The University of the Free State is situated in Bloemfontein, a small city more or less in the middle of the country. We are roughly about 400km from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, and about 1200km from Cape Town international airport.

Being in central South Africa means that we get cold winters and hot summers. You will be experiencing the former, so please pack accordingly. The daily temperature can peak at around 15 degrees Celsius, while the temperature can drop significantly at night (often below zero). While our winter temperatures might not reach the low temperatures of central and northern Europe, we do not have central heating – which means that we keep our coats and jackets on indoors. 

The easiest way to get here is to fly from one of the two main airports mentioned above. There are daily flights from both airports to Bloemfontein.

More scenic (albeit longer) ways of travel include renting a car or taking a bus (the least expensive, but also least comfortable). We do not have an adequately functioning public railway system. Driving from Cape Town will take around 12 hours, while driving from Johannesburg will take around 4 hours.

If you travel from Johannesburg taking the CityBug ( is a viable and comfortable option – it also leaves directly from OR Tambo Airport, which makes it easily accessible.


How to get around Bloemfontein:

We do not have UBER nor a reliable public transport system. As such, we recommend renting a car or choosing one of the options below.

  • Car Rental (recommended)
  • Asking an acquaintance or friend
  • Organising Shuttle. Details will be provided soon.
  • Taxi. Details will be provided soon.
  • You can also walk to and from the venue (although we do not recommend walking at night).

Safety has always been a concern for many tourists thinking of visiting South Africa. However, here are a few things to take into consideration to put you at ease. While there are several local websites that provide accurate information regarding safety for tourists (listed below), the following excerpt from provides an accurate summary of safety and tourism in South Africa:

“If you're concerned about tourism safety in South Africa, take comfort in the fact that there are some practical things you can do to mitigate the impact of crime while you're travelling around the country.

As many locals will tell you, it's all about being cautious and remaining constantly aware of your surroundings. Follow this advice, and you'll make life-long memories while meeting captivating people from a mix of cultures and experiencing our beautiful landscapes, wildlife offering, and fascinating history.

It is easy to discover the numerous reasons why South Africa features at the top of many tourism bucket-lists and sees huge numbers of repeat visitors. A happy visitor is a repeat visitor, and South Africa enjoys a high percentage of these. Keep in mind that millions of tourists visit South Africa without incident every year.

Like many cosmopolitan destinations, however, South Africa grapples with crime. Primarily, this crime is not targeted at tourists and does not occur in areas frequented by tourists. Although there are exceptions and tourism safety in South Africa is our utmost priority as the tourism industry.

The media frequently highlights South Africa's reputation for crime and corruption. These reports often do not provide a balanced perspective and can exaggerate the situation. We, therefore, do not recommend that you base perceptions on such news reports. Rather, consult your agent or tour operator for a more accurate picture of what is happening on the ground.

In most cases, common sense prevails, and you should take the same precautions you would when travelling in any foreign country or city in the world. A properly planned itinerary through a reputable tour operator with a proper tourism safety protocol will also help to mitigate any risks and, if an incident does occur, ensure you are swiftly assisted by experts and local authorities.

If you are travelling solo, planning well and knowing how to get around is key to ensure that you make the most out of your visit and stay safe.

It is advisable to inform someone from your accommodation of your plans. Most importantly, do not venture anywhere isolated. If you do not consider yourself to be very travel-savvy, there are several tours you can join that will offer peace of mind, as well as convenience.”


For more information on safety and tourism in South Africa, please visit the following sites:


The following accommodation options close to the University of the Free State are available (but also please have a look on sites such as, and even for accommodation options near the University of the Free State Bloemfontein campus).




Kovsie inn (accommodation on university campus)

Furstenburg Road, Park West


Aloe Guest Rooms

42 Kaptein Proctor St, Brandwag


Nightingale Guesthouse

56 Donald Murray Ave, Park West


A Summer Place

Address: 18 Stegman St, Universitas


Melsetter's Guest House

27 Jan Marx St, Langenhoven Park


Villa Bane Lodge

226 Paul Kruger Avenue Universitas


Tsessebe Guesthouse

5 Johan Van Wyk St, Langenhoven Park


Premiere Guest House

4 Nauhaus St, Brandwag


Hydro Guest House

115 Kellner Street



32 Captain, Kaptein Proctor St, Brandwag



Hotels/ Lodges




Protea Hotel

202 Nelson Mandela Drive, Brandwag

Palm Lodge

10 Stapelberg St, Brandwag


B&B Bloemfontein Adelante Lodge

4 Wannenburg St, Brandwag


College Lodge

18 Stapelberg St, Brandwag


City Lodge Hotel Bloemfontein

Nelson Mandela Dr &, Parfitt Ave, Westdene


Lala Dene Lodge

75 President Reitz Ave, Westdene


Shawu Lodge

2 D F Malherbe Ave, Universitas


Rise & Shine Lodge

Address: 2 Wynand Mouton Dr, Universitas



There are a variety of restaurants in Bloemfontein. Below are a few recommendations:

Famous Brew and Still (2 Leviseur St, Westdene)

Bella Casa Trattoria (31 President Steyn street, Westdene)

Copper Clover Irish pub (Faan Ferreira avenue)

New York restaurant (c/o 2nd avenue and Reid street).


Mr Delivery and Uber Eats are also available.


There are also various malls (Mimosa Mall and Loch Logan Waterfront) around UFS campus with grocery stores for food shopping or restaurants for eating.



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