The largest city in South Africa has a number of methods for transportation. Some methods are faster in service, while others are more affordable, depending on what visitors need for certain circumstances at the time.
Johannesburg airport is the largest airport in Africa and is the hub for South African Airways. It is the easiest way to reach the city by airplane. South African Airways has also a reputation for being safe and having good service. Many other airlines serve Johannesburg as part of their route, and you can fly directly to many cities in Europe, South America, North America, Australia, Middle East and Asia. A number of big-name car rental firms are present at the airport, so you will not be stuck for a ride. It is advisable to think about what you pack since the airport weighs your baggage before you leave home. The typical charge is one percent of first class airfare.
Train and Bus Travel
The Gautrain is an efficient and inexpensive way of getting from OR Tambo to Sandton if you opt out of a rental car. After construction was completed in 2011, many visitors have been satisfied with this service. The station is conveniently located within the airport, so there’s no need to step outside. The trains are new, modern and are akin to the trains in Italy with space designated specifically for luggage and bags. OR Tambo is the first stop of the line on your way to Sandton. The ride takes a little over 25 minutes at a cost that is cheaper than cab fare. There are machines to purchase your fares with either cash or credit cards. Be wary that the Gautrain train, bus, and parking systems work on a smart card program that you can purchase at a station, as the buses and trains will not accept cash. There is a one-time purchase fee for issuing the smart card.
Other transportation options are available besides the Gautrain system, such as Greyhound buses, taxi cabs, the Reya Vaya Bus System, the Metrobus, and Intercape Coaches. If you choose to drive a rental car, learning a few South African roadway tips will come in handy. Many of the road intersections you will encounter in South Africa are four-way stops, as this is a cheaper method of traffic control than traffic lights. The etiquette at four-way stops is quite simple: the first vehicle to reach the intersection is the first person to cross it. Stopping at four-way stops is mandatory even if there are no other vehicles. If the traffic lights are not functioning (either as a result of power cuts, cable theft or rain,) then the intersection should be treated as a 4 way stop. These traffic lights are commonly (and curiously) referred to as “robots” in South African English.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about transportation in Johannesburg.