Johannesburg is a sprawling city and the lack of convenient and safe public transport is often an obstacle to visitors. City transport consists of an unreliable bus network and a series of minibus taxi routes, neither of which operate much after dark.
The main bus terminus is at Gandhi Square in the city centre where there are timetables and route maps, but times are rarely accurate. Gautrain bus services only run to stops around Sandton. Alternatively, a sightseeing bus provides hop-on hop-off tours around the city in open-topped buses.
The quickest and cheapest way to get around is on a minibus taxi, an informal bus service that goes everywhere but has no schedule or formal stops and can be picked up at taxi ranks or hailed anywhere along its route. However, dangerous driving, overcrowding, and high crime rates at taxi ranks have deterred many from using them as a means of transport. If necessary, use them for short hops only and never with baggage.
Safer but far more expensive are metered taxis, which need to be booked in advance. The best way to get around is by private car and there is an excellent network of highways and well-maintained roads. There are a number of car rental agencies that require drivers to be over 23 years old and hold a full driving license. Uber also operates in the city.
A passport and credit card are also necessary. Drivers should keep their windows up and doors locked at all times, never leave anything visible in a parked car, and never stop for hitchhikers. They should also be aware that there is a risk of car hijacking. Visitors should remain alert, especially when leaving or returning to their car, and seek out secure parking.
The airport is 12.7 miles (20.5km) east of Johannesburg.
Johannesburg Airport (JNB)
LocationThe airport is 12.7 miles (20.5km) east of Johannesburg.
Getting to the city
The Gautrain provides fast and easy access to the Johannesburg city centre from the airport, with regular express trains to Sandton. An airport bus departs regularly to the city centre. Authorised shuttle buses and taxis are available; these display the ACSA logo on their vehicles. Hotel shuttle buses depart every 15 minutes from the bus terminal.
Car rental companies represented at the airport include Avis, Tempest, and Europcar.
A metered taxi will take 30-40 minutes to the city centre. Taxis wait opposite the international arrivals terminal (Terminal A). Only official metered taxis should be taken.
Transfer between terminals
The terminals are all connected.
Facilities at the airport include bureaux de change, banks, a post office, shops, restaurants and bars, viewing decks, a medical clinic, conference rooms, accommodation, free wifi, and a prayer room.
Short- and long-term parking is available at OR Tambo Airport.