Hiring a car from Bloemfontein airport

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Hiring a car from Bloemfontein airport

Pick up your rental car in Bloemfontein and head into town for some South Africa hospitality or out into the surrounding countryside to meet locals of the four legged variety.

60-second guide to Bloemfontein airport

In its own head...

"As the capital of the Free State we are as proud of our parks as we are our politics, and it is no surprise that our nickname is the 'city of roses'. Visitors can't help but fall in love with the natural beauty of our spectacular home."

...but more realistically

Bloemfontein's warm welcome means visitors don't feel as though they're just another punter passing through, and there are ample opportunities for animal lovers to go all David Attenborough, with big game and little critters aplenty.

The vibe

The vibe in Bloemfontein is an upbeat and energetic one.

The natives

The locals are famed for their warmth and hospitality - it's not uncommon to be invited home for dinner with a guy you just met in the pub.

The weather

Bloemfontein's continental climate means the city experiences hot summers and cool, dry winters; 2007 even saw snowfall in the middle of July.

The local speciality

Acquire a taste for ting - sour porridge made with sorghum flour, millet and maize. Its yogurt-like taste makes for a hearty breakfast dish.

The celebrity

JRR Tolkien, of The Lord Of The Rings fame, was born in Bloemfontein before moving to Birmingham.

Did you know?

The largest fire brigade museum in South Africa can be found in Bloemfontein and displays 17 vintage fire engines dating from 1926 to 1984.

They say

“If you're around in September, try to catch the ten-day Manguang African Cultural Festival, which fills the city with storytelling, poetry, art, music and dance and attracts people from all over the country.” – Rough Guides

5 to see in town...

1. Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Enjoy a stroll around the gardens of this art gallery, take in the exhibitions by local artists and then grab a bite to eat in the tearooms.

Where to park:

There is an on-site car park.

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2. Loch Logan Waterfront

Every holiday should have the opportunity for little retail therapy. Get your fix here at South Africa's largest mall and entertainment complex.

Where to park:

The on-site car park is open from 6am-midnight, seven days a week, and costs 80p for four hours.

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3. Hoffman Square

The Hoffman Square statue was erected to pay respects to the city's fallen soldiers of World Wars I, and II.

Where to park:

There is metered parking in many of the surrounding streets.

Book car hire bloemfontein airport

4. City Zoo

Want to stroke a cheetah? It's possible here. In fact, you can even have a sleepover among the wild animals - not in the cages though. That would violate all sorts of clauses in your travel insurance.

Where to park:

There is an on-site car park, which is free for visitors to the zoo.

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5. National Museum

The hub of all things historical and cultural in the city, the museum dates back to 1877. Exercise the grey cells and marvel at the Victorian street scene, working beehive and dinosaur skeletons.

Where to park:

You should find spaces on Aliwal Street; the museum is at number 36.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Nestled in the foothills of the Maluti mountains, pack a tent and see what you can shoot with your camera. Travellers who don't want to rough it can hire cute chalets, with private braai (barbecue) facilities.

How to get there:

Follow the N1 northeast and turn left at the N5 (signs for Winburg/Senekal). At Bethlehem, turn right for the R711 and continue onto the R712. The journey should take around four hours.

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2. Mountain Zebra National Park

Check out the park's magnificent stripy creatures, which have been rescued from extinction and encouraged to breed. They share their home with other endangered species, including cheetahs and black rhinos.

How to get there:

Take the N1 south towards Colesberg and turn left at the N9, then take the ramp onto the N10. The R337 leads to the park and the journey is around 260 miles.

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3. Valley of Desolation

Despite the gloomy name, this breathtaking sheer cliff face is set in the rather beautiful surrounds of Camdeboo National Park.

How to get there:

Follow the N1 southwest towards Middelburg, merging with the N9. Follow signs for Graff-Reinet and the national park - the journey should take between four and five hours.

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4. Maletsunyane Falls, Lesotho

It's only the highest waterfall in southern Africa, plunging 655 feet in a single drop.

How to get there:

Take the N8 east towards Maseru and cross the border into Lesotho. The A10 and then the A5 lead to the village of Semonkong and the falls. This small country has a mixture of sealed and unsealed roads, so it is worth checking your route carefully if you don't have four-wheel drive.

Book car hire bloemfontein airport