Travel to Johannesburg

Flying to Johannesburg

British Airways, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic operate direct flights to Johannesburg from the UK. Delta and South African Airways run direct flights from the USA. Cheap flights to Johannesburg are available outside the peak summer travel season between December and March. But bear in mind that Johannesburg is a year-round destination.

Flight times

From London - 11 hours; New York - 15 hours; Los Angeles - 21 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 20 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 14 hours 20 minutes.

City Airports: 
Telephone:+27 11 921 6262

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


There are ATMs, banks and bureaux de change within the terminals.


Luggage storage facilities are managed by A-Tech (tel: +27 11 390 2318) and are available 24hrs at the airport. Porters can be found in the arrivals halls and are instantly recognisable thanks to their bright orange uniforms and ACSA badges – tipping is recommended. Visitors should not use unauthorised porters. For lost and found queries, contact the main airport information desk (tel: +27 11 921 6262).

Travel by road


Johannesburg is accessible from almost anywhere in the country. Driving is on the left and drivers must be aged 18 years or over. All vehicles must carry two red triangular warning chevrons to be placed 20m (66ft) in front of and behind the vehicle in case of breakdown or accident.

The speed limit is 60kph (37mph) in suburban and city areas, 80-100kph (50-62mph) in rural areas and 120kph (75mph) on national roads. The latter are toll roads. There are 24-hour service stations with convenience stores, restaurants and ATMs at regular intervals on major routes.

Foreign licences are valid if they are in English with a photograph of the holder, but the AA recommends an International Driving Permit to prevent potential complications. You must carry your licence at all times.

The main motoring organisation in South Africa is the AA (tel: +27 861 000 234;

Emergency breakdown service:

The AA (tel: 0861 000 234, in South Africa only).


The north-south road artery of South Africa, the N1, runs north to Johannesburg from Cape Town and Bloemfontein, and south from Pretoria and Zimbabwe. The N3 links to Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal coast. The N4 offers access to the west including Sun City, Botswana and Namibia, while the N4 Maputo Corridor goes east to Nelspruit and Mozambique. Access from Kruger National Park is via the R536, R40 and N4.

Driving times:

From Sun City - 2 hours 30 minutes; Kruger Park (Skukuza) - 5 hours 30 minutes; Durban - 6 hours; Cape Town - 14 hours.


Johannesburg is linked by deluxe and standard bus services from all major cities in South Africa and many other southern African cities including Bulawayo, Harare, Maputo and Windhoek. The Park City Transit Centre on Rissik Street is the terminus.

Coach operators include Intercape (tel: +27 21 380 4400;, Greyhound (tel: +27 11 611 8000; and Translux (tel: +27 861 589 282; The national booking agency Computicket (tel: +27 861 915 8000; provides centralised information and reservations for all routes.

The Baz Bus (tel: +27 21 422 5202; offers a hop-on hop-off backpackers’s bus service to Johannesburg from Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban.

Travel by rail


Trains to Johannesburg arrive at Park Station on Rissik Street, Braamfontein. This is the city's main long-distance rail and coach terminus, 1km (0.5 miles) from the centre of town. 

Although services are limited and slow, trains are a cheap way to travel. There's also a choice of luxury tourist train services.


Shosholoza Meyl (tel: + 27 86 000 8888; is South Africa's passenger train operator. Services from Johannesburg go to and from Durban, East London,Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. Simple accommodation is provided in compartments with four or six berths and there's a snack bar.

There are no direct trains direct to neighbouring countries.

The Premier Classe train (tel: +27 11 773 9247; runs between Johannesburg and Cape Town once a week, and offers a formal dining car and extras such as gowns and toiletries.

The Blue Train (tel: +27 12 334 8459; and Rovos Rail (tel: +27 12 315 8242; offer luxurious cabins with baths, digital entertainment, gourmet food and fine wines in elaborate dining cars. They both run between Pretoria and Cape Town via Johannesburg. The luxury Shongololo Express (tel: +27 11 486 4357; runs from Cape Town to Johannesburg and other sightseeing spots in southern Africa.

Journey times:

From Cape Town - 25 hours; Durban - 14 hours.

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.