Bloemfontein Accommodation: Nearby towns with accommodation:
Maselspoort Accommodation | Ficksburg Accommodation | Clocolan Accommodation
Fouriesburg Accommodation | Clarens Accommodation | Winburg Accommodation
Bloemfontein, "flower spring" or "fountain of flowers" is the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa as well as one of the nation's three capitals, being the judicial capital. The city's Sesotho name is Mangaung, meaning "place of cheetahs" and became part of the Mangaung Local Municipality in 2000. Bloemfontein is popularly and poetically known as "the city of roses", owing to the abundance of these flowers and the annual rose festival held there.
The city is situated on dry grassland at 29°06′S 26°13′Eï»¿ / ï»¿29.1°S 26.217°Eï»¿ / -29.1; 26.217, at an altitude of 1,395 metres above sea level. The city is home to 369,568 residents, while the Mangaung Local Municipality has a population of 645,455. Bloemfontein is served by Bloemfontein airport.
Although modern day Bloemfontein has a reputation for its flowers in an otherwise arid region, the origin of the city's name is unclear. Popular legends include an ox named "Bloem" owned by one of the pioneer farmers that was taken by a lion near a fountain on his property, while another story names Jan Bloem (1775-1858), a Korana Griqua leader who inhabited the area. Bloemfontein literally means fountain of flowers or flower spring in Dutch.
Bloemfontein is located in central South Africa on the southern edge of the Highveld at an elevation of 1,400 metres (4,600 ft), bordering on the semi-arid region of the Karoo. The area is generally flat with occasional hills (koppies in Afrikaans) and the general vegetation is Highveld grassland.
Bloemfontein experiences a continental climate, with hot summer days (Jan: max:31°C min:15°C; frequent afternoon thunderstorms) and cooler, dry winters, often with frosts (July: max:17°C min:-2°C). Snow is rare but as recently as August 2006 it snowed in the city, with snowfalls occurring again at the airport on 26 July 2007.