Getting to and around Cape Town

Head for the big mountain with the flat top...

Whether you choose to come solely to Cape Town or include it as part of a larger itinerary, most visitors to South Africa travel to Cape Town. Direct flights from Europe and the United States mean that it's easily accessible. Travelling from the United Kingdom or from Europe has the added benefit of no jet lag! It's on the same time zone and it's an overnight flight so you can hit the road running when you touch down on our sunny shores!

Cape Town is THE place to visit. Because of its popularity, flights to Cape Town are often full, making booking well in advance an absolutely must!

  • Cape Town Airport lies 22.5km south east of Cape Town city centre - about a 20 minute car journey.
  • The Airport was immaculately refurbished and renovated in 2010 and is now a World Class facility.
  • The major international carriers into Cape Town Airport include: British Airways, Lufthansa, South African Airways, Virgin, Air France and KLM.
  • The major domestic carriers are: South African Airways, British Airways. Mango, Kulula, Velvet Sky and 1Time.

Cape Town Airport is the second largest airport in South Africa (second to Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport) and is a prime tourism gateway into Africa. Because the airport is often your first encounter with South Africa, it aims for world class service and strives to offer everything a passenger might need – from accommodation to a VIP Room. In fact, Cape Town International Airport has been awarded the World Travel Awards’ leading airport in Africa award for six consecutive years.

These airlines fly to and from Cape Town International Airport:

  •     Air Mauritius : Tel +27 (0)21 421 6294
  •     Air Namibia : Tel +27 (0)21 936 2755
  •     BA Comair : Tel +27 (0)21 936 9000
  •     British Airways : Tel +27 (0)21 936 9000
  •     Civair : Tel +27 (0)21 934 4488
  • : Tel +27 (0) 861 585 852
  •     Kenya Airways : Tel +27 (0) 935 3200
  •     Emirates Airlines : Tel +27 (0)11 303 1951
  •     KLM : Tel +27 (0) 935 8500
  •     Lufthansa : Tel +27 (0)21 415 3735
  •     Malaysia Airlines : Tel +27 (0)21 419 7607
  •     Nationwide : Tel +27 (0)21 936 2050
  •     SAA : Tel +27 (0)21 936 2230
  •     Singapore Airlines : Tel +27 (0)21 934 5941
  •     Virgin Atlantic : Tel +27 (0)21 936 8000
  •     1 Time Airline : Tel +27 (0)21 036 3040

Getting Around Cape Town

Most first time visitors are surprised by how small Cape Town actually is. A small city cradled in the natural amphitheatre between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. There are several ways of getting around Cape Town...

Car Hire

If you are looking to maintain your independence then Cape Town Car Hire is the easiest way of getting around. Locals joke that its almost impossible to get lost in Cape Town, as you simply need to look up at the Mountain to orientate yourself. Driving takes place on the same side of the road as the United Kingdom. Many of the Western Cape's prime tourist destinations such as the Cape Peninsula, the Winelands and Hermanus are within driving distance from the city centre. You can pick up your hire car at Cape Town Airport or have your car dropped off at your hotel.

Cape Town has an extensive network of National , Metropolitan and Regional highways. Surfaces are generally in very good condition.

Driver Licenses

This must be carried at all times. Foreign licenses are valid, provided that they carry a photograph and are either printed in English or accompanied by an English Language certificate of authenticity. There is currently some debate whether international visitors need an International Driving Permit, and therefore it is best to speak to your Rhino Africa Travel Consultant about obtaining the latest information.


Third Party cover is essential in South Africa. The insurance on our car hire packages ranges from Standard to Super Cover. Speak to your Rhino Africa consultant about the most appropriate package for your hire car requirements.


Cape Town, its suburbs and outlying centres and main routes are well provided with fuel outlets and service stations. Many are open 24 hours. Petrol is sold in litres and a petrol attendant will fill your car. Most petrol stations only accept cash, but most have an ATM on the premises.

Car Guards

Official Car Guards operate in the city centre and have computerised ticketing system around their necks. They will tell you how much you owe when you return to your car. Unofficial Car Guards spring up everywhere else. We suggest that you tip the Car Guards between R2,00 and R5,00.

Road Rules and Signs

In Cape Town we drive on the left. The general speed limit on major routes is 120kph, on secondary roads it's 100kph and in built up areas it's 60kph unless otherwise indicated. Keep to the left and pass on the right. Main roads are identified by colour signs and numbers rather than by name.

Although most sign posts appear in both English and Afrikaans, the following might help you to navigate a little more easily:

Links (Left)
Regs (Right)
Stad (City)
Straat (Street)
Weg (Road)
Rylaan (Avenue)
Lughawe (Airport)
Hawe (Harbour)
Hou Oop (Keep Open)
Gesluit (Closed)
Gevaar (Danger)
Verbode (Forbidden)
Ompad (Detour)
Strand (Beach)
Robot (Traffic Light)

Public Transport

Public Transport within Cape Town is constantly improving with local 'My City' busses now in operation. Train services also operate (although we do not really recommend these - it would depend on the route) and there are many private taxi services.

Scheduled Day Tours

Our Cape Town Day Tours give you the security of traveling in the company of an expert guide and driver. Rhino Africa runs day tours throughout the Western Cape to destinations such as Cape Point, the Winelands, Hermanus, City Tours, Cultural Tours and Shark Cage Diving Tours. These tours operate on a daily basis and can be prebooked by your Rhino Africa Travel Consultant.

Private Day Tours

Talk to us about hiring the services of your very own Travel Guide. This gives you the opportunity to plan your itinerary at your own pace and you are not confined to a rigid itinerary. Travel arrangements around Cape Town can be tailor-made to your own requirements.


From a Rikki Taxi to an Excite Taxi there are a wide range of Taxi companies operating in Cape Town. Ensure that the Taxi that you are using is a certified taxi and speak to the driver about estimating the cost of the trip before agreeing on the journey. Most are now metered.

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