Getting from Johannesburg to Cape Town

by Peter Baxter on April 30, 2009

by Peter Baxter | April 30th, 2009  

Baz BusThese are the two major centers of South Africa, and are situated on the long N1 highway that runs from Cape Town all the way to Musina on the South Africa/Zimbabwe Border.

By Road

From Johannesburg to Cape town, or vice versa, your first choice if you have the time is to travel by road. The N1 is part of South Africa’s excellent road network, and runs through the signature heartland of South Africa, including along the way some of the most historic quarters of the country, and needless to say some of the most beautiful.

Car hire is easy, reliable and inexpensive in South Africa. All the major international companies, and quite a few local variants, are represented at airports and hotels in both cities, so hiring a car could not be easier. All that you need to consider is safety, and so arrange in advance for local cell phone coverage, and make sure that your car hire includes a rescue or breakdown package, which most will, and if you do have a breakdown call for help immediately.

Other road options are the two main intercity coach services in South Africa, TransLux and InterCape, both of which run regular and comprehensive services between the two cities.

A dedicated backpacker facility is the Baz Bus, which is a service that operates on a jump-on-jump-off basis linking all the major backpackers lodges in South Africa, and there are a good many of these.

By Rail

A twice weekly Premier Class train services runs between Johannesburg and Cape Town, and although Premier Class might imply luxury, actually these are fairly standard commuter trains with very safe and comfortable first and second class compartments. Bedding and meals are included as part of what is generally an overnight service, but some scheduled times cross the divide during daylight hours. Expect to pay about US$100 for this service.

Train Schedule

By Air

There are several domestic flight options between Johannesburg and Cape Town, with the main carriers being Kalula.com, 1-Time, Mango, Interlink, South African Airlink, South African Express, Comair and Pelican Air Services.

Both international Airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town are world class, and transport to and from the airport is best organized by your hospitality establishment which you would be wise to book in advance.

By Local Transport

Local taxi services, carried out in minibuses, are the backbone of mass transit in South Africa, and if you want some genuine local color then here is where you will find it, but be warned that conditions can be crammed, driving standards erratic and exposure to the local population not always friendly. Take advice from your backpackers lodge or from the traveler network before you give this option any serious thought.

{ 14 comments }

Audrey August 10, 2009 at 2:42 am
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Morning,

I am trying to find a safer way to visit family in the Cape. Travelling with 2 children on a budget I would think train be viable.

But at $100 . . . this is a little expensive for a local citizen.

Can you refer a rail that caters for the local market with the safty of a decent rail – NOT METRO.

This too would be my first rail experience.

Thank you for you help in this matter.

Kind regards
Audrey.

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Sylvia August 14, 2009 at 9:59 am
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Afternoon,
I would like to travel to Cape Town from Johannesburg next week. Kindly advise me which transport to use that is $100 or less. Include the times as well.

Thank you
Sylvia

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Roy Faulds September 20, 2009 at 2:11 am
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Please advise on prices from Johannesburg to Cape Town on a budget
Prefably leaving Joburg arriving in Wouster

Thank you kindly

Roy

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Kitta Vorster November 25, 2009 at 1:41 pm
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We want to travel from either Johannesburg or Pretoria to Cape Town in January. We are two adults and two children and would like to travel via train. Where can I find out all the details about how much it will cost and how to make the arrangements. We are working on a budget and want an affordable package.

Thank you,
Kitta

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Lara November 27, 2009 at 2:12 am
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We travel by car with my family. We need to know what are the toll gates cost and use the best route from Johannesburg to Cape town.

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Lara November 27, 2009 at 2:13 am
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We travel by car with family and we need to knoe about the tollgate and the best route from Johannesburg to Cape town.

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Madge November 30, 2009 at 2:02 am
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Hi there

4 Adults and two children under 1 yrs old, would like to travel from JHB to Cape Town by train, on 26th December returning to JHB on 3rd January 2010. What would it cost? and what rail is used.

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S. Bhugwandeen December 8, 2009 at 3:22 am
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Hi,
I need some assistance, my family an I are deceiding to drive to CT in March. We have accomodation in CT.
Please could you assist me with directions from JHB to CT and also where we can stay over for two nights. Any good Bed & Breakfast on the route.
Will wait for a reply from you.

Thank you
Shy

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PJ December 13, 2009 at 10:01 am
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WE WANT TO TRAVEL TO CAPE TOWN TUESDAY 15TH OR WED 16TH DEC FROM JOBURG OR PRETORIA TO CAPE TOWN IF YOU HAVE 2 SPACES OPEN WE WILL LIKE TO ASSIST WITH FUEL PLEASE INFORM US.
0734858920

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Adrienne January 9, 2010 at 10:31 pm
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We would like to drive from Johannesburg to Capetown during World Cup in June. Can you tell us how long it would take to make the trip? What is the best route and are their towlls and plenty of petrol stations?

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Shoki March 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm
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travelling by car from Johannesburg to Cape Town,need to know how many kilometres we will drive, toll gate costs and which halfway spot do you reccommend and type of accommodation halfway?

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danny rocha April 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm
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Hello, I will be traveling with my girl from Johannesburg to Capetown early June. Are trains only available those days listed not daily?

Is there elephant back rides in either city? Where can we view great white fest in Cape town? Any suggestions on a must have dish in SA?

Sorry to ask soo many questions…I want to make this vacation a lasting experience.

Thanks in advance for your feed back!!!

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Thora Angell August 20, 2010 at 9:09 am
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My husband and I will be travelling from Joburg to the Cape by hired car.We prefer guesthouses/farm accommodation near the main road route can you suggest stopping points as we would like to do the trip in 3days.

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marelize hess September 8, 2010 at 4:04 am
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Hi

I am planning a trip from Pretoria to Cape Town in 7 days. I would like to visit 7 tourist destinations in the 7days. Can you please work out an itinerary for me?

Thanks

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