safety issues in Joberg airport

Oct 9th, 2010, 05:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 60
safety issues in Joberg airport

We were planning my wife and I to overnight in Sandton before flying on to hoedspruit after arriving in joberg from Zambia.We were going to take the Gautrain from the airport.It seemed both the quickest and most reasonable way to get there.Then one of my South African patients told me this was not a safe way to travel i.e. as obvious tourists with luggage and we would be better served by taking a taxi direct.When I mentioned I was not aware of a higher risk of being mugged and that there was no news of incidents during the recent world cup his reply was the south africans were told to be on their best behaviour.Is this an obvious over reaction to isolated incidents?Are stories about crime in Joberg blown out of proportion?We are really looking forward to our coming trip for a month in South Africa but transiting Joberg airport 4 times in total does cause some concern especial;ly for my wife.
If we do elect to take a taxi any idea of cost?I suppose we could taxi to Sandtyon and take the Gautrain back to the airport.The reason I chose to stay overnight in Sandton between flights was because of being able to take a relatively quick and reasonably priced means of transport.Any feedback welcome.I need to allay my wifes fears.
Thanks to all you fodorites who have helped us to plan our trip
ronaldmaurice is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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There are several hotels at and very near the airport. The Intercontinental is within easy walking distance, but $$$. The Sun Intercontinental is a 5 min shuttle ride. The Emperors Palace Complex has four hotels and is a free 10 min shuttle ride. Why not do one of those?

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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We have been to SA quite a few times but never rode any kind of train for transfer reasons in JNB.
I wouldn't even consider it during daylight.

For your peace of mind use a taxi or book a transfer service.

We used which is extremely reliable and not that expensive.

Happy landings!

spassvogel is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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There is a new option right in the airport, Citi Lodge. It's less expensive than the Intercontinental and you can simply walk across the driveway and follow the signs to it (it's on top of one of the parking garages.) I took a quick tour of it last month and was impressed. There is a coffee shop in the hotel, but you could also go to the Interncontinental or back into the airport, curbside, for dining options.

I stayed at the Peermont Metcourt in Emperor's Palace, a good, reasonably-priced option that's a quick shuttle ride away, as Tom points out. The advantage there is the wealth of dining options near the casino. You simply follow the signs to "Transport" out of the main doors of the terminal to find the shuttles (behind the Intercontinental Hotel.)
ShayTay is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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I agree with all of the above. Stay within free shuttle or walking distance of the airport. I've stayed at both the Intercontinental and the Sun. Both were very convenient and had dining/bar options. After being out in the bush, just having a door on the bathroom was a luxury.

Have fun!
christabir is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 05:02 PM
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We stayed at the Metcourt Laurel in June 2008 during a layover on honeymoon. Room was very clean and complex was nice (though pretty empty.)

And it was a bit strange to feel like you were in some Las Vegas casino in South Africa. Once you were inside the complex, you could have been anywhere. (We call it "Airport Vegas" in our house.)

But it was clean. And VERY easy to get to/from airport. Which is everything we could ask for in a layover! And the breakfast was excellent.

Word of warning: Some of the rooms at the Metcourt don't have real windows. Ours looked out into a hallway. Not a big deal, but just a little strange. Would stay there again in a heartbeat, but ask for an exterior room or stay at the Mondior as they have true windows, I believe.

Had a nice sitdown dinner at the food court.

And our favorite part of the Metcourt was that it was cheap, given the amenities and location!
Back2Sabi is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 06:01 AM
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Thanks for all your replies.We had already booked our b and b in Sandton.From other research and replies from locals in Sandton there have been no incidents on the Gautrain.However we plan tro get a taxi from the airport and ride the Gautrain back in the next day.Apparently it is quite the experience and the only one in Africa.
ronaldmaurice is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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>"one of my South African patients told me this was not a safe way to travel"

Absolute nonsense - the Gautrain has an excellent safety record and it's crawling with guards. Commuter trains in SA are a different story. But why sit in a traffic jam if you can arrive in Sandton in style in under 20 minutes? Ask the guesthouse to pick you up at the station, or take a taxi from there for the last leg, cabs wait along the street opposite the station exit.
jeroenvm is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 11:32 PM
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"I wouldn't even consider it during daylight." Every poster is entitled to his or her opinion and plans for their own travel. But to make a comment like that as supposedly informed advice, is both ill-informed and nonsense.

Jeroen comments are correct.
ArthurSA is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 06:44 AM
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Like spassvogel, I've never been on a train in South Africa, but purely because I've rented cars, not because of crime.

Spassvogel's comments are scaremogering, and not based on experience or facts. "For peace of mind".....

The Gautrain is new. I do not know what the safety record is, but I would like to try it. Some of my friends travel to South Africa solely to ride the trains! Some are world-class.

See also for useful info on trains.
mcwomble is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 07:38 PM
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My brother lives in Johannesburg and he is planning on coming to the airport to collect me and take me back on the Gautrain. I leave this Friday and am not concerned.
PRLCH is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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A LOCALE is fetching you...totally different story.

What a very kind co-fodorite.
And YESSSS - everybody is entitled to an opinion and certainly without being evaluated by others as NONSENSE!

spassvogel is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 11:15 PM
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spassvogel, either your comment to me is sarcastic or you never understood my post. Most "visitor" posters to this site give correct valuable feedback, based on actual experience. But the reason Jeroen and I responded as we did was that you gave ill-informed and incorrect "advice", which is seemingly not even based on any kind of actual experience. To repeat (this time with less hasty grammar ), Jeroen's comments are correct.

On 29 September, after exactly 100 days of operation of what is still a partial service, the Gautrain took on board its one millionth passenger.
ArthurSA is offline  
Oct 13th, 2010, 02:26 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Spassvogel - you are opening yourself to ridicule. What do you base your opinion on (I wouldnt consider it even in daylight) if you've never been on a train?

I've never been on a train in SA, but I know that some are luxurious, and some are probably dodgy.

I wouldn't generalise that they were all the same.
mcwomble is offline  

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