Getting around Johannesburg

Public transport

Metrobus (tel: +27 860 562 874; offers scheduled services within the Greater Johannesburg metropolitan area between 0600-1900. Most routes start and finish in Gandhi Square bus terminus, corner of Main and Rissik Streets, and cover six zones. Fares depend on how many zones are crossed. You can buy pre-paid tickets from Computicket (tel: +27 861 915 8000; kiosks in shopping malls, which are cheaper than buying onboard fares.

Gautrain (tel +27 800 4288 7246; is a modern train service linking Johannesburg Park Station with OR Tambo International Airport and Pretoria.

Metrorail (tel: +27 11 773 5878; provides daily train links to many parts of Greater Johannesburg but is considered to be unsafe for visitors.


Shared minibus taxis are fast and cheap but not necessarily safe; some are poorly maintained. They depart when full, pick up anywhere and serve the main routes between 0500-2100. The main city minibus rank is at the Metro Mall on Ntemi Piliso Street, Newtown.

Metered taxis are much more expensive but safer and more convenient than minibuses. You can't hail them in the street but you can pre-order them during the day, night and for day trips. Although journeys are metered, you should ask the driver for an estimated price before setting out.

Rose Taxis (tel: +27 11 403 0000) and Maxi Taxi Cabs (tel: +27 11 648 1212) are recommended.


Johannesburg's roads and highways are excellent and parking is more than adequate, with purpose-built multi-storey car parks across the city. If parking on the street, it is customary to pay a few Rand to security guards identifiable by a badge or work vest.

Expect traffic congestion during rush-hour periods. The main road hazards are poor driving, lack of visible traffic policing and the threat of attack by smash-and-grab thieves and armed hijackers. You should never stop for hitchhikers or at accident scenes and always keep your doors locked and windows up. After dark, many motorists also (illegally) ignore red traffic lights for safety reasons.

Car hire

A hired car is the easiest way to get around Johannesburg, especially for excursions to outlying areas. Major companies include Avis (tel: +27 11 492 0069;, Europcar (tel: +27 11 390 3909; and Tempest (tel: +27 11 578 8300;

Third-party insurance is included in the rates but comprehensive or full-cover insurance is usually offered as an optional extra and is highly recommended, particularly against theft. You must be at least 23 years old, and have a credit card and International Driving Licence, unless your national licence is printed in English with a photograph.

Bicycle hire

Bike Life, 198 Oxford Road, Sandton (tel: +27 872 310 180; can arrange bicycle hire. 

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.