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Where is Johannesburg? Print E-mail
05 November 2003

JOHANNESBURG is in the north of the country, straddling latitude 26 degrees south. The city is 550 kilometres south of the country's northernmost tip, and 1 400 kilometres north of the southernmost tip. The city is far inland from the coast (the nearest major harbour, Durban, is 600 kilometres south east.) 

The closest major city to Johannesburg is South Africa's capital, Pretoria, 58 kilometres to the north. The outer suburbs of both cities touch. The country's other major city, Cape Town, is 1 400 kilometres south west of Johannesburg.

Some other useful distances:
Johannesburg to the Kruger National Park. The nearest gate to the park, Numbi, is 420 kilometres to the north east. The main camp in the Kruger Park, Skukuza, is 480 kilometres away. The Phalaborwa gate, which provides access to popular camps like Olifants and Letaba, is 535 kilometres north east. With an early start, motor car travellers can generally reach the southern camps by early afternoon, and Phalaborwa before sunset. Roads to the park are tarred, and multilane highways run at least two third of the distance.

Skukuza has its own airport; there is also an airport at Nelspruit, an hour's drive from the park. Johannesburg to the coast. Durban, the most accessible coastal resort, is a six hour drive, all of it along a multilane highway. The journey to Cape Town by road is best broken by a stay overnight, in Kimberley (470 kilometres from Johannesburg), Bloemfontein (400 kilometres) or Colesburg (625 kilometres).

The Eastern Cape can be reached in a single, long, all-day journey, but it may be more comfortable to break the trip overnight. Popular Eastern Cape destinations include Port St Johns (850 kilometres), Grahamstown and East London (both 990 kilometres), Port Elizabeth (1 060 kilometres), and various small resorts near George (1 170 kilometres). Port Elizabeth, East London and George all have airports served by Johannesburg-based commercial airlines.

How long is the plane trip?

Most tourists from abroad can expect long air trips to the southern end of Africa. Different airlines fly different routes, but these are typical flying times using the national carrier, South African Airways. The times include refuelling stops where appropriate.

London 11 hours
New York
(via Dakar for refuelling)
17 hours 55 minutes
Atlanta, USA
(with stopover for refuelling)
18 hours 40 minutes
Rio de Janeiro
(no direct route)
11 hours
Sydney 11 hours 45 minutes
Hong Kong 13 hours 10 minutes
Paris 10 hours 30 minutes
Dubai 8 hours 10 minutes

For those flying onward from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth are a two hour flight further south, and Durban is just under one hour to the south east.

Air travel

Flights between Johannesburg and other major centres in the country are rarely more than two hours. Here are typical flying times from take-off to landing:

Bloemfontein 85 minutes
Cape Town 125 minutes
Durban 60 minutes
East London 80 minutes
Kimberley 75 minutes
Nelspruit 60 minutes
Pietermaritzburg 70 minutes
Polokwane 80 minutes
Port Elizabeth 100 minutes
Upington 75 minutes




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Last Updated on 21 January 2013