The capital city is served by Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport (JNB), and operates as key international hub for the African continent. The facilities in this airport are very comprehensive, with information desks, mobile phone hire, foreign exchange services, ATMs, a post office, duty-free shopping, restaurants, cafes and bars, plus free WiFi.
The airport is only 20km from downtown Johannesburg, and private buses and taxis usually carry out transport into the city. Hopping into a cab will run you around 250ZAR ($24) depending on traffic.
Discover South Africa’s flagship city by booking flights with carriers like South African Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air Mauritius, Qatar Airways, British Airways, Air China, Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, FlyNiki, and Emirates.
Why visit Johannesburg?
The City of Gold is one of South Africa’s most dynamic cities. Having been the site of much internal struggle within the country, this urban powerhouse has now emerged as the commercial and financial hub of the nation, and to this day houses many of South Africa’s most important cultural museums, galleries and institutions. Visitors to this city will be able to explore its past, meet its incredibly friendly people, eat the delicious cuisine, and explore the jaw-dropping scenery that lies just beyond the city borders. Welcome to Jo’burg.
Things to do in Johannesburg
Explore Johannesburg through the eyes of South Africa’s most famous son, Nelson Mandela. Visit Mandela House, and learn about this great man and his fight against apartheid. If you can, combine this with a visit to the fascinating Apartheid Museum, and a tour of Soweto, a Johannesburg suburb that came to light internationally in the 1970s for the Soweto Uprising, another chapter in South Africa’s fight for democracy. Constitution Hill is also an important attraction, having been a former prison for political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.
Once you’ve delved into the history of the city, why not look into its art world, by stepping into the wonderful Wits Art Museum, which houses a remarkable collection of South African art. There is also the Johannesburg Art Gallery has displays of European and South African artists, including world famous painters like Monet and Picasso.
Of course, many use Johannesburg as their gateway to some of its extraordinary surrounds. Visit the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage site, due to importance as a major paleo-anthropological site. Scientists estimate that our human ancestors lived in this very place over three million years ago.
As for any adventurous souls, Kruger National Park is one of South Africa’s most famous parks, and is a spectacular place to safari. Bring your camera, and you will be able to capture the storied Big 5: the lion, the buffalo, the elephant, rhinoceros and leopard.
Best time to visit Johannesburg
· Autumns, from March to May are probably the best time to see Johannesburg. The weather is pretty dry, and the daily averages are 18-23°C, perfect for touring the city streets.
· The city is wonderful in spring (September-November) when the days usually rise to 22-24°C, though this season is subject to showers throughout the day.
· Summers are nice and warm with highs of 26°C and plenty of tourists, whilst winters can see lows of 4°C, so pack layers if you visit during this time.
Arriving in Johannesburg
· Sydney (SYD) and Perth (PER) operate direct flights to Johannesburg, but all other flights are usually sent via Singapore (SIN).
· South African Rand (ZAR).
· Australian nationals will be granted a stay of 90 days upon arrival and shouldn’t need to apply for permission to enter before they fly. Please note that South Africa requires its Australian travellers to have six months validity on their passport. Before you travel, make sure you head over to the smart traveller portal, as there are new restrictions on children travelling to the country.
Please note that information is correct as of September 2016
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