Three Visits to Naval Hill

We were blessed with not one, not two, but THREE visits to Naval Hill in our 3 day stay in Bloemfontein. It helped that entrance is free and we were staying only a 3 minute drive away!

Visit #1

We took Tina with us on our first time up to Naval Hill.  Tina is the daughter and niece of the staff at the bed & breakfast where we were staying.  The kids immediately made friends with her and played with her every minute she wasn't at school.

Unfortunately, we didn't see much by way of animals that evening (just a few antelope, a couple zebra, and a handful of ostrich) as they were all at a distance, but we had fun by the Nelson Mandela statue anyway!


Overlooking the city of Bloemfontein.  This wasn't set up.  They were actually all standing just like this!


But, I had them turn around for a photo.  It was fun being a family of 7 for just a little while!  Fun, but loud and crazy!


IMG_6224Paul pointing to our flat from when we lived in Bloem 10 years ago!


IMG_6229Alia wanted to reach up and hold Madiba's hand.


IMG_6232Then Tina wanted to as well.



IMG_6233Which, of course, made it a trend and everyone got a chance on Daddy's shoulders.





Paul had to use tip-toes to enable Thys to reach!
He can't be left out, but he needs to do it with style!  

Thanks for letting us 'hang out' with you, Madiba!  We had fun!


Visit #2

The next morning, we found the animals we were looking for!  Giraffe, antelope, zebra, wildebeest...the kids were SO excited!  We 'bush-walked' for a bit to get closer.  Bush-walking is allowed on Naval Hill because there are no predators in residence.


Happy we found the animals!


IMG_6247Bush-walking with giraffes!




This vid is a bit long but it is fun (maybe mostly for the Grandpas and Grandmas) to hear the kids learning about how to bush-walk and about the animals around them.

Visit #3

We hit the Naval Hill jackpot the morning before we left town.  God blessed us with amazing, up-close game viewing that the kids will never forget!

IMG_6252Ostriches right near the bakkie (Afrikaans for pick up truck).



Blue Wildebeest






Yay!  We finally found the giraffes!







IMG_8652It is so fun to be close enough to watch them twist their tongue around branches and watch their eyelashes wave when they blink!  Amazing--no matter how many times you see it.


The kids really enjoyed Naval Hill.  So did Mom and Dad.  We were so thankful that we were able to see the giraffes up close on our last morning in Bloem!









Naval Hill is a super fun and worth the stop in Bloemfontein even if you DON'T have friends there!  But we do, so Naval Hill was a bonus for us!

Next up:  Our visit with the Spies Families: a 10 year reunion!

Becky Kortman

I'm a homeschooling, world traveling, Jesus follower who is a wife and mom of 4 kids, In all my travels, I am looking for places that fit with my soul and feel as much like 'home' as they can this side of heaven.

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