Cheap South Africa flights

Discover special fares from Australia and get all your South Africa flights questions answered

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The beauty of South Africa attracts the attention of travellers with its natural habitat, including towering mountains, blossoming gardens and stunning beaches. Wildlife spotting and safari tours are also popular and plentiful.

The main airports are in Capetown and Johannesburg. Direct flights operate to Johannesburg daily from Perth and five days a week from Sydney. If flying from elsewhere in Australia, you'll find flights deals to South Africa via one of these airports. Most flights to Cape Town connect via Johannesburg.

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How long is the flight to South Africa from Australia?

  • From Sydney: Approximately 14 hrs 10 mins + when flying direct to Johannesburg Oliver Tambo International Airport
  • From Melbourne: Approximately 15 hrs + when flying direct to Johannesburg Oliver Tambo International Airport
  • From Brisbane: Approximately 14 hrs 50 mins + with one stopover, landing at Johannesburg Oliver Tambo International Airport
  • From Perth: Approximately 10 hrs 10 mins + when flying direct to Johannesburg Oliver Tambo International Airport

Which airlines fly to South Africa from Australia?

  • Emirates
  • Qantas
  • Qatar
  • South African Airways
  • Virgin Australia

South Africa flight tips

  • Cape Town is just over two hours from Johannesburg by connecting flight. Alternative routes from Australia to Cape Town, mainly via the Middle East, take much longer in total journey time. Most airlines offer an ‘open jaw’ ticket so you can fly into one airport and out of the other.
  • Low-cost local carriers Mango, Kulula and Safair operate regional routes – check both OR Tambo (JNB) and Lanseria (HLA) airports in Johannesburg. You can try various train operators, a highly recommended way to enjoy the scenery as you come into Cape Town.
  • Passengers flying with children under 18 should be aware of regulations where you must show the child’s passport and a full (unabridged) birth certificate (or a certified copy) to board the plane. You’ll need additional documents if travelling as a single parent or guardian. The Australian government website Smartraveller has further advice.
  • May to September are said to be the best months for spotting wildlife in South Africa. There’s a good chance of finding flight deals to South Africa at either end of this period, considered off-peak season.

When's the best time to book Christmas flights to South Africa?

Airlines usually offer the most affordable deals a few months before a scheduled flight. For South Africa, you are most likely to find a cheap Christmas flight between May and September. Start following offers early to catch the early-bird offers!

If you don't have concrete plans and can't book early, you may still get a discounted fare on last-minute deals – but this depends on various factors and usually involves a lot of luck.

A flight before 10 December may cost you 40% less than one scheduled later. Prices are at their peak from mid- to late-December. Fares for a return journey drop after 24 December.


How to get into Johannesburg from the airport

Johannesburg’s main gateway, OR Tambo International Airport (JNB), is the busiest airport in the whole of Africa. It is best to ignore hawkers in arrivals offering transfers and pre-book or seek out transfers yourself. The safest travel option is to book airport transfers with your hotel or tour operator. . The Rea Vaya is a secure and reliable rapid transit bus to central Johannesburg via dedicated bus lanes. Shuttle transfers can be arranged at desks in the baggage claim area or online in advance. There are taxi desks in the arrivals terminals or you can look for authorised vehicles outside with yellow taxi lights on the roof. The major car rental desks are found inside arrivals.

At Cape Town International Airport (CPT) you’ll also find major car rental companies represented. Access the Public Transport Plaza by subway opposite the central terminal building. MyCiti bus A01 runs 5am to midnight and takes around 30 minutes to the Cape Town civic station in the city. Cash isn’t accepted and you’ll need to buy and top up a myconnect card in the airport. Look for Touchdown Taxis here too, the authorised taxi company. Lots of private shuttle services operate to the city and the Western Cape and can be pre-booked online.


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