A Comprehensive List of Airports in South Africa by Province (Domestic and International)

A Comprehensive List of Airports in South Africa by Province (Domestic and International): South Africa, with its diverse landscapes, wildlife, and vibrant cities, is a major tourist destination. The country’s robust aviation infrastructure includes several international, regional, and smaller airports distributed across its nine provinces.

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A Comprehensive List of Airports in South Africa by Province (Domestic and International)

Here is a comprehensive list of all airports in South Africa, categorized by province.

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Eastern Cape AirPorts

South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, with its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty, is served by a network of airports that connect this vibrant region to the rest of the country and beyond. Let’s embark on an aerial tour of these gateways.

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1. Port Elizabeth International Airport

  • The Friendly City’s Aerial Gateway: Port Elizabeth International Airport, affectionately known as “The Friendly City” airport, is more than just a transit hub. It’s the starting point for exploring the diverse landscapes and warm hospitality of Port Elizabeth. This airport, though compact, punches above its weight in terms of efficiency and convenience, offering travelers a welcoming gateway to the wonders of the Eastern Cape’s coastline and game reserves.

2. East London Airport

  • Window to the Wild Coast: East London Airport, situated on the Indian Ocean coast, is your aerial bridge to the unspoiled beaches and lush forests of the Wild Coast. As the planes descend, passengers are treated to scenic vistas of the coastline. This airport is a conduit to adventures in a city that harmonizes natural beauty with a bustling urban vibe, making it a unique destination in South Africa.

3. Mthatha Airport

  • A Journey through Heritage: Mthatha Airport may be smaller in scale, but it’s rich in historical significance. This airport is a gateway to the cultural heart of the Eastern Cape. Landing here means stepping into a region steeped in the legacy of Nelson Mandela and a myriad of cultural experiences. It’s more than just an airport; it’s a journey to the roots of South African heritage.

4. Bhisho Airport

  • The Capital’s Connection: Bhisho, the administrative capital of the Eastern Cape, is served by Bhisho Airport. This airport, though not as well-known as its counterparts, plays a crucial role in connecting the governmental heart of the province with other regions. It stands as a symbol of development and progress, offering a more intimate and less crowded flying experience.

Each of these airports, with their unique characteristics and significance, forms an integral part of South Africa’s aviation network. They serve not just as points of arrival and departure but as gateways to the diverse experiences the Eastern Cape has to offer – from urban exploration in Port Elizabeth and East London to the rich cultural tapestry of Mthatha and the administrative heartbeat of Bhisho. The Eastern Cape’s airports are the starting points for journeys filled with discovery, adventure, and an in-depth understanding of South Africa’s multifaceted charm.

Free State Airports

The Free State province, known for its vast plains, gold mining history, and warm hospitality, is served by airports that are vital in connecting this central region to the rest of South Africa. Let’s explore the aerial gateways that make this possible.

Bram Fischer International Airport (Bloemfontein)

  • The Jewel of the Free State: Bram Fischer International Airport, located in the province’s capital, Bloemfontein, is more than just an airport; it’s a warm welcome to the heart of South Africa. Known as the City of Roses, Bloemfontein’s airport is the main hub for travelers seeking to explore the rich cultural heritage, academic institutions, and the tranquil yet vibrant life of the Free State’s largest city. Whether you’re visiting for business, education, or leisure, Bram Fischer International Airport offers a seamless entry to the experiences that Bloemfontein has to offer.

Welkom Airport

  • Gateway to Gold Fields: Welkom Airport may be smaller than its Bloemfontein counterpart, but it holds its own unique charm. This airport is the key to the Lejweleputswa district, an area famous for its gold mining history. Welkom, meaning “welcome” in Afrikaans, lives up to its name with an airport that offers easy access to the region’s mining towns, business opportunities, and leisure activities. Although it primarily serves local and regional flights, Welkom Airport is a testament to the region’s growth and an essential cog in the economic wheel of the Free State.

