Johannesburg is one of the main travel hubs in Africa and has two international airports - the lesser known Lanseria Airport and OR Tambo, the busiest airport in Africa.
When visiting South Africa, most travellers fly into Johannesburg and travel by road from there or fly on to other destinations in the country and throughout Africa. Flying via Johannesburg to/from smaller travel hubs is a popular option, because of the wide array of destinations you can access and the abundance of flights available.
For travelling within South Africa there are a few cheap domestic carriers, such as Mango and Kulula. You can catch domestic flights to and from Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban, East London,George, Port Elizabeth and more. For travel to Kruger National Park, South Africa's premier national park and top tourist destination, you can fly from OR Tambo to Hoedspruit, Nelspruit (Kruger International Airport) and Phalaborwa - all of which are located near Kruger Park. There are also the options of renting a car and driving to Kruger Park yourself, or travelling there with one of the many reputable tour operators. The drive takes about 5 hours with some of the routes passing through great scenery.
Some 70 airlines make use of the Johannesburg International Airport (OR Tambo), with non-stop flights heading to and from about 85 cities across the planet. Each week there are more than 48 non-stop flights to London alone, with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and South African Airways. The Johannesburg International Airport (OR Tambo) handles international flights between Johannesburg and the following destinations: Amsterdam, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Mauritius, Munich, Mumbai, Paris, Perth and Washington, among others.
Flights to and from Johannesburg and other destinations in Africa include Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Entebbe (Uganda), Gaborone (Botswana), Harare (Zimbabwe), Lilongwe (Malawi), Livingstone (Zambia), Maputo (Mozambique), Nairobi (Kenya), Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Windhoek (Namibia), as well as several smaller travel hubs throughout Africa. From Johannesburg you can also catch buses to neighbouring Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Flying to Johannesburg and then catching a bus or train is one of the cheapest ways to get to smaller destinations in the region.
The airport is conveniently located to provide easy access to accommodation in and around the city, travelling by taxi, bus and high-speed train. It takes under 20 minutes to travel between the international airport and the upmarket suburb of Sandton on the rapid train. Alternatively there are regular shuttle services departing every two hours, during the day (8h00 - 18h00), including the Magic Bus which a popular option. Acsa-accredited taxi services, found outside the arrivals terminal, are another recommended means of getting to the airport and away, with vehicles displaying the Acsa logo for easy identification. On most safaris your tour operator or overnight lodge will collect you from and drop you off at the Johannesburg International airport.
Winner of the Best Airport in Africa in the 2014 World Airport Awards - O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. As the busiest airport in Africa, Johannesburg International is the leading travel hub for southern Africa, serving more than 19 million passengers a year. An efficiently run and well-designed airport, this is South Africa's flagship airport, used as the main travel gateway to and from South Africa and its leading destination, Kruger Park. The airport now boasts the capacity to handle as many as 28 million passengers a year.
The airport was originally called Jan Smuts Airport, then renamed Johannesburg International Airport in 1994 and then again changed names in October 2006 to pay tribute to prominent anti-apartheid, freedom fighter Oliver Reginald Tambo. Johannesburg's international airport hosts over 40 airlines and is one of a handful of airports offering direct flights to some 6 continents. One of OR Tambo's claims to fame is its 4400m long runway, ranked as one of the longest international runways in the world.
O.R. Tambo is located in Kempton Park (Ekurhuleni), in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. The airport is in the Greater Johannesburg area, on the East Rand, some 24km from the Johannesburg city centre. Accommodation (lodge and hotel) is also available at the airport and nearby, along with car hire services. The airport is clean, relatively safe (be mindful of your luggage) and designed to cater for wheelchair access. The Jo'burg international airport features numerous restaurants, shops,bureau de change (currency exchange)outlets and even a massage parlour.
OR Tambo offers international flights between Johannesburg and Amsterdam, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Mauritius, Munich, Mumbai, Paris, Perth and Washington. Flights to and from other destinations in Africa include Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Entebbe (Uganda), Gaborone (Botswana), Harare (Zimbabwe), Lilongwe (Malawi), Livingstone (Zambia), Maputo (Mozambique), Nairobi (Kenya), Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Windhoek (Namibia), as well as several smaller travel hubs throughout Africa.
You can catch domestic flights to and from Cape Town, Durban, East London, George, Port Elizabeth and more. For travel to Kruger National Park, South Africa's premier national park and top tourist destination, you can fly to Hoedspruit, Nelspruit (Kruger International Airport) and Phalaborwa - all of which are located near Kruger Park.
Situated northwest of Johannesburg, just north of the suburbs of Randburg and Sandton, this small airport is privately owned and therefore sometimes offers cheaper flights given the reduced airport taxes.
Lanseria handles domestic flights from Cape Town and Durban with budget airlines - Kulula and Mango, along with Air Botswana flights from Gaborone in Botswana. From Lanseria you can catch a shuttle or a taxi to Sandton, where you can transfer to the rapid train, the Gautrain. This airport is closer to Pretoria and both Westrand and Midrand in Johannesburg than the OR Tambo Airport is.
Take a day long or half day township tour to Soweto for a taste of the day-to-day life that the masses of South Africans experience. Visit Baragwaneth Hospital, Twin Towers, Hector Peterson Museum, Vilakazi Street, Regina Mundi Church, Freedom Square and Orlando Soccer Stadium. Try traditional beer and local food, go to Alexandra Township, tour Lesedi Cultural Village and encounter some of the South Africa's diverse ethnic groups.
See South Africa's turbulent history in vivid detail and find out more about the anti-apartheid struggle that brought the country to democracy in 1994. This state of the art museum houses 22 exhibition areas featuring films, photographs and descriptions of the historical events in 20th century South Africa. Other historical highlights include Gold Reef City, Liliesleaf Farm, Parktown, The Fort, Constitutional Court, Prison No. 4, the Voortrekker Monument and Vlakplaas.
The Inner City of Johannesburg is part of an extensive city revival project and with places like the Maboneng Precinct, the Historical Core, Main Street Mine area, Newtown and 44 on Stanley - a must see for the intrepid city explorer.
Take the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour of Johannesburg or the city and Soweto, to get an overview of this dynamic place, stopping at highlights such as Constitution Hill, Gold Reef City and the Origins Centre. Take a walking tour of the CBD or head off on a Mining District Tour or Public Art Tour.
Find out more about our prehistoric descendents at the renowned Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, an active archeological site. Also go into the Sterkfontein Caves in Maropeng to view impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
Johannesburg is a shoppers' paradise, dotted with upmarket malls like Sandton City, Rosebank Mall and trendy 44 Stanley. The city has foodie streets lined with fine establishments serving up diverse culinary creations. The city buzzes with life at night, for those in search of swanky bars, glitzy clubs, theaters and live music.
Walk around and picnic in these pretty gardens featuring natural vegetation, manicured grounds and beautiful waterfall, looking out for the pair of breeding Verreaux's Eagles. There's also a restaurant in the gardens.
Located 6km's from the CBD this peaceful park hosts rose and herb gardens and over 30 000 trees, along with three dams, one of them being Emmarentia Dam, where watersports are offered.
Situated north of Johannesburg this farm offers the adventurous a chance to hold snakes and even baby crocodiles or just see these slithery creatures up close, as well as the hairy tarantula.