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Page History: Free State National Botanical Gardens, Bloemfontein

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Page Revision: 2008/10/10 11:21

These gardens are situated on the northern outskirts of Bloemfontein, and consist of a mix of planted and indigenous habitats. Two dams, with associated reeds, and a few small koppies (hills), with indigenous Karee and Wild olive-dominated vegetation, are present. A circular trail meanders through the cultivated areas and up on to the plateau of the koppies overlooking the gardens. Over 100 species have been recorded, with at least half this number possible in a few hours, especially in summer. The cultivated gardens provide good habitat for White-backed Mousebird, African Red-eyed Bulbul, Olive Thrush, Malachite Sunbird and White-bellied Sunbird (the last two especially in winter), while both Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler and Layard's Tit-Babbler (winter), Grey-backed Cisticola, Cape Bunting, Yellow Canary, Pririt Batis, Ashy Tit, Yellow-bellied Eremomela and Fairy Flycatcher (mostly in winter) occur on the koppies. Cape Wagtail and Greater Striped Swallow have bred in the hide overlooking the larger dam, while Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, White-faced Duck and Yellow-billed Duck are associated with the water. Purple Heron, White-backed Duck and Baillon's Crake have also been recorded here. Access is via Rayton Road, and a visit of one to three hours can be worthwhile. An entrance fee is payable on entering the gardens (Botanical Society members enter free of charge).


The garden is open 365 days a year from 08:00 - 18:00. Entrance is R10 for adults and R7 for school children and senior citizens. R3 for pre-school children. Botanical Society members enjoy free entrance. Free admission for pensioners on Tuesdays. Contact the gardens for further information on Tel: +27 51 436 3612/3530, Fax: +27 51 436 4101 or email: .

Dawie de Swardt, Johan Kok & Rick Nuttall 2001.

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