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Getting between Johannesburg and Pretoria

Getting around SA

Johannesburg and Pretoria are in effect sister cities. Pretoria is the state capital of South Africa while Johannesburg is without doubt the main city and economic hub of the nation. They are situated just over 50 km, or 35 miles distant from one another, and are linked by a superhighway, and in due course a mass rail transit system that will be among the most modern in the world.


Oliver Tambo International Airport is situated a short distance northeast of Johannesburg, and serves the metropolitan areas of both Johannesburg and Pretoria. Both cities will be linked by a multiplicity of transport options to one another and to Oliver Tambo International for the Fifa World Cup Tournament of 2010.

Other airports in the Gauteng Province (the provincial area containing both cities and the main economic heartland of the country) include Rand, Lanseria, Wonderboom and Grand Central. All are privately owned, and all except Lanseria offer facilities for general aviation. Lanseria offers a limited domestic service and international tourist services only to Mozambique at present.


All the main hotels and lodges offer airport shuttles to and from their facilities.

>>For bus transit and intercity connections it is best to consult your hospitality provider for advice

A limited commuter bus services are available between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Most of the main inter-city carriers commence their journeys in Pretoria, and so regular services are available between these two cities. These are:

  • TransLux
  • InterCape
  • Greyhound
  • City to City (no frills coach booked thru TransLux)
  • SA Roadlink (super luxury coaches)
  • Citiliner
  • Local minibus taxis run backwards and forwards between the two cities on an ongoing basis. This is usually a flag-down, jump-on, jump-off system that is configured for local commuters and is probably not ideal for tourists.



    This is a comprehensive urban commuter rail system that covers the metropolitan areas of both Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is a generally reliable system with a reasonably safe traveling environment considering the crime stats of South Africa, and Gauteng in particular. Stations are situated all over both cities, but for quick inter-city transit the two main urban hubs are Pretoria Central and Johannesburg Park Station.

    >>See Metrorail route map


    Gautrain is a system of high speed commuter trains designed to link key points of Johannesburg and Pretoria with Oliver Tambo International Airport. The system has been designed in part to facilitate the transport requirements of the Fifa World Cup Tournament of 2010, but is also an infrastructural development to ease ongoing transit problems between the two cities.

    >>This is definitely the option that casual visitors and tourists should use

    Shosholoza Meyl

    A regular economy class service is available between these two cities. Check out the Shosholoza Meyl schedule for details


    The drive between Johannesburg and Pretoria is short, and is via the NI freeway that is a fully comprehensive and highly functional motorway system that is both easy to use and safe. Sign posting in both cities is excellent so expect a trouble free commute.

    >>take note of the high crime status of this region and avoid stopping or being stopped by anyone that is not clearly a police detail. If you break down lock your doors and windows and call for help