Laid-back and family orientated, the city of Bismarck in North Dakota, USA is a great destination for your typical American vacation. Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota with 130,000 residents. The city offers wholesome fun, afternoons spent swimming with friends and family and artistic culture found in local galleries. Attractions include the State Capitol and Dakota Zoo.
Cheap flights to Bismarck are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to be welcomed by this beautiful city. Bismarck is home to Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS), which is located on a 10-minute drive from the city centre. Bismarck Municipal Airport serves a multitude of airlines, including Delta Airlines, American Airlines and other regional carriers. Popular connecting flights depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town. The flight duration is approximately 23 hours and 45 minutes.
Popular flights to Bismarck
* Please note that the prices are subject to availability and block out dates do apply over peak season.
Why visit Bismarck
With over 600 species of animal and bird life, the Dakota Zoo is more of a sanctuary and aims to educate, rather than entertain.
McDowell Dam Nature Park
This man-made lake and recreational park is great for a day out with the friends and kids too. Pack in your sunblock for swimming and sunbathing in the summer, and cool walks in autumn.
Having started with a dream to show off the beauty of Lake Missouri to visitors, the family-operated Lewis and Clarke Riverboat cruise now does daily trips – a must for any visitor to Bismarck!
Essential details you need to know before your trip
United States of America
United States Dollar (USD)
1 ZAR = 0.08 USD
Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS)
Type A / B
Best time to visit Bismarck
The best time to visit Bismarck would depend on what your plans in the city are. Summers in Bismarck (June to August) are hot and somewhat humid, and great for river swimming and sunbathing – with lots of sunblock, of course. The state of North Dakota also throws some great Fourth of July parties annually.
Winter is the polar opposite, with icy temperatures and occasional snowfall in the city which is wonderful for building snowmen with the kids. Ideally though, the most optimal time to visit would be in autumn (September to November). During this time the weather is pleasant and the city comes alive with the beauty of amber and bronze leaves everywhere. It is also a wonderful time to go for walks in the many parks and walking trails along Bismarck.
Weather & Climate in Bismarck
Average temperature (°C) & rainfall levels (mm) per month
On your visit to Bismarck, one thing is for certain and that is that you cannot visit the city without taking a slow boat cruise down the Missouri River. The calm waters are a great way to spend an early evening on the Lewis and Clarke Riverboat. Don’t forget to look out for the 19-story state capital which is the city’s leading landmark! Called “the skyscraper of the prairie”, it has a lookout point on the 18th floor and is open to visitors keen to take in the sights.
One of the sweet points of interest would definitely be the Dakota Zoo. Not only does the zoo encourage conservation and partner up with nearby schools to teach children about looking after our wildlife, the zoo also runs an adoption policy. You may not be able to take your yellow Macau or African zebra home with you, but you can sponsor the care for a particular animal of your choice.
For a fun-filled afternoon out in the summer time, head down to the beautiful McDowell Dam Nature Park. There are lovely little walking paths, picnic spots, paddleboats for rent and plenty of space for swimming and sunbathing. Not just a summer spot, the park is perfect for those spring and autumn strolls and impromptu relaxed outdoor meals that memories are made of.
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South Africans who wish to visit Bismarck, North Dakota in the USA will need a visa to do so. The process has been known to take a long time, so it’s best to start as early as possible. You will need to complete your application and submit numerous documents, as well as schedule an appointment with the US Embassy in your city.
For more information, please contact the Embassy of the United States of America, in Pretoria:
877 Pretorius St,
Tel: 012 431 4000
Safety in Bismarck is top of the agenda for law enforcement in the city. As the city and state of North Dakota are constantly growing, it is always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings at all times. It is not recommended to walk around alone in the evenings, especially near the downtown area and train stations. That said, there are no slum areas in the city.
There are no vaccines required for your trip to the USA, but it is always important to go for your routine check-ups and to speak to your doctor before any international travelling.