemfontein.
Did you know?
Grey College in Bloemfontein is renowned for producing many Springbok rugby players over the years and the college rugby team regularly holds the number 1 position. Grey College scholars have a unique handshake which began in 1922 and remains a tradition.
Bloemfontein is the country’s judicial capital, the name directly translates to Flower Fountain but the city is more popularly known as the City of Roses. An annual rose festival is held here.