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Cape Town International Airport

SA Blog’s handy guide to Cape Town International.

Vital information:

  • Airport code: CPT
  • Street Map: Click here
  • Floor plan: None available, nor needed.
  • General info: +27 (0) 21 937 1200
  • Flight info via telephone: +27 (0) 86 727 7888
  • Flight info via SMS/text: Send flight number to 35007.
  • Flight info on the web: Click here. (This service is often down – it’s better to call.)
  • Hired/Rented cars: Right outside the baggage area.
  • Wifi? Domestic & international departures: past security checkpoint.
  • Former & alt. names: D.F. Malan, Lughawe (Afrikaans for “Airport”).
  • Free carts? Yes
  • Porters? Available, but not necessary.
  • Porter tip? R5/bag
  • Curbside drop-off/pick-up allowed? Yes
  • Parking? Expensive, at R9/hour (shaded). Long-term available.
  • Disabled-friendly? Yes

Though very busy in its own right, Cape Town’s airport remains secondary to the much bigger and busier Johannesburg International (JNB), where many inter-continental flights end. Visitors from abroad often find themselves changing from international to domestic terminals at JNB (sometimes in a breathless hurry) en route to their final destinations at the Cape. Quite a few overseas flights simply don’t land here.

  • Tip: Therefore, the first thing to check when flying into Cape Town is the terminal where you’ll be disembarking: international or domestic? Pass this information on to the person collecting you!

As with every airport, the international terminal is much nicer. It’s both roomier and less crowded than its domestic counterpart; an air of calm generally prevails; and the coffee approaches drinkability.

CPT International Airlines:

The domestic terminal, by contrast, is a perpetual circus of people suffering bouts of dyspepsia, caused by either (a) rancid coffee, drunk at the terminal’s single miserable cafe, or (b) double tots of whisky, consumed in flight during the holding pattern.

CPT Domestic Airlines:

The government-run company that manages this and SA’s other major airports, ACSA, does not provide floor plans for any of them, which is not terribly helpful. (Click here for the unimpressive CPT website.) The airport is so simple, however, that you don’t need a map: just walk with your luggage out the sliding-glass doors, where you’ll find the familiar lanes of tourist buses, taxis and drop-off/pick-up traffic.

  • Tip: If you haven’t already arranged for transport to your accommodation, don’t hop into a metered taxi and blithely call out your address. Taxis operating out of the airport are extremely expensive (sample tarrif: R500 from the airport to Camps Bay), and if you wait a bit, you can get an airport shuttle for much less.
    • For airport shuttles, one recommended company is Disa Tours: +27 (0) 21 557 9349 or +27 (0) 82 575 4337.