Travelling to South Africa

Almost all visitors from abroad fly to South Africa. The main hub for international flights is OR Tambo International Airport on the outskirts of Johannesburg, but some carriers also operate international flights to Cape Town and/or Durban.

The national carrier SAA, operates an extensive network of flights between Johannesburg and a large number of major cities in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and elsewhere in Africa. Almost all visitors from abroad fly to South Africa. The main hub for international flights is OR Tambo International Airport on the outskirts of Johannesburg, but some carriers also operate international flights to Cape Town and/or Durban.

The national carrier SAA, operates an extensive network of flights between Johannesburg and a large number of major cities in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and elsewhere in Africa.

Most major international carriers operate direct flights between their home country and South Africa, among them Air China, Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, EgyptAir, EL AL, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad, Iberia, Kenya Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar, RwandAir, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Turkish Airlines and Virgin Atlantic,. Particularly coming from a major European city such as London or Paris, there might be dozens of indirect options and you can save a lot of money by shopping around.

Travelling to South Africa_Cape Town International Airport Cape Town International Airport was ranked the best airport in Africa | Credit: Cape Town Etc

It is also possible to enter South Africa overland from the neighbouring countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, but you’d only be likely to do so as part of an extended overland trip through Africa.

There are overland borders with the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland, the former surrounded entirely and the latter on three sides by South Africa. It’s highly unlikely anybody would enter South Africa directly via either of these small countries, but some itineraries pass through them (Swaziland in particular) in which case any visitor who requires a visa should apply for multiple-entry.


Popular South Africa Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Elephant on Game Drive

Cape Town and Kruger Luxury Safari

Combine Cape Town and the surrounding Cape Winelands with a…

South Africa and Botswana safari

Experience the best of two of southern Africa's gems

Luxury South Africa to Zimbabwe safari

Spot the Big Five in Thornybush Private Game Reserve and enjoy…

Big Five South African safari

Get the best possible chance to see the Big Five wildlife in…

Stunning view from the Rovos Rail

Luxury South Africa

Combine Cape Town chic with Africa's most luxurious train and…

Big Five in the Kruger National Park

Encounter the Big Five safari and discover the elusive leopard

Thornybush Game Reserve Safari

Enjoy the city life in Johannesburg and track the Big Five in…

5 Day Greater Kruger & Sabi Sands safari

Enjoy an authentic African safari. Game viewing possibilities…

15-day Kruger, Cape Town, Mauritius Bush and Beach safari

Spend your days discovering the fine beaches of Cape Town,…

Romantic view

Cape Town, Kruger and Vic Falls Deluxe Honeymoon

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into…


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South Africa visa requirements and fees

All visitors must present a passport upon arrival at their port of entry. This must be valid until at least 30 days after the end of their intended stay, and must have at least one blank page to accommodate entry and exit stamps. Technically, visitors should also have a return or onward…

Getting around in South Africa

A good network of domestic flights connects Johannesburg and Cape Town to other major cities such as Mbombela (for the Kruger Park), Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and George (for the Garden Route). Trunks roads are all surfaced and well maintained, so self-drive is a straightforward…

South Africa vs Botswana

Botswana is known for its pristine wildlife destinations and natural world wonders Botswana is a more pure wildlife destination than South Africa. Its main safari reserves, for instance the Okavango and Chobe, are less accessible than their South African counterparts, far wilder in feel,…