World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > South Africa

Travel to South Africa

Flying to South Africa

There are many flights to South Africa from Europe, North America and Asia. The national airline is South African Airways ( which runs direct flights from various destinations in UK and the USA to Johannesburg.

British Airways ( and Virgin Atlantic ( also offer direct flights from London to Johannesburg. British Airways has a direct service between London and Cape Town, and runs a direct flight between London and Durban starting winter 2018.

Delta ( flies to Johannesburg from Atlanta. From Southeast Asia, Singapore Airlines ( flies direct to Johannesburg from Singapore.

Flights tend to be more expensive in December and January, while April and May are usually cheaper.

Major airporst are: Cape Town International Airport, Durban King Shaka International Airport, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport and Port Elizabeth Airport.

Airport Guides

Cape Town International Airport




Cape Town International Airport is located 18km (11 miles) east of Cape Town.


+27 21 937 1200

Cape Town

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Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport




Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport is located 22km (14 miles) east of Johannesburg, and about 35km (20 miles) south of Pretoria.


+27 11 921 6262

O R Tambo Airport Road

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Port Elizabeth Airport




Port Elizabeth Airport is situated within Port Elizabeth, approximately 3.2km (2 miles) south of the business district.


+27 41 507 7319

Alister Miller Drive
Port Elizabeth

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Durban King Shaka International Airport




Durban King Shaka International Airport is located 35km (22 miles) north of central Durban.


+27 32 436 6758

King Shaka Drive
La Mercy

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Flight times

To Johannesburg: from London - 11 hours 5 minutes; New York - 14 hours 40 minutes.

To Cape Town: from London - 11 hours 35 minutes; New York - 18 hours 35 minutes (including stopover).

Departure tax


Travelling to South Africa by Rail

South Africa’s railway network is sadly under-developed and there is little cohesion between neighbouring countries. That makes arriving by train unfeasible, unless you can afford the luxurious Rovos Rail ( which runs occasionally to and from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Swakopmund in Namibia and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

Driving to South Africa

There are several borders you can cross to get into South Africa if you are entering the country by car and border posts are open daily. The main border posts are:

• Namibia Vioolsdrift / South Africa, open 24 hours
• Mozambique Komatiepoort / South Africa, 0700-2200
• Botswana Tlokweng / South Africa, 0700-2200
• Zimbabwe Beitbridge / South Africa, 0600-2200
• Swaziland Oshoek / South Africa, 0700-2200

Coach operator Intercape (tel: +27 21 380 4400; runs regularly to and from points in Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Driving note

Distances are very long and roads are not always well maintained, sometimes making arriving by road an adventure, not a doddle.

Getting to South Africa by boat

Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth all have major ports. For more information regarding the ports, contact Transnet National Ports Authority (

Cruise ships

Several international cruise liners call at Cape Town and Durban.

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