What you need to know about flights to Johannesburg
Johannesburg – or Jo’burg for short – is perhaps South Africa’s most iconic city. The city’s fascinating past and incredible natural setting make it a popular holiday destination and there are plenty of regular flights to Johannesburg available from across the UK.
When’s the best time to book flights to Johannesburg?
Johannesburg’s proximity to the equator and high elevation give it a unique subtropical climate with only two distinct seasons and little variation in weather. Summer runs from October to April and with it comes hot and humid conditions – the afternoon sunshine is often interrupted by sudden thunderstorms. It’s wise to pack an umbrella but sun cream is a must as the city has an extremely high UV index due to its unique location, some 5,700 feet above sea level. The best time to find cheap tickets to Johannesburg is during the summer months, although they can be a little more expensive during December and January. Winter – from May to September – has dry, sunny days and cold nights and can be the best time to visit the regions famous safari parks, as foliage is at a minimum and animal sightings are easier.
Where can I fly to Johannesburg from?
With South Africa a popular destination with British holidaymakers, there are plentiful options for getting to Johannesburg. It’s easiest to find direct flights from London Heathrow, the UK’s main long-distance hub. National carriers British Airways and South African Airways both provide daily return flights to Johannesburg from Heathrow, as do Virgin Atlantic. There are also 1-stop flights available from other UK cities, including Birmingham and Manchester. If travelling on a budget, you’ll find a number of airlines provide relatively cheap flights to Johannesburg, including Turkish Airlines, but expect at least one stop along the way.
Getting from the airport to Johannesburg
O. R. Tambo International Airport, named after a former President of the African National Congress, is the primary hub for international travel to South Africa. It is also Africa’s busiest airport with roughly 19 million visitors passing through every year. Located around 13 miles to the northeast of Johannesburg, the airport is connected to the city centre via the R24 motorway. The easiest way to travel to central Jo’burg is to jump in a metered taxi, which will likely set you back around 400 ZAR. There are also a number of private bus companies – such as Rea Vaya – that operate regular services from the airport to the city centre and offer a much cheaper option than travelling by taxi.
Johannesburg: Birthplace of an icon
With magnificent sports stadia and soaring skyscrapers in the city centre and sprawling townships on the city’s western outskirts, Johannesburg, the capital of Gauteng Province is a city of contrasts. It was in one of these townships, Soweto, that legendary leader Nelson Mandela was born and raised. His former home is now a national museum and a poignant symbol of the nation’s rebirth.
Johannesburg When to Go
In the world of South African weather, Cape Town is often too cool and wet, Durban is often too hot and humid, and Johannesburg—at 5,700 feet above sea level on the inland plateau of Highveld—is often just right, with sunny days and balmy evenings. Sure, it bakes on some summer days (think 95 degrees), but the scalding temperatures are often broken by brisk breezes and booming thunderstorms—which make the summer months of November, December, and January the rainiest of the year. In fact, some claim that Johannesburg is the most lightning-struck city on earth.
Winters can get pretty chilly, with frost in the mornings, though it’s only snowed here about a half-dozen times. Come August, the winds can get strong enough to blow a yellow haze down from the surrounding mines.
If you’re worried about finding an event to catch while you’re in town, don’t be. Thanks to Joburg’s size and diversity, there’s something for everyone, anytime. The FNB Dance Umbrella (February–March) showcases up-and-coming choreographers over a three-week stretch. The Joburg Art Fair (September) is one of the continent’s biggest expos of African art, photography, and furniture, and the same month brings Arts Alive—with poetry, dance, art, and internationally known pop and rap musicians—to some of the biggest stadiums in the city. The Joy of Jazz (August) features some 200 musicians, many of whom play at the clubs of the hip Newtown neighborhood. And the world’s second-biggest timed bicycle race—with 30,000 participants—rolls out on the third Sunday of November, rain or shine.
Fare, taxes & fees: Fares were found on ebookers.com and are updated daily. They include all taxes and fees, except baggage fees.
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Other conditions: Schedules, fares and rules are subject to change without notice. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights/dates or in all markets. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly/partially unused ticket. Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. Fare rules are provided for the selected itinerary before booking.