Both Bram Fischer International Airport and Welkom Airport, though differing in size and scale, play pivotal roles in linking the Free State to the rest of South Africa. These airports are not just transit points; they are the beginning of a journey into the heart of the country, where golden fields, cultural richness, and the spirit of Ubuntu await. Whether you’re touching down in the bustling city of Bloemfontein or the welcoming arms of Welkom, these airports offer a gateway to the unique blend of experiences that define the Free State.

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Gauteng Airports

Gauteng, the smallest yet most populous province in South Africa, is the country’s economic and industrial hub. This bustling province is served by a network of airports, each playing a significant role in connecting Johannesburg, Pretoria, and the surrounding areas to the rest of South Africa and the world. Let’s take a closer look at these aerial gateways.

O.R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)

  • Africa’s Busiest Airport: O.R. Tambo International Airport is not just an airport; it’s a symbol of connectivity and a gateway to the African continent. As the busiest airport in Africa, it serves as the primary hub for international and domestic travel. Whether you’re flying in for business in the thriving economic districts of Johannesburg or exploring the rich cultural heritage of the city, O.R. Tambo is your first step into the heart of South Africa’s urban energy.

Lanseria International Airport (Johannesburg)

  • The Convenient Alternative: Lanseria International Airport, situated to the northwest of Johannesburg, offers a more relaxed and expedient alternative to O.R. Tambo. Catering primarily to domestic and regional flights, it’s perfect for travellers looking for ease and convenience. With quick access to Johannesburg’s business centres and tourist attractions, Lanseria streamlines your journey into the city.

Wonderboom Airport (Pretoria)

  • Pretoria’s Aerial Doorstep: Serving South Africa’s administrative capital, Wonderboom Airport is a key regional airport in Gauteng. Located just north of Pretoria, it provides a convenient entry point to the city’s diplomatic embassies, historical landmarks, and lush, jacaranda-lined streets. For those seeking a blend of historical richness and modern governance, Wonderboom is your welcoming gateway.

Rand Airport (Germiston)

  • A Hub for Aviation Enthusiasts: Rand Airport, situated in Germiston, is a bustling centre for private and general aviation. While it may not handle the volume of international traffic seen at O.R. Tambo, Rand Airport has carved out its niche among flying enthusiasts and serves as a key player in the region’s aviation industry. It’s a portal not just to Gauteng but to the skies above, offering unique experiences in private and recreational flying.

KwaZulu-Natal Airports

KwaZulu-Natal, a province renowned for its lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and the warm Indian Ocean, is served by airports that not only connect this beautiful region to the rest of South Africa but also open doors to international visitors. Let’s embark on a journey through the skies of KwaZulu-Natal, starting from the bustling city of Durban to the scenic beauty of Pietermaritzburg and the industrial hub of Richards Bay.

King Shaka International Airport (Durban)

  • Gateway to the Zulu Kingdom: King Shaka International Airport, located north of Durban, is more than just an airport; it’s a modern gateway to the diverse experiences KwaZulu-Natal has to offer. Named after the famous Zulu king, this airport is a testament to the region’s rich history and vibrant future. Whether you’re headed to the golden beaches of the Durban coastline, the rolling hills of the Midlands, or the historic battlefields of the province, King Shaka International Airport is your starting point for an unforgettable journey in this diverse region.

Pietermaritzburg Airport

  • The Heart of the Midlands: Pietermaritzburg Airport, though smaller compared to King Shaka, serves as a vital link to the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. Nestled in the heart of the Midlands, this airport offers travelers a quaint and efficient entry point to the city’s colonial charm, lush surroundings, and the famous Midlands Meander. It’s a gateway to a region that beautifully blends historical significance with natural beauty, making it a favorite for both business and leisure travelers.

Richards Bay Airport

  • Industrial Gateway to the North Coast: Richards Bay Airport may be known for its connection to one of South Africa’s largest harbours and industrial centres, but it also serves as a convenient starting point for exploring the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The airport, primarily catering to business travelers, is a testament to the bustling economic activity of the region. Yet, it’s also a step away from the tranquil beaches and rich ecosystems of the Zululand coast, offering a unique blend of business and leisure opportunities.

