To and from OR Tambo Airport

Tourists arriving at OR Tambo International Airport have the option of catching a shuttle bus, renting a car or taking a metered taxi to their hotel.

A public transport information desk can be found on the public concourse in domestic arrivals. (Image: Sawubona)

Brand South Africa Reporter

Tourists arriving at OR Tambo International Airport (formerly Johannesburg International) have the option of catching a shuttle bus, renting a car or taking a metered taxi to their hotel. A public transport information desk can be found on the public concourse in domestic arrivals.

The airport is 21km from the city centre, or about a half-hour drive from most major parts of the city.

The Gautrain

The Gautrain, a rapid rail network, has a line from the airport to Sandton, from where you can change to catch another train to Johannesburg. Total travel time is around 25 minutes. Find the station one level below departures in the Central Terminal building.

Hotel shuttle bus services

Most of the big hotels operate their own shuttle bus services to and from the airport, which visitors are advised to make use of. Book your seat in advance when you make your room reservation to ensure that you are met at the airport. You can also make arrangements by calling your hotel on arrival.

Minibus services

Minibus services to various key parts of the city are also available, and are generally cheaper than taxis.

Make sure you book one of the commercial services with kiosks inside the airport (in the arrivals hall). There are plenty of informal minibus services for hire at the airport, but their quality of service cannot be guaranteed.

Car rental

Cars are readily available for hire at the airport. But be warned: the spaghetti- like freeway interchanges between the airport and the city are not easily negotiated by novices, who are liable to get lost quickly.

All the major car rental agencies serve OR Tambo, and you should have no problems finding a car to suit both your pocket and your required level of comfort and performance. The agencies’ kiosks are all to be found in the domestic arrivals public concourse, and a golf cart shuttle service operates to and from the parking areas.

  • For rental company websites, see the box on the right.

Meter taxis

Metered taxis, recognisable by the yellow “taxi” lights on the car roofs, are available at the airport. While these are considerably more expensive than the bus services, they can drop you directly at the front door of your destination.

Although locals tend to avoid metered taxis, foreigners may find this the quickest form of transport and the tariffs relatively affordable.

Ignore the people offering you lifts inside the building – they’re unlicensed taxis who may end up charging you more. Head instead for the taxi rank, located just outside the arrivals area.

The journey to the centre of Johannesburg should take 30 to 45 minutes. Check that the driver is familiar with your address, and insist they use the meter. Minibus taxis will transport larger groups of up to 12 passengers.

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.