Bram Fischer International Airport, Bloemfontein, South Africa – car hire guide

Bram Fischer International Airport, South Africa
Bram Fischer International Airport, Bloemfontein, South Africa (source: Foursquare user Janine J.

Bram Fisher International Airport (formerly known as Bloemfontein Airport) is one of South Africa’s main airport.

The airport is located in the Free State city of Bloemfontein, close to route 1, the main north-south motorway in South Africa. It’s around 400km south of Johannesburg and about 1,000km from Cape Town. With distances like this, it’s easy to see why South African airports offer a wide range of local flights in addition to international routes.

Bram Fischer airport handles about 400,000 passengers each year, in addition to cargo. The airport was extensively upgraded in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and offers modern facilities. However, flights available from the airport at the time of writing (September 2017) appear to be restricted to domestic routes, primarily to Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Notwithstanding this, a number of major car rental operators maintain a presence at Bram Fischer. At the time of writing (Sept 2017), I was able to obtain car hire quotes from the following companies:

  • Avis
  • Bidvest Car Rental
  • Budget
  • Europcar
  • First Car Rental
  • Hertz
  • Sixt
  • Tempest Car Hire

A full range of vehicles was offered, including compact, standard and premium cars, plus SUVs and minivans with up to nine seats.

Driving tips for South Africa

Here are a few useful tips for drivers who haven’t visited South Africa before:

  • Drive on the left
  • Some national routes between cities are toll roads.
  • Major roads are generally surfaced and in good condition, but rural roads vary widely and are often unsurfaced (dirt) roads. Check with your rental company to see if they impose restrictions on the type of roads you can use.
  • Signs are in English. All speeds and distances are in kilometres. Be aware of speed limit signs as enforcement can be strict and without warning.
  • Be aware that while a driving holiday is a viable choice, distances are high.
  • Plan to use filling stations to fuel, use restrooms and buy refreshments. Try to avoid unscheduled stops.
  • Security: always keep your doors locked and windows closed in town or other areas where criminals may operate. Keep valuables/bags/etc out of sight at all times.
  • Traffic lights are known as ‘robots’ in South Africa!
  • Don’t stop for hitchikers or motorists apparently in distress, as these techniques are sometimes used by hijackers
  • Try to avoid driving at night

For more tips, check out the Arrive Alive campaign’s road safety advice for foreigners in South Africa.

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