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Language: English | Currency: Rand (ZAR) | Local time: UTC | Avg. Flight time: 14.0 hrs
British Airways runs a daily direct service between London Heathrow (LHR) and Cape Town, and thrice a week direct flight from London Gatwick (LGW) – the flight time is 11 hours and 30 minutes, and these BA flights are cheaper from September to March. This is good news, because the best time to travel to Cape Town is during the shoulder months of September and October (spring in Cape Town) when there are many crisp, sunny days which are ideal for sightseeing.
Thomas Cook also flies direct from London Gatwick to Cape Town three times a week from December to March, with a flight time of just under 12 hours.
Besides London, there are no direct flights from other UK airports to Cape Town. However, there are many cheaper flights with a stopover. South African Airways (via Johannesburg), Emirates (via Dubai), Qatar Airways (via Doha), Air France (via Paris), and KLM (via Amsterdam) are good options – flight times range from 13 to 20 hours, depending on your departure city and the route you take.
It’s easy to catch a cheap domestic flight in South Africa. Apart from the national carrier, South African Airways, low-cost carriers such as Mango, Kulula, 1time, and Fly Safair offer a wide range of services to get you from one destination to another effortlessly. For example, you can fly from Lanseria (Johannesburg) to Cape Town via Fly Safair from £70 for a round-trip, or fly from Durban to Cape Town from £66 return.
Once you’ve landed, you can get a MyCiti bus to the city. The bus departs every 20 minutes from the airport, and takes about 30 to 45 minutes to get to the city centre, depending on the traffic. The journey will cost about R50 per person (£3), and tickets can be purchased at the airport upon arrival.
A taxi from the airport to the city centre will cost anywhere between R300 and R400 (£17-£23); however, these fees are not fixed. There may also be additional fees for luggage and if there are more than 4 passengers. The trip will take about 20 minutes.
Car hire remains one of the best and most relaxing ways to explore Cape Town’s winelands, private game reserves, and its numerous white-sand beaches and sparkling bays. To secure the best price and the vehicle you want, book your hire car well in advance so it’s ready for you to pick up at the airport.
As a UK passport holder, you’re not required to have a visa to enter South Africa if you plan to stay for less than three months. However, you must have a return ticket and your passport must be valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure, as well as having at least two blank pages for entry stamps.
You should also note that the South African immigration authorities require that parents travelling with children (under 18) must show the child’s original birth certificate (or a certified copy), which must clearly list the child’s details and both parents’ details.
Looking to visit Cape Town? Make sure to check out our Tips and Advice first.