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OR Tambo International Airport

South Africa’s major international and domestic airport is OR Tambo International Airport. It's about 25km east of central Johannesburg.

If you’re in a hurry to get around South Africa, some domestic flights are definitely worth considering. Smaller budget airlines Kulula, FlySafair and Mango link Jo’burg with major destinations.

For regular flights to national and regional destinations try South African Airways, Airlink and SA Express. All flights can be booked through SAA, which also has offices in the domestic and international terminals of OR Tambo.

Transport Options

The rapid-transit Gautrain offers a direct service between the airport and Jo'burg. There are Gautrain stations at Sandton, Rosebank and Park Station. A one-way ticket to Park Station costs R162 (it's R151 to Sandton), on top of which you will have to pay R16 (non-refundable) for the Gautrain card.

Airport transfers to locations in Jo'burg and Pretoria (as well as places further afield) can be arranged through any of the following:

Airport Shuttle

Citybug

Magic Transfers

Lowveld Link

Get You There Transfers

By car, the airport is easily accessible (via the R24 and the N12), but if you need to get there during the weekday rush hour (5pm to 7pm) allow up to an extra hour’s travelling time.

Most hostels will collect you from the airport for free. Guesthouses and hotels will also arrange pick-ups but usually for about the same charge as a taxi (around R500). If taking a taxi, ensure that you choose an authorised firm while still inside the terminal building – don't go with taxi touts outside as rip-offs are common.

Lanseria Airport

Jo'burg's second airport, Lanseria, is about 42km northwest of the city. It's often cheaper to fly in and out of Lanseria as it's a smaller airport.

It's a joy to rent a car here and drive onto near-empty roads. There is no public transport from the airport.

Bus

There are a number of international bus services that leave Jo’burg from the Park Station complex and head for Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

The main long-distance bus lines (national and international) also depart from and arrive at the Park Station transit centre, in the northwestern corner of the site, where you’ll also find their booking offices.

The nearest large town to Kruger National Park is Nelspruit. Phalaborwa is a good option if you’re staying at a more northerly Kruger National Park camp such as Olifants.

Baz Bus Connects Jo’burg with the most popular parts of the region (including Durban, the Garden Route and Cape Town) and picks up at hostels in Jo’burg and Pretoria, saving you the hassle of going into the city to arrange transport. (Note that Baz Bus no longer services Swaziland.) All hostels have current timetables and prices. A seven-day travel pass costs R2600.

City to City National and international bus services.

Greyhound Highly recommended national and international bus services.

Intercape National and international bus services.

Translux National and international bus services.

Car

All the major car-rental operators have counters at OR Tambo and at various locations around the city, including Park Station. Cars can also be delivered and picked up from wherever you plan to stay in Jo'burg. Many offer deals with unlimited mileage.

Hitching

We say don’t hitch. If you’re strapped for cash, you could ask about share-drives. These are often advertised in the weekly newspaper Junk Mail (www.junkmail.co.za); most hostels also have noticeboards with details of free or shared-cost lifts.

Train

Long-distance train services link Jo’burg with a number of destinations including Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Komatipoort and Nelspruit. A number of these services have sleeper compartments. Tickets can be booked through Shosholoza Meyl or at Jo’burg’s Park Station.