Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State province in South Africa, is home to more than 350,000 residents making it the sixth largest city in the nation. Come and explore the heartland of South Africa with an airport rental car.
The city’s name translates to “fountain of flowers” and is often referred to as the city of roses for its annual Mangaung Rose Festival. Mangaung, meaning city of cheetahs, is the Sesotho name, the second most common language spoken in Bloem after Afrikaans. Head to Naval Hill for the best view in town, then stroll through the Franklin Game Reserve to hang out with giraffes, blue wildebeests and more from above the city. If you visit in the winter, stop by the Orchid House to see the beautiful flowers in full bloom. Loch Logan Waterfront is the hub for shopping, entertainment and sports in Bloem, and hosts the city’s festivals.
Image: Janek Szymanowski
From Bloemfontein, jump in your rental car and travel north to Johannesburg, the most populous city in South Africa or head to the southern coast to road trip via the Garden Route visiting Cape Town, George and Port Elizabeth.
Hiring a cheap rental car in Bloemfontein
Secure a rental car for your trip to Bloemfontein in minutes on Airport Rentals. Simply type in your travel dates and click search to access car hire deals from 12 onsite rental companies available at Bram Fischer International Airport. Compare brands on one page and narrow your search with preference filters like transmission type, group size and more. Choose from international brands such as Avis, Hertz and Sixt or rent locally from Bidvest and First Car.
After selecting the vehicle fit for your holiday, book securely online, enjoying instant confirmation and paying no additional fees. Need a hand? Call our knowledgeable customer service team at any hour of the day.
Bram Fischer International Airport (BFN)
Each year around 400,000 passengers land at Bram Fischer International Airport, located 15 kilometres east of the city. The main terminal serves both international and domestic flights. Need a SIM card for your holiday? Stop by the Vodashop Rent a Fone on the ground floor. Grab a bite to eat from Mugg and Bean restaurant and pick up some road trip snacks from Sweets from Heaven. You can also enjoy up to four hours free (or 1G of data) on WiFi available in the boarding areas of the airport. If you need to access the internet before exiting the airport, be sure to use it upon landing, before heading out past security to the public areas.
Head to the arrivals area to collect your keys from the rental car counter, or take a taxi or airport shuttle if you’ve arranged to pick up your car hire from downtown Bloemfontein.
Guide to driving your rental car in Bloemfontein
Ready to explore Bloemfontein in your rental car? Read on for directions, driving tips and parking options.
Driving from Bram Fischer International Airport to the city
Bram Fischer International Airport is 17.5km east of the city centre. For the quickest route heading downtown, exit the airport and head south to N8. Merge on the highway and continue on the N8 following it slightly left on Nelson Mandela Drive. This brings you into the centre near hotels, guest houses and restaurants in about 25-30 minutes.
Driving your rental car in Bloemfontein
Stay alert and cautious when driving in Bloemfontein and follow our tips for getting around safely in your car hire.
● Always lock your doors when driving and after parking.
● Avoid driving in remote areas or after dusk if possible.
● Keep valuables out of sight.
● Slow down on badly surfaced roads and keep an eye out for potholes.
● Look out for pedestrians and livestock near roads.
● At stoplights (often called “robots” by the locals) vendors will try to sell anything from fruit to clothes; avoid making purchases while in the car.
For more driving tips and national rules of the road, scroll to the bottom of the South Africa car rental page.
Parking at Bram Fischer International Airport and downtown Bloemfontein
Choose from three parking options at Bram Fischer International Airport: covered from 12 to 24 hours for R68; lock up garages for R150 per day; or open parking from 12 to 24 hours for R100.
When parking your rental car in the city, choose from coin-operated street parking, car parks or multi-story garages. For peace of mind, park in a secure lot, but be prepared to pay a security guard to watch your car. The guard will wear a vest with the company’s name and should offer you a card. Be wary of scammers who look for ways to make extra cash from tourists.
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