South Africa has over the last two decades made great strides in developing an efficient and reliable transport sector which meets the needs of citizens and visitors from all walks of life.This progress has been precipitated by Governments belief that a modern and well developed transport infrastructure can be the engine in the country’s social and economic development efforts. For travellers and visitors, this progress means there are more options to consider whenever you want to move.
Road Transport – Road transport in South Africa is characterised by a combination of Private Taxis, Buses and Shared Minibus Taxis. All cities in the country have private taxi services. Calling a private taxi entails waiting a little while longer before you are picked but they are certainly safer and offer better quality and comfort. Buses are a popular means of transportation for those travelling between cities. Fares for buses are cheap and routes which are sign-boarded are extensive across the country. Shared Minibus Taxis transport millions of people everyday. Most of them accommodate between 14 to 20 people and they offer rare insight into local life. In many parts of the country especially rural areas, shared taxis may be the only choice of public transport.
Rail Transport – South Africa’s rail networks are the largest and arguably the most developed on the African continent. It is estimated that around 2.2 million people travel by train every day in South Africa. Less privileged communities in many parts of the country are serviced by Metrorail commuter services. Shosholoza Meyl is designed to transport passengers between the country’s major cities and it continues to safely transport local and foreign visitors. South Africa is also home to one of the worlds most famous luxury trains called the Blue train, this train is preferred by most tourists and those with bigger budgets.The Gautrain which is the most recent rail development, is Africa’s only high speed train and services Johannesburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport. Gautrain is backed up by a network of feeder buses.
Air Transport – Air transport is said to be the safest mode of transport by ratio. In South Africa, this industry has recorded tremendous growth over the years providing the much needed relief to travellers and tourists.The country’s ten airports are home to countless international airlines flying in and out of the country.The country also boasts of six major domestic airlines and a number of smaller charter airline companies playing a key role. South African Airways, South African Express and Airlink fly between all the major cities and other smaller routes. Kulula.com and Mango offer cut price flights on the more popular routes between Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and George. All flight operators offer online booking services, with payment by credit card or directly into the relevant bank account.
Sea Transport – With easy access to the coast, South Africa has a number of ships docking on its shores.The countrys major shipping lanes pass along the South African coastline in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. South Africas commercial ports are Richards Bay and Durban in Kwazulu-Natal, East London, Port Elizabeth and the Port Of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape and then there is Mossel Bay and Saldanha in the Western Cape.These ports are reliable conduits for trade as well as hubs for human and commercial traffic to and from Europe, Asia, Americas as well as the east and west coasts of Africa.
With such diverse transportation, travelling from one corner of this country to another should be great fun and stress free.