Cape Town Airport
Cape Town Airport is the entry point into the gloriously beautiful and modern city of Cape Town. Long being heralded as the most European city in Africa, Americans are now taking notice, especially when it’s the New York Times that’s naming it as the best city to visit in the world. So much so that the local Cape Town government wants more direct flights into Cape Town Airport from the United States because it is one the leading growth markets for tourism in the area. The Rainbow Nation of South Africa offers some of the friendliest and easy going people in the world and when you add the diversity of its people, cuisine and cultures it not hard to see why the country is gaining steam as an international holiday destination.
Flights into Cape Town Airport
There are no direct flights into Cape Town Airport from the United States but there are however many airlines providing connecting flights.
- This could mean direct international flights into Johannesburg (the largest metropolitan city in South Africa), where you would take a local flight to Cape Town Airport. SAA does flights from JFK and Washington Dulles to Johannesburg. Delta airlines have flights from Atlanta to Johannesburg. Local flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town can be done by SAA or one of the many low cost airline choices available in South Africa such as Mango Airlines, Kulula Airlines or Flysafair. Flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town are roughly 2 hours long and are one of the busiest routes in the world.
- The connecting flight could also be a stop in a European or Middle Eastern country where there will then be a direct flight into Cape Town Airport.
Arriving at Cape Town Airport
All foreign visiting nationals must be in possession of a passport upon arrival at a South African Airport. Arrivals happen on the lower floors of the main terminal building. An automated baggage handling system allows for the processing of 30000 bags per hour which means visitors can clear this process very quickly. If a flight arrives from a layover country (and not a city in South Africa) then the immigration and customs process will take place at Cape Town Airport.
About Cape Town Airport
Cape Town Airport is the second largest airport in South Africa and sees millions of passengers per year. The airport underwent a major expansion process in time for the FIFA World Cup in 2010. As a result the terminal building was expanded with improved facilities and more stores. Cape Town Airport is very disability friendly with wide open spaces and gradient ramps which can be easily accessed by wheelchairs. The terminal building houses a pharmacy and a medical room. There are also many options for currency exchange. Cape Town Airport has Wi-Fi available at its domestic and international terminals. Restrooms are strategically placed throughout the terminal buildings and have baby changing amenities as well.
Entertainment facilities at Cape Town Airport
Upon arrival into Cape Town, visitors will want to leave the airport as fast as they can to start their holiday. However, if you do arrive early at the airport when it is time to depart the city and you have some time to kill then there are quite a few options to keep you occupied. The airport has many dining options from fast foods to sit down restaurants. Duty free shopping can be done for jewellery, souvenirs, clothing and local South African food items.
- Food Options- Boost Juice, Subway, Mugg and Bean, Ocean Basket, KFC, Woolworths Food, Sweets from Heaven
- Gifts and accessory shopping- Sunglasses Hut, Due South, Accessorize, Big Five Duty Free, American Swiss, Artoloji Art and Sculpture, Cape Farm and Wine,
- Book Shopping- Exclusive Books, CNA,
- Clothing Shopping- Sneakers, Total Sport, Cross Trainer, Moda
- Electronics- Cappi Lux, MTN fone, Vodashop
Transport from Cape Town Airport
There are a myriad of options when it comes to leaving Cape Town Airport to start off your adventure into the city.
- Cape Town Airport shuttle bus- every 20 minutes a bus departs from Cape Town Airport to the Civic Service Station which is conveniently located in central Cape Town. The bus also takes passengers from the city centre to Cape Town Airport
- Shuttle services- shuttle services can be arranged with the hotel you are staying with who will provide transportation from the airport to the hotel. These fees are generally inclusive and will also return guests back to the airport for departure from Cape Town
- Taxi- there are many private taxi options at the airport however the only one officially affiliated with the airport is Touch Down.
- Car rental- the many car rental branches offered at Cape Town Airport can be found across the main terminal building. They are internationally based companies like Avis, Dollar Thrifty and Hertz. Driving is done on the left side of the road in South Africa which can be an adjustment for visitors from the United States.
Why holiday in Cape Town
Due to the strong European influence, there really isn’t much of a cultural difference when travelling in this African city. Cape Town is famed for its scenic beaches and mountainous backdrops which provide an amazing canvas for the urban city. The main language spoken in Cape Town is English so communication will not be a big issue. The climate closely resembles the Mediterranean with the summer months happening from November to March. Winter in Cape Town is from May to September with windy/rainy conditions. There is no daylight savings that happen in Cape Town but the sunset in the summer months is around 8 at night. Popular tourist spots in the regions are:
- Table Mountain- a World Heritage Site
- Robin Island- the infamous prison that housed Nelson Mandela for most of his incarceration
- Cape Point- the most southwestern point in Africa and where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet
- Boulders Beach- one of the most beautiful beaches in the city but popular more so because of the African penguin colony located there
- V & A Waterfront- a dining and shopping hub situated in a working harbour with views of the mountains, ocean and the city
- Ratanga junction- entertainment theme park
- Gaansbaai- one of the best places in the world to go shark cage diving because of the high volume of shark species