Best layover tours from Johannesburg airport
Have you got a few hours spare between flights? And the thought of sitting in OR Tambo airport is making you a tad uneasy. Then why not join us on a selection of half day or even full day tours. We have many options to choose from depending on your time frame.
What are our Selection of layover tours available?
As mentioned, travelers must include the time it takes to get through customs. We have factored in traffic conditions, distance and so forth into the tour planning. If you are lucky enough to be staying the night close to the OR Tambo airport then the timings will vary.
***NOTE****** the tour duration is calculated from the time the guide meets you at the airport arrivals hall.
Soweto Half Day Tour
Join us on this incredible historical and cultural experience into the heart of Soweto. This township is iconic in its contribution to the Gold mining of Johannesburg as well as its influence on the struggle against the Apartheid government. You will get to visit some of the best points of interest from Mandela’s house, the Hector Pieterson Memorial, the World Cup stadium as well as the Oppenheimer cultural center. Our guide will take you through each attraction and explain the significance of each. This half day tour is perfect for travelers looking for a more cultural and historical experience.
Half Day Safari
Enjoy a 3 hour Mini safari where you will get up close and personal with some of South Africa’s iconic wild animals. The animal species that you will definitely encounter include lion, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, hyena, cheetah, wild dogs and warthog. The drive from the OR Tambo airport takes about an hour. And obviously an hour back. This is the perfect tour for nature lovers.
Half Day Lesedi Cultural Village tour
Join us on this incredible tour into the Lesedi Cultural village situated about an hours drive from the OR Tambo airport. The village showcases the 5 main tribal units that make up South Africa. These include the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele nations. You will be led on the walking tour of the village by one of the village members. The tour concludes with a traditional tribal dancing and drumming session that will blow your mind. The tour also includes a buffet lunch where traditional food is served. This includes crocodile and ostrich. If you are not that adventurous, stress not…there is also a variety of vegetables, salads, beef and chicken available.
Full day safari and cultural village tour
If you have a little bit more time in your layover then maybe consider combining the safari and Lesedi cultural tour experiences. Get the best of nature and culture all rolled into one incredible day tour. The tour includes a 3 hour mini safari where you will get up close and personal with a variety of wild animals from lions, giraffe, wildebeest, warthog, cheetah, wild dogs and polar bears. Polar bears? Okay. We lied. Just seeing if you were concentrating. The second part of the tour includes a 2 hour walking experience through the Lesedi cultural Village where you will get to learn about the 5 main tribes that make up South Africa. And of course the drumming and dancing session by the village folk is something you will love. The tour includes a traditional buffet lunch.
Full day Pilanesberg safari
The Pilanesberg national park is situated about 2 hours from the OR Tambo airport. The tour departs at 6am and returns to the airport by 5pm. Once we we get there you will enjoy a 6 hour safari with our local ranger. This is the best you are going to get to an authentic South African safari experience. The animals are free roaming. The park is over 55,000 hectares so we are not going to be able to cover the whole area.
Our guides have an intimate knowledge of the park and it’s animals, will try his best to maximize your game viewing. Some of the iconic animals on this day tour will include the elephant, giraffe, wild beast, lion, rhino and hippos. The reserve is also home the Big 5. A really epic day tour for travelers who love nature and the outdoors.
Sterkfontein caves, cradle of humankind and maropeng tour
This tour is pretty unique if history, natural cave formations and archeology interest you. So what makes this area famous and why was it declared a world heritage site? The oldest human fossils were found here. They were found in the Sterkfontein cave system. The tour includes a 1 hour underground walking experience inside theses incredible caves. You will get to see some of the most majestic cave formations that includes the elephant stalactite. The second part of the tour includes a 1 hour tour of the maropeng exhibition center where you will be taken on a journey back in time. Both attractions are situated in the cradle of humankind. So you will get to experience the beauty and nature of this unique landscape.
Pretoria city tour
Join us on this half day tour of the capital city of South Africa, Pretoria. We will visit some of the most iconic points of interest that includes the Union Buildings where the president and cabinet reside as well as the Voortrekker Monument. This monument was erected by the Boers in memory of the Great Trek from Cape Town. Your guide will take you through their journey.
Here are some vital points of information pertaining to the layover tours from the airport:
Please take note of these as they are pretty important. Layover tours can get tricky from a planning perspective and the last thing we want is for you to miss a flight due to traffic or pick the wrong tour.
- We understand that flexibility is the main criteria when it comes to the tours. There are many variable scenarios that we need to work around from arrival times, departure times, customs and time available for the actual tour. Having said this we try and offer pretty flexible tour options.
- The notice time we would need is all dependent on the type and duration of the tour you require. We would love to set up a tent and camp in the terminal building waiting for business but the authorities aren’t too keen on that for some strange reason. So…what is the notice time we need? Well, for the shorter half day tour options like a Soweto and city tour, half day safari or cultural village tour, we would need say 2 hours notice. That gives our guides enough time get organize and make their way to the airport to meet you. Some of the longer full day excursions like the 12 hour safari experience in the Pilanesberg would require a longer notice period of at least 12 hours. ( lots to organize on that tour from the game vehicle, transportation and so forth.
- When do the tours take place? Well basically during the day time from 6am to 7pm. There is not much to see in the night time besides say restaurants, darkness and the occasional alien invasion. So if your layover is the evening……sorry for you. We suggest a comfortable corner in the transit lounge with a beer or 20 to pass the time.
- Timing of the tours is vital!!!!. And no we are not shouting at you. We just want to reiterate the point. There are many factors that could influence the timing of the tour. These factors include traffic conditions, travel time or distance to the point of interest, customs and the actual tour duration. We have tried to simplify and select a few tour options below with estimated time frames to help you make a more informed and safer selection. We have factored in the possibility of traffic, customs and so forth. Rather plan for the worse case scenario. If the traffic and customs for example decide to be nice to us, then it’s a bonus…we can stay on the tour for longer. As we mentioned, we understand the complexities of layover tours from the airport and are pretty flexible in our tour arrangements.
- Who joins you on the tour? Once again, the layover tours are usually pretty spontaneous and unplanned. So for the majority of the time, you will most likely be on the tour with just yourself and the tour guide. Unless of course, your whole plane of people also in transit decide to join a tour as well. Then we are going to pile all 300 of you into a bus. But of course….that probability is pretty slim.
- Who leads the tours? You will accompanied on the day tour with one of our experienced city or nature guides depending on what option you selected. Their responsibility is to met you outside the arrivals hall once you have cleared customs. They will then take you on the tour and make sure you are returned back to the OR Tambo airport on time for your next flight.
- Where do we meet you? Our guide will identify and himself outside the arrivals hall by the information center. He will have a board with your name on it for easy reference. We will also be in telephonic communication with you to ensure the meeting process runs smoothly.
- Do you require a visa for entry into South Africa? The good news is that the government of the rainbow nation offers visa free entry for up to 30 days to over 90 countries. So the chances of your country being one of them is pretty high.
- What is the currency accepted in South Africa? The majority of places accept the ZAR or South African Rand. You can either draw money from the many ATM’s available or pay with your credit card.
- How to book a day tour with us? We basically have 2 options available. You can book and pay online through our webpage. Or you can pay us on after the tour ( either by card or cash. Dollars, Euros and British Pounds accepted). But probably best to contact us first to check on availability and best tour selection.