Airports in Limpopo

Limpopo, a province renowned for its rich cultural heritage, majestic wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes, is home to airports that play a crucial role in connecting this picturesque region with the rest of South Africa. From the bustling capital city to the gateway of the great Kruger National Park and the border of Zimbabwe, let’s explore the skies of Limpopo through its airports.

Polokwane International Airport

  • Gateway to the North: Polokwane International Airport, located in the capital of Limpopo, is more than an airport; it’s the aerial heartbeat of the province. This airport is the perfect starting point for those looking to delve into the rich cultural tapestry of the northern region of South Africa. Whether you are visiting for business, exploring the ancient Kingdom of Mapungubwe, or embarking on a safari adventure, Polokwane International Airport is your gateway to an unforgettable Limpopo experience.

Phalaborwa Airport

  • The Wildlife Enthusiast’s Dream: Phalaborwa Airport may be modest in size, but it’s a significant gateway to some of South Africa’s most incredible wildlife experiences. Situated near the world-renowned Kruger National Park, this airport is a treasure for nature lovers and safari enthusiasts. It offers an immediate entry into an African adventure, where the Big Five roam free, and the natural beauty of the bushveld captivates every visitor.

Musina Airport

  • The Northernmost Aerial Point: Musina Airport, located near the Zimbabwean border, serves as an important link between South Africa and its northern neighbor. Though smaller and less frequented than the other airports in Limpopo, Musina Airport is crucial for regional connectivity and trade. For travelers looking to explore the northernmost parts of South Africa, discover the rich mineral wealth of the area, or venture into cross-border trade, Musina Airport is a strategic starting point.

Mpumalanga Airports

Mpumalanga, a province celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty and wildlife, is served by airports that offer more than just travel; they provide an entrance to some of South Africa’s most treasured landscapes and experiences.

  1. Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (Nelspruit)
    • The Safari Doorstep: This airport is not just a structure of steel and glass; it’s a gateway to the world-famous Kruger National Park. As you step off the plane, you’re on the threshold of an unforgettable safari experience, where the Big Five roam free in their natural habitat. The airport, with its charming thatched design, blends seamlessly into the surrounding bushveld, making your arrival a uniquely African experience.
  2. Skukuza Airport
    • The Heart of Kruger: Landing at Skukuza Airport is like entering the heart of the Kruger National Park. This small but vital airport puts you right in the midst of the park’s stunning biodiversity. It’s not just a landing strip; it’s the beginning of an adventure amidst lions, elephants, and countless other wildlife species.
  3. Nelspruit Airport
    • Your Regional Connector: Though smaller compared to Kruger Mpumalanga International, Nelspruit Airport serves as an important regional hub, connecting the area’s smaller towns and tourist destinations. It’s a vital cog in the wheel of Mpumalanga’s travel network.

Northern Cape Airports

The Northern Cape, known for its diamond fields and vast desert landscapes, is accessed via airports that are not only functional but also steeped in the history and culture of the region.

  1. Kimberley Airport
    • A Gem in the Mining Town: Kimberley Airport, in the heart of South Africa’s diamond mining history, is more than a travel hub. It’s a bridge to a city where the past meets the present, home to the Big Hole and rich mining history. The airport itself, though small, offers a warm welcome to this historically significant city.
  2. Upington International Airport
    • Gateway to the Desert: As the largest town in the arid Northern Cape, Upington’s airport serves as a crucial link to the Kalahari Desert and the renowned Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It’s not just an airport; it’s a starting point for explorations into some of South Africa’s most unique and breathtaking landscapes.

North West: From Safari to City

The North West province, blending urban life with wild adventures, is served by airports that offer both convenience and access to some of the region’s best attractions.

