Franklin Nature Reserve
Naval Hill

Close-up Nature Experience

Home to giraffes, wildebeest, zebra, blesbok, ostriches and much more!

Scenic Views

Naval Hill viewpoints offers breathtaking views of the best of Bloemfontein!

Historical Sites

Come see the famous Nelson Mandela statue, the infamous White Horse and discover some secrets of the past.

Earth And Space Education

Reach for the stars with the Naval Hill Planetarium, while staying grounded with our rich South African heritage.


Welcome to Friends of Franklin and the official website for the Nature Conservation of Naval Hill and Franklin Nature Reserve!
The idea to start such a group originated in 2019, when a small number of people living in the residential areas surrounding Naval Hill collaborated with the Mangaung Nature Conservation Services, to provide extra feed for the giraffes and other wildlife on Naval Hill. It became apparent that a larger public participation would add extra benefits for the overall biodiversity and natural environment of Naval Hill and Franklin Game Reserve.
On this page you will find a variety of featured projects for which public participation is most welcome. We also provide some interesting information regarding the wildlife, plants and history of Naval Hill. Have a look around and let us know what you think…

our vision

Conserving Naval Hill's Natural Environment

Friends of Franklin – Naval Hill Nature Conservation, NPO specifically focuses on the conservation and promotion of the biodiversity and natural environment of the Franklin Game Reserve – Bloemfontein, Free State.

featured projects

What Can You Do?

One of a kind: Bloemfontein is 1 of only 4 cities in the world with a nature reserve within its perimeters. Please visit this unique environment!

Vegetation: 2 main plant communities and 5 different plant sub-communities have been identified. Become part of our vegetation rehabilitation programmes.

Birdlife: More than 110 bird species have been listed. A complete bird list is available on request. Come experience our variety of bird life.

1937 - Remaining wilderness in the world
2020 - Remaining wilderness in the world

Frequently Asked Questions

More than 110 bird species have been recorded from Franklin Nature Reserve. To name a few, these include a variety such as the red-faced Mousebird, Ostriches, Spotted Eagle-owl and Jackal Buzzard.
Different mammals such as Burchell’s zebra, blue wildebeest, giraffe, blesbok and nyala are also residents and keep an eye out for reptiles such as lizards, tortoises and snakes.

Franklin Nature Reserve is a popular spot for joggers and cyclists to exercise, especially during the early mornings, late afternoons and over weekends. Currently no guided walking trails are available but FoF aims to address this need.

Entrance is free and the public is welcome to do sightseeing on Naval Hill.

Wild animals are present in the reserve and hence it is preferred that people walk in groups of 2 (or more) and unfortunately no pets are allowed.

Naval Hill and Franklin Nature Reserve are located at 29.0995° S, 26.2334° E (Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa). Entrance is controlled and free of charge.

Operating hours are from 08:00 to 18:00 (seasonal variation does occur).

No alcohol, dogs and loud music are allowed.

Recent Activity