South African Airports: Travel In Style


There’s certainly no mystery why South African Airports tend to work overtime when the holidays come around.

With the amount of tourists streaming in and out of South Africa year in and year out, it makes perfect sense.

Besides its very rich history, South Africa has gained international recognition for being a tourist destination for people from all over the world.

The diverse cultures, the varied tourist attractions, the beautiful cities, a trendy art scene and delicious cuisines – it should be no wonder why millions of people visit South Africa annually.

The weather is incredibly diverse all around the country; it is also noticeably different from that of other Sub-Saharan countries. This adds to the appeal the country offers.

Keeping up with the services South Africa is expected to provide its visitors, it makes perfect sense that South African airports are up to par.

Some of South Africa’s Airports include:

O.R. Tambo International Airport

or tambo south african airport

The O.R. Tambo International is South Africa’s busiest airport. The international airport is located near Johannesburg in the Gauteng province of South Africa.

It is not just South Africa’s busiest airport but the busiest in Africa as well, serving about 18 million passengers annually.

It has non-stop flights to all the continents…well, except Antarctica.

The airport is named after former African National Congress (ANC) president and anti-apartheid activist- Oliver Reginald Tambo.

Before being called O. R. Tambo Intentional Airport, it was originally called the Jan Smuts International Airport and then Johannesburg International Airport.

There are currently six terminals at the airport. They are divided into three major areas – the transit terminals, the domestic terminals and the international terminals.

There’s also a 24-hour clinic and an ‘around-the-clock’ police station.

Banks, pharmacies, a post office, currency exchange bureaus, dry cleaners, a spa and even a hairdressing salon can also be found here.

The international airport has over 140 retail stores which are open daily from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m.

Notable airlines that go through O.R. Tambo International Airport include Air France, Air China, Arik Air, British Airways, Delta Airlines, EgyptAir, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Kenyan Airways, KLM, Qatar Air, Turkish Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

south african airports

Cape Town International Airport

Cape Town International Airport which opened in 1954, (a year after Jan Smuts International Airport) is the second busiest Airport in South Africa.

Cape Town International airport has both domestic and international terminals, as well as direct flights to Durban and Johannesburg.

The airport has restaurants, bookstores, currency exchange bureaus, grocery stores, duty-free shops and clothing retailers.

See Also: Cape Town Map: A Closer Look At The Famous City

The terminal building in Cape Town’s international airport has a split level design with arrivals located on the lower floors while departures are located on the upper floors.

You’d be delighted to know that there are two hotels located near the airport – Hotel Verde and Road Lodge. Hotel Verde has frequently been hailed as Africa’s greenest hotel.

Air France, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Kenyan Airways, KLM and Qatar Airways are just some of the international airlines that go through Cape Ton International Airport daily.

King Shaka International Airport

King shaka south african airport

The King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) the primary airport in the South African city – Durban. It officially replaced Durban International Airport.

It opened on May 1st, 2010, just a month before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

It reportedly cost almost $900 million to build.

It is currently the ninth busiest airport in Africa.

In 2011, the Airports Council International named KSIA the 3rd Best Airport In Africa. In 2012 and 2015, it was the 2nd best.

Skytrax – a UK based consultancy which conducts airports and airline reviews – named KSIA the Best Regional Airport in Africa in 2014, 2015 and 2016; The Best Airport In The World Handling Under 5 Million Passengers in 2013, 2015 and 2016;

Port Elizabeth Airport

The numbers of tourists visiting Port Elizabeth has been steadily climbing in recent years.

This is actually pretty amazing because of Port Elizabeth, which is one of South Africa’s most beautiful cities, has a lot to offer. From beautiful beaches, amazing weather, alluring culture, attractive hotels and an unlimited number of things to do.

Read Also: Accommodation In Port Elizabeth: Living Large

Port elizabeth airport

The Port Elizabeth Airport is Port Elizabeth’s primary airport, which I’m sure you already suspected.

The airport which is owned by the Airports Company South Africa was formerly named H. F. Verwoerd Airport.

The airport is only two miles away from Port Elizabeth’s Central Business Distract.

Port Elizabeth is popularly called the ten-minute city because it takes ten minutes or less to get from one major part of the city to another. That is probably why there are a number of hotels just a short distance from the airport.

A lot of Port Elizabeth’s attractions are also with a short distance to the airport.

The airport’s terminal had a modern upgrade in 2004 in order to allow the airport handle a capacity of 2 million passengers annually.

East London Airport, George Airport, Bloemfontein Airport, Kimberley Airport and Upington Airport are also some South African airports that deserve honorary mentions on this list as well.