Travel and Accommodation

Travel to Bloemfontein:

Bloemfontein is the capital city of the province of the Free State, South Africa. Womandla! Feminism and Social Movements in the Global South will take place in Bloemfontein at the University of the Free State (UFS).

For those traveling from outside the region, our advice is to fly into Johannesburg. It is then possible to take an internal flight from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to the Bram Fischer International Airport in Bloemfontein. Alternatively, it is very convenient to take the Citybug Shuttle Service (a minibus) from O.R Tambo International Airport, which terminates at College Square in Bloemfontein. It is then only a short walk from College Square to the UFS campus.

For those traveling from within South Africa, the Citybug is still a viable travel option from Pretoria or Johannesburg. The Intercape bus, particularly the Sleepliner, or other bus lines are another good option from South African cities, as are flights.


Should you need a taxi in Bloemfontein, we recommend Winona Shuttle Services. There are various other taxi and shuttle services in town, including Vrystaat Taxi, Bloem Taxi, Rooicat Taxi, and Let it Be a Cab. It is recommended to call and book ahead.


There are many accommodation options available in Bloemfontein, many of which are located close to the UFS campus. Details and bookings can easily be found online via booking services such as, Afristay, and SafariNow.

Airbnb is an excellent accommodation choice for Bloemfontein. Some other very good accommodation options, which are located near the UFS campus, include:


Many other accommodation options are available elsewhere in Bloemfontein, although with less proximity to UFS.

Food and other conveniences:

There are many dining options in Bloemfontein. For eating out, there are a variety of restaurants located on Second Avenue and Langenhoven Park, as well as elsewhere in town. Some dining options are available on campus at UFS, particularly on the Thakaneng Bridge.

Many restaurants are located in shopping centres and malls. Some centrally-located options include:

  • Mimosa Mall;

  • Loch Logan Waterfront; and

  • Northridge Mall.

To get a sense of the price of food, it is possible to look for Bloemfontein on UberEats. Once in Bloemfontein, however, the far more reliable food delivery app is Mr D Food.

Other events in Bloemfontein and nearby:

Just days prior to the conference, the Vrystaat Kunstefees / Free State Arts Festival will take place on the UFS campus across 29 June–5 July 2020. The highly-anticipated annual event is the biggest arts festival in the Free State, bringing to Bloemfontein a vibrant programme of theater, film, music, dance, book festivals, and visual arts. The Free State Arts Festival features South African and international talent from across the arts industry.

The Historical Association of South Africa's biennial conference will also take place near Bloemfontein – at Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, Northern Cape – only a week before Womandla! on 30 June–2 July 2020. More details about the Call for Papers can be found here.

Tourism in and around Bloemfontein:

Bloemfontein / Mangaung has a rich and varied history, as it was the founding place of both the South African Native National Congress, which would later become the African National Congress, and the National Party. From arts and heritage to animals and nature, there are plenty of things to do and see if you would like to extend your stay.

Key tourism highlights include:

Bloemfontein is also less than two hours drive, in different directions, from the Gariep Dam and the historic town of Kimberley, Northern Cape. Only three hours drive is the scenic little town of Clarens, Free State. More details about the region can be found at Bloemfontein Tourism.


© 2019 by Ana Stevenson created with

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 Image credits:

Shweshwe fabric: Saaleha Bamjee, Flickr, 2009; Womandla! cartoon: Black Sash Collection, BC 668: F Manuscripts & Archives Department, University of Cape Town. 

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