Transport and Travel in South Africa

South Africa does have different types of public transport however it is very limited in the local towns and big cities. This is the reason why most expats prefer to purchase their own car to get around.


Many of the bus services are provided in the main cities of the country and expats may find it difficult to find a service in the rural areas.

The official bus provider in Johannesburg is Metrobus but the routes for this are quite limited and some may not be able to get to work using this service.

MyCiti is a bus service used in Cape Town which also has a shuttle bus service operating from the airport to the city. Another bus service in the country is run by the Golden Arrow and these are not very reliable just like the Inner city bus services as they generally do not come on time and it is recommended not to use these in the dark.

Greyhound, Intercape and Translux are coach companies used in South Africa which cover the major cities and some even offer coach rides to the neighbouring countries. Tickets must be brought in advance on the Compu ticket site.


The railway network is developed and has around 31,000Km of track with most part of the country being served.

The city Johannesburg has a high speed train ‘Gautrain’ which is reliable and has been running successfully since 2010. There are few routes available between Sandton, Pretoria and OR Tambo International airport but the disadvantage is that it is not a form of city wide transport.  This is very popular for commuters.

Many people no longer travel long distances because there are domestic cheap flights available. However, for tourists who want to see the countryside will use a train as the Blue train connects Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Luxury train providers include The blue train, Premier Classe and Rovos Rail.

Cape Town has its own rail services – IRT (Integrated Rapid Transit), these are fairly cheap and passengers get to see beautiful scenery on the train rides.

A bus link is also available in the northern suburbs but expats will find a lot of traffic.

Mini Bus Taxis

These are highly used by locals as public transport due to other modes of transport not being so reliable. The services are a cross between a bus and taxi service and it has an informal route system. For the mini bus taxi queues are long and spaced are cramped

Air Travel

Air travel is the best and easiest way to get around South Africa and the neighbouring countries with domestic flights available on the local airlines. There are eight main airlines which have domestic flights and the largest is National South African Airlines. The major cities are all connected and flight times are regular.

To travel by air expats will be able to book their tickets online.

Private planes are also available for expats flying to the bush, and if you want to get a private pilot’s license, this is the best place to so