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Layover in Johannesburg, South Africa

| January 19, 2015

Stuck on a Johannesburg layover at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in South Africa? The airport is the air transport hub of Southern Africa and offers a lot to do for those stuck in the airport, as well as plenty of nearby options for those on long layovers. The airport is located near the city of Johannesburg (about 32 kms, roughly 20-30 minutes depending on where you travel in the city) which makes it accessible for those interested in seeing some sites on a long layover. Keep in mind, traffic can be bad during peak hours, so plan accordingly and pad your itinerary with plenty of time on both ends.If you’re trying to figure out if you can leave the airport on your Johannesburg layover, click here for useful tips.
Layover in Johannesburg, South Africa
If you are stuck in the airport during your Johannesburg layover, you’ll find over 100 stores and 45 restaurants to help you bide your time as well as an impressive list of services including massage services (at Letsema in Terminal A), Pharmacies and Money Services in Terminal A & B, and a Post Office in Terminal B. Click here to find a list of services best suited for your needs. In additional, cell phones can be rented at competitive rates in the terminal foyers. There’s also Internet connection throughout the shopping and dining area. If you have trouble finding any facility, you can ask an airport porter (dressed in bright orange and blue uniforms).

If you’re looking to lock up your luggage/bags and see some sites, there’s a Lock-Up Luggage shop location in Terminal A. (To contact, call +27 (0)11 390 1804.)

If you’re looking to catch some zzz’s, check out the airport hotel, the InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport which is walking distance from the airport terminals. Special features include a fully equipped gym, business meeting rooms and the Camelot Health Spa. The hotel has a heated pool with a panoramic view of Johannesburg. For an additional list of hotels near the airport, click here and for a comprehensive list of Johannesburg hotels, click here.

You can book a taxi or minibus shuttle from the baggage claim area. In addition, five bus city lines, operated by Metrobus and Putco, stop at the airport twice a day in the morning and evening. A Rail transit is currently being build which will eventually link the Gautrain station from Johannesburg to the airport. For general tips about traveling in South Africa, click here.

Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A Johannesburg Layover:

Johannesburg Tours
If you want to see the sights in a short period of time, a tour might be your best bets. There’s tons to choose from including sightseeing tours, safaris, day cruises, skydiving, hot air balloon rides, walking and biking tours, food tours, nighttime tours, and lots more!

Lion Park
About 45 minutes away from Johannesburg by car, is the Johannesburg Lion Park, which gives you an up-close encounter with the giant cats. You can pet small cubs – after receiving precautionary tips – and you can also see a number of other animals including ostriches, zebras and giraffes, and drive into enclosures of fully grown wild lions and lionesses.

Top of Africa
The Carlton Centre is the tallest building in Africa at 202 meters high. From the fiftieth floor the view offers a visual tour of Johannesburg in all directions. The Centre is an important part of Johannesburg’s business sector, it also contains a hotel, cinemas and Egoli’s biggest shopping centre.

None of these strike your fancy? For tons more layover activities in Johannesburg, click here!

Have a suggestion for a Johannesburg layover? Leave a comment below!

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Category: Africa, layover

Comments (3)

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  1. Soweto tours are great for long layovers.

    • Kathryn says:

      I’d love to do this on my layover but my plane lands at 3pm and the next one departs at midnight. I don’t know of any toursof the Soweto area that function between 3pmand midnight.

  2. Andrea Kovach says:

    Are there any tours or activities between 4 p.m. and midnight?