Johannesburg International Airport
is actually the

OR Tambo International Airport.

Johannesburg airport, which lies 25kms. to the east of the city, and is Africa's busiest, is now called the OR Tambo International Airport.

It's here where most visitors who travel to South Africa, first touch that hallowed soil of Africa.

The airport was previously known as the Johannesburg International Airport, but was officially renamed in October 2006, as a tribute to one of the stalwarts of the African National Congress.

Lanseria International Airport, a second, but much smaller airport to the north-west of Johannesburg, offers scheduled services to Cape Town and Durban, and charter services that service mainly Southern African destinations.

A statue of Oliver Tambo in the Terminal A Arrivals Hall, by artists Kgaogelo Mashilo‚ Paballo Majela and Zelda Stroud at OR Tambo International Airport
A statue of Oliver Tambo in the Terminal A Arrivals Hall, by artists Kgaogelo Mashilo‚ Paballo Majela and Zelda Stroud, depicting his first step onto South African soil after 30 years in exile.

A close up of the statue of Oliver Tambo in the Terminal A Arrivals Hall, OR Tambo International Airport
A close up of the statue of Oliver Tambo in the Terminal A Arrivals Hall, OR Tambo International Airport

The Terminal A arrivals hall, with orange clad porters, at OR Tambo International Airport
The Terminal A arrivals hall, with orange clad porters, at OR Tambo International Airport.

To help find your feet, this website gives details of the shops and services offered at the airport; Guest Houses, B&B's and Backpacker accommodation as well as the numerous Johannesburg airport hotels in the vicinity and the car rental Johannesburg companies that operate out of the airport complex.

I've included links to help you find cheap flights to Johannesburg, for your African safari with links to carriers such as South African Arways and British Airways plus links to car rental companies such as Europcar, Budget and First Car.


The airport has two terminals, and in line with international trends, they are each used by both international and domestic airlines.

This allows those carriers with domestic and international routes, to use the same check-in counters.

It's a very short walking distance, through the shopping mall, between the two terminals which are both housed in a long, narrow central terminal building.

Access to the terminal buildings is available around the clock, as the doors are open 24 hours, but a lot of the businesses inside, which keep to normal business hours, are not.


The lower level in both terminals is used for arrivals.

Use this OR Tambo Airport JNB Live Flight Arrivals link to see a flight arrivals information board, with the status of all flight arrivals, in real time, into Johannesburg - OR Tambo International Airportt (IATA Airport Code - JNB)


The upper level in both terminals is used for departures.

International passengers are advised to be at the airport 3 hours before departure.
Domestic passengers are advised to be at the airport 1 and a half hours before departure.


+27 (0)86 727-7888 : Persons with a disability, passing through OR Tambo, who require help, can phone this 24 hour number to arrange assistance.



The Johannesburg airport car rental companies have their offices on Level 0 of the multi-level parkade (Parkade 2 South), just outside the main exit from Terminal A arrivals.
The rental vehicles, plus the kiosks for returning the vehicles, are one floor above, on Level 1 of the same parkade.


Johannesburg has very little public transport, and the Gautrain and metered taxi's form a major part of what's available.

Gautrain : The Gautrain Rapid Rail System, which links the OR Tambo International Airport (Airport Service) directly with Sandton, and with changes, Johannesburg and Pretoria.
It became operational on the 8th of June, 2010, and operates from 05h30 until 20h30 every day.
The terminal at the Airport is two levels above the Terminal A Arrivals hall, and accessed via a lift, or an escalator opposite the KFC outlet.
Changing at Sandton, passengers can take a different line (Commuter Service) to either Johannesburg or Pretoria.

Metered Taxi : The metered taxis', which display the ORIATA (OR Tambo International Airport Taxi Association) logo, stand outside the exits of both terminals. The airports company has, to prevent illegal touting, appointed them as a favoured service provider. Their contact number is : +27 (0)11 390-1502

Shuttle bus : The shuttle bus terminal, which is situated behind the Intercontinantal Hotel, is where the hotel shuttle buses, as well as the long distance buses that service the airport, drop and collect passengers.



There are numerous Johannesburg Airport Hotels in the vicinity of the Airport, including the only luxury 5 star hotel at an airport in South Africa - the Intercontinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport Hotel.
The hotel is a short, uncovered walk across the service road from the terminal building.

Still in the airport complex is the very successful City Lodge.
Recently opened, this, their 46th and largest hotel, the City Lodge OR Tambo Airport Hotel is a short covered walk from the Terminal buildings.

Outside of the airport complex, but in close proximity to the airport, are a number of Johannesburg Airport Hotels.

Map of Airport Hotels :
This is a link to a Google map with the Johannesburg Airport Hotels.
Click on the "View Johannesburg Airport Accommodation in a larger map" at the bottom left of the map to get more information on each hotel.


These are a number of Bed and Breakfast/Guest House/Guest Lodge Accommodation as well as Backpackers, which I've attempted to name here.
Please let me know of any, if they haven't been included in this list.


Airport parking used to be a nightmare, but with over 10,000 bays in an underground and multi-storey parkade as well as shaded carports and low cost parking outside the airport complex, it's no longer a problem.


Work is presently still in progress on the highways leading to Johannesburg International Airport, and this tends to slow traffic quite substantiably.
It should be a relatively easy 45 minute drive from the hotels - the majority of which are in the Sandton / Rosebank area, but be wary of the highway being choked up, as the drive can turn into a nightmare.


The eastern suburbs are within an easy 20 minute drive.


Over the past couple of years, the
Johannesburg International Airport (OR Tambo) has been rebuilt, and now resembles a shopping mall, with a couple of runways added for effect - although it is modern, and relatively easy to get around.

Shops at the Airport : fast food outlets at OR tambo international airport


luggage porters at OR tambo international airport

If there's anything you'd like added or changed on this page, please let me know. I do frequent the Johannesburg Airport fairly regularly, so will hopefully manage to stay up to date with changes.

Page uploaded : 22nd March 2011
Page updated : 21st May 2015

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