South Africa is accessible by air from most world capitals with numerous weekly flights from Europe and the USA. The primary airports are OR Tambo International in Johannesburg and Cape Town International from which there are internal links to all the centres in the country. Most of the large international airlines have regular flights to South Africa.
Visitors must hold a valid passport that is valid for six months after departure from South Africa and visas may be needed. Passport holders of certain countries are exempt from visa requirements. For information on countries that do not need visas to visit South Africa click here.
If travelling to neighbouring countries and back to South Africa, apply for a multiple-entry visa. Visitors should have a return ticket and show that they can support themselves during their stay.
Air There are international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pilanesberg.
Driving South Africa's roads are good and driving is a great way of getting round. Any valid international driver's licence is accepted in South Africa, provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is printed in English. If your licence does not comply, you should obtain an International Driving Permit before departure. Driving is on the left and local cars are right-hand steering. Road sign distances and speed limits are in kilometres, speed limits range from 60km/h (37 mph) in urban areas, to 120km/h (75mph) on freeways. (For a quick conversion of kilometres into miles divide by eight and multiply by five.)
Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence, and traffic laws are strictly enforced. Some South African highways and roads are tolled so make sure you have currency. There are a number of international and local car hire companies that offer a range of good-quality vehicles to suit all needs and budgets.
Buses There are variety of bus companies that offer services between the major centres. Buses also operate in cities, but rarely late into the night.
Trains There are passenger services within the metropolitan areas but these are not usually recommended for tourists. There are also standard train services between the cities but these are basic and slow. More comfortable options include Rovos Rail and the famous Blue Train - said to be the most luxurious train in the world.
Johannesburg and Pretoria have recently been linked by the Gautrain which provides a high speed train service between the two cities as well as to and from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
Taxis Taxis can be called by your hotel reception or caught at ranks which will be found in key locations throughout major cities and towns. A tip, usually 10% to 15%, is acceptable. These taxis cannot be stopped on the street but minibus taxis used by many commuters can be, although these follow pre-determined routes and you may require help from other commuters to use the service.