Whether you are planning to visit South Africa itself or one of its neighboring countries in Southern Africa, the chances are that you will need to fly via Johannesburg and may even require an overnight stay. Johannesburg is a major hub airport for the region with direct flights from Europe and the USA, connecting with intra-Africa flights and internal flights within South Africa. The major domestic and international carrier is South Africa Airways.
If you are heading out to Kruger on safari then it is likely you will fly in a light aircraft with one of the charter companies. Flights are from Johannesburg to the various reserves in Kruger on a shuttle service, so you may stop to drop off or collect other passengers before arriving at your destination. There is a strict luggage allowance on these flights, although it is often slightly more generous than elsewhere in Southern Africa, generally 20kg for checked baggage plus 5kg for hand luggage in soft sided bags only. Inter-camp transfers within the Kruger area normally use the same light aircraft shuttle service. It is possible to organise road transfers instead of using light aircraft but these are considerably more time consuming.
For most first-time visitors to Africa the imposition of stingent weight restrictions on luggage is daunting…you may not have a suitable bag and the idea of packing so light can be very stressful. Our section on Pack for your Safari aims to provide practical advice to assist.
For those continuing on from Kruger to either visit Victoria Falls or safari in Botswana, Zimbabwe or Zambia there is a very convenient direct flight five times a week from Kruger to Livingstone in Zambia with SA Airlink. For guests wanting to head to the beach there is also a direct flight from Kruger to Vilanculos in Mozambique three times per week with Federal Air. Daily flights depart direct to Cape Town with SA Airlink.
South Africa is a popular self-drive destination although the large distances in Africa mean that if you have limited time flying remains your best bet. If you have plenty of time then driving is a great way to experience the rural areas in South Africa.