How do I get to and around South Africa?

A number of international airlines fly directly to South Africa’s major cities and a good network of domestic airlines makes it easy to reach even the smaller towns, while scheduled charter flights can take you directly into most private reserves. South Africa also has an excellent road network and a road trip is an ideal way to explore.

How do I get to and around South Africa?

A number of international airlines fly directly to South Africa’s major cities, with Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban the most popular destinations. A good network of domestic airlines makes it easy to reach even the smaller towns, while scheduled charter flights can take you directly into most private nature reserves. South Africa also has an excellent road network and a road trip is the ideal way to explore some of the country’s less known destinations. Public transport is not very well developed outside the major cities and it is a good idea to hire a car if you want to get around extensively.

A sophisticated network of domestic and regional flights links the main tourist destinations, as well as those of neighbouring countries. Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport services the Southern Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, while Eastgate Airport services the northern Kruger National Park, the Timbavati Reserve and Ngala Private Game Reserve.

Most private game reserves have their own private landing strips, including Phinda Private Game Reserve and Ngala Reserve. Airlink offers daily scheduled flights that connect Ngala Private Game Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve and the Sabi Sand Game Reserve to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Vilanculos, Livingstone and Maun.

While there is enough to keep you busy in South Africa for weeks on end, the ease of access to most of its highlights, including the game reserves, makes it easy to plan a worthwhile trip even if your time is limited.

Flights
Scheduled flights

A sophisticated network of domestic and regional flights links the main tourist destinations, as well as those of neighbouring countries. Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport services the Southern Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, while Eastgate Airport services the northern Kruger National Park and the Timbavati Reserve.

Shuttle / Charter flights

Many game lodges now have competitively priced shuttle flights directly from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. It is also possible to arrange private charters to almost anywhere in South Africa.

Transfers
Guided tours and groups

We tailormake minibus tours hosted by excellent local guides – including foreign-language speakers – and we have many years’ experience in designing and managing tours for larger groups. (Both special-interest groups and tour series).

Trains and coaches

Luxury trains like Rovos Rail and the Blue Train link principal destinations on routes such as Cape Town – Pretoria; Pretoria – Victoria Falls.

Self-drive

South Africa is an excellent self-drive destination and we highly recommend this method of seeing the country. Roads are in good condition and there is little traffic outside urban areas.

What to remember when travelling around South Africa

There are many different ways of travelling to South Africa, but most visitors fly to Johannesburg or to Cape Town. For most visitors coming from Europe, the UK or the USA, this is a long flight of several hours. Once in the country, different modes of transport are safe to use and are recommended.

Roads are in a very good condition, even in game reserves like the Kruger National Park, but keep in mind that South Africa is a vast country and it may take several hours to reach destinations. Public transport like minibus taxis and buses is not a recommended mode of transport.

What should I be aware of when driving in South Africa?

South Africans drive on the left and give way to the right. Drivers must have a valid driver’s licence, with photo, or an international driver’s permit. Seat-belts are mandatory. Driving in South Africa is easy to adapt to, with signposting in English and rental cars easily available in all major cities. There are a number of toll roads in South Africa that are clearly indicated well before reaching the toll stations, where payment may be made at an attended booth.

Overtaking on the inside is not illegal in South Africa and is a common practice. When changing lanes be aware of cars on the inside. In general, speed limits are 120 km/h (75 miles) on freeways and 60 km/h (37 miles) in towns and cities. When outside major towns and cities please be aware of potholes in some areas.

Ready to start planning your journey?

Enquire now

Explore South Africa

Use the filters below to browse our selection of hand-picked travel ideas in this iconic destination