About Friends of Franklin

“Friends of Franklin” is a nature conservation group for any nature enthusiasts, scientists and Bloemfontein businesses to cooperate with the Mangaung Nature Conservation Services, in order to assist with the conservation and promotion of the wildlife and natural environment of Naval Hill and Franklin Game Reserve.

Bloemfontein is 1 of only 4 cities in the world with a nature reserve within its perimeters(!) Named after Sir John Stuart Franklin, the mayor during the 1920s, Franklin Nature Reserve uniquely lies right in the heart of Bloemfontein.

Naval Hill is situated within this 250-hectare wildlife reserve and is well-known for its wonderful city views on a lazy afternoon, outside jogging, the Nelson Mandela statue, and the Naval Hill Planetarium.

The indigenous plants and trees of the reserve provide a wonderful representation of the Free State’s natural vegetation. Some of the larger wildlife include giraffe, blue wildebeest, blesbok, ostrich, nyala and zebra.

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 wildlife and natural environment of Naval Hill and Franklin Game Reserve.

When considering the success such support groups has had with other reserves, in other provinces, and the passion these people have for nature and the conservation thereof, it will be a great asset for the reserve and the whole of nature conservation in the Free State and Bloemfontein if such a support group can become established. It is the believe of “Friends of Franklin” that súch a support group is vital in ensuring sufficient service delivery and would relieve a lot of pressure from stretched resources. In conjunction with this, another service is delivered to the members of the group themselves, with the opportunity to be in the outdoors doing what they love, but which they cannot always achieve in their normal lives.

The possibility of using this support group, as a platform to perform environmental education to the youth, can also not be underestimated, nor the value that could be added to the reserve in the long run.

The current management committee consists of: Andri Grobbelaar (Chairperson), Lucas Erasmus (Vice-chairperson), Dr Laurence Grobbelaar (Treasurer) en Magdalie Ferreira (Secretary).  We have applied for the registration as a NPO (non-profit organisation) with SARS.  With this we then aim to apply for a NPO bank account and hence provide legal tax benefits to our sponsors / donators, in the future.