  1. Pilanesberg International Airport (Sun City)
    • Your Resort and Safari Hub: Situated near the famous Sun City resort and the Pilanesberg National Park, this airport is your direct route to leisure and wildlife. It’s not just an airport; it’s your entry to luxury resorts, world-class golf courses, and thrilling safari experiences.
  2. Mafikeng International Airport
    • The Capital’s Aerial Gateway: Serving the capital of the North West, Mafikeng International Airport is a key connector to this historic city. The airport may be modest, but it’s an essential link to the region’s administrative and cultural heart, offering both business and leisure travelers easy access to the city and its surrounding areas.

Western Cape Airports

The Western Cape provinc e, known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, boasts airports that not only connect these picturesque regions to the rest of South Africa but also to destinations around the world. Let’s embark on a journey to explore these gateways to the southern tip of Africa.

Cape Town International Airport

  • A World-Class Gateway: Cape Town International Airport is more than an airport; it’s a welcoming gateway to the Mother City. As one of Africa’s leading airports, it serves as a major hub for international and domestic flights. Whether you’re here to explore the iconic Table Mountain, the historic Robben Island, or the renowned vineyards of the Cape Winelands, Cape Town International Airport is your starting point for an unforgettable journey into the heart of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

George Airport

  • Doorway to the Garden Route: George Airport, situated in the heart of the Garden Route, offers a convenient entry point to this scenic stretch of the South African coastline. Known for its lush vegetation, lagoons, and pristine beaches, the Garden Route is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. George Airport, with its easy access and friendly service, is the perfect starting point for exploring the charming towns, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse activities that the Garden Route has to offer.

Plettenberg Bay Airport

  • The Jewel of the Garden Route: Plettenberg Bay Airport is a small but charming airport that serves as a gateway to one of the most picturesque towns along the Garden Route. Known for its stunning beaches, whale watching, and luxurious retreats, Plettenberg Bay is a favorite destination for both local and international tourists. The airport, with its convenient location and relaxed atmosphere, mirrors the tranquil and upscale vibe of the town, making it an ideal starting point for a leisurely exploration of Plettenberg Bay and its surroundings.

It’s important to note that while this list includes the major airports in each province, there are also many smaller airstrips and airfields across South Africa, often serving specific industries or private aviation needs. These smaller facilities may not offer regular commercial flights but can be used for charter flights and private aviation. The availability of airports and airstrips adds to the convenience and accessibility of various regions across the country, making South Africa a versatile destination for both local and international travelers.

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FAQs

How Many Airports Are There in South Africa?

South Africa boasts an approximately 26 number of airports, both major and minor. The total number includes international, domestic, and smaller regional airports. However, for the most accurate and up-to-date count, it’s recommended to refer to official South African aviation authorities or airport associations.

What is the Most Used Airport in South Africa?

The most used airport in South Africa is O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. This airport serves as the primary hub for domestic and international travel and is one of the busiest airports on the African continent.

How Many International Airlines Operate in South Africa?

Several international airlines operate in South Africa, connecting the country to destinations across the globe. The exact number of airlines can vary due to changes in airline operations and market conditions.

What are the Three International Airports in South Africa?

The three major international airports in South Africa are:

  1. O.R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)
  2. Cape Town International Airport
  3. King Shaka International Airport (Durban)

These airports serve as the primary gateways for international flights to and from South Africa.

What are Major Airports in South Africa?

Major airports in South Africa include:

  • O.R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)
  • Cape Town International Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport (Durban)
  • Port Elizabeth Airport
  • East London Airport
  • Bloemfontein Airport These airports play a crucial role in both domestic and international air travel.

What is the Most Beautiful Airport in South Africa?

The title of the most beautiful airport in South Africa can be subjective and based on personal opinions. However, Cape Town International Airport is often praised for its scenic surroundings and modern facilities.

Who Owns the Airports?

In South Africa, most of the major airports are owned and operated by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), a state-owned entity. ACSA is responsible for managing significant airports across the country, ensuring their operation and development.

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