Exploring South Africa’s Hidden Gems: A Guide to Domestic Flights

Introduction to South Africa Domestic Flights

South Africa is a country known for its diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. It is also a popular tourist destination, with thousands of visitors flocking to the country each year to experience its beauty and charm. One of the most convenient and efficient ways to navigate around South Africa is by air, specifically through domestic flights. In this blog article, we will take a closer look at South Africa domestic flights, including their history, regulations, and top airlines.

History of Domestic Flights in South Africa

The history of domestic flights in South Africa can be traced back to the 1920s when the first commercial flights were introduced in the country. These flights were primarily used for mail delivery, but soon, passengers were also allowed to travel on these small aircraft. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that domestic flights became more popular and accessible to the general public.

In the 1960s, the South African government established the national carrier, South African Airways (SAA), which played a significant role in the development of domestic flights. SAA operated both domestic and international flights, connecting major cities in South Africa and other countries. Over the years, 1time SAA has faced various challenges, including financial struggles and competition from other airlines. Despite these challenges, SAA continues to be a leading airline in the country, offering domestic flights to various destinations.

Regulations for Domestic Flights in South Africa

As with any form of travel, there are regulations and guidelines that passengers must adhere to when flying domestically in South Africa. These regulations are put in place to ensure the safety and security of all passengers on board. Here are some of the essential regulations for domestic flights in South Africa:

1. Identification Requirements: Passengers are required to present a valid form of identification before boarding a domestic flight in South Africa. This can be in the form of a government-issued ID, passport, or driver’s license.

2. Baggage Allowance: Each airline has its own baggage allowance policy, and it is crucial for passengers to familiarize themselves with these policies before traveling. Generally, passengers are allowed to carry one piece of hand luggage and one checked bag, with weight and size restrictions.

3. Check-in Time: Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their scheduled flight time. This allows enough time for check-in, security checks, and boarding procedures.

4. Restricted Items: There are certain items that are not allowed on domestic flights, such as weapons, sharp objects, and flammable materials. It is essential to check with the airline beforehand to avoid any inconvenience.

Top Airlines for Domestic Flights in South Africa

With the rise in domestic travel in South Africa, several airlines now offer flights between major cities in the country. Here are some of the top airlines for domestic flights in South Africa:

1. South African Airways (SAA): As mentioned earlier, SAA is the national carrier of South Africa and has been operating since the 1960s. It offers flights to various destinations within the country, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth.

2. Mango Airlines: Mango Airlines is a low-cost carrier that was established in 2006. It is a subsidiary of SAA and offers affordable flights to popular destinations such as Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth.

3. Kulula Airlines: Another low-cost carrier, Kulula Airlines, was established in 2001. It is known for its bright green planes and offers flights to major cities in South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.

4. FlySafair: FlySafair is another low-cost airline that was founded in 2014. It operates flights to various cities in South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.

5. British Airways (Comair): British Airways, in partnership with Comair, offers domestic flights to various destinations in South Africa. It is a full-service airline, and passengers can enjoy amenities such as complimentary meals and drinks on board.

Popular Domestic Flight Routes in South Africa

South Africa is a vast country, and there are numerous domestic flight routes that passengers can choose from. Here are some of the most popular routes for domestic flights in South Africa:

1. Johannesburg to Cape Town: This is one of the busiest domestic flight routes in South Africa, connecting the country’s two biggest cities. Both SAA and Mango Airlines offer frequent flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

2. Johannesburg to Durban: Another popular route is between Johannesburg and Durban, two major cities on the east coast. SAA, Mango Airlines, and Kulula Airlines all offer flights between these two cities.

3. Cape Town to Durban: The route between Cape Town and Durban is also a popular one, especially for tourists looking to explore the country’s coastal regions. SAA, Mango Airlines, and Kulula Airlines all offer flights between these cities.

4. Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth: For those looking to explore the beautiful Eastern Cape region, the route between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth is a popular choice. SAA, Mango Airlines, and Kulula Airlines all offer flights between these cities.

5. Johannesburg to East London: East London is another popular destination in the Eastern Cape, and there are frequent flights from Johannesburg to this city. SAA, Mango Airlines, and Kulula Airlines all offer flights between these cities.

Tips for Booking Domestic Flights in South Africa

Now that you have a better understanding of domestic flights in South Africa, here are some tips to keep in mind when booking your flights:

1. Book in Advance: Domestic flights in South Africa can get quite busy, especially during peak travel seasons. It is advisable to book your flights in advance to secure a seat and possibly get better deals.

2. Compare Prices: With various airlines offering domestic flights in South Africa, it is essential to compare prices before booking. This will help you find the best deal and save money on your travels.

3. Be Flexible: If possible, be flexible with your travel dates. Flights on weekdays are generally cheaper than those on weekends, and early morning or late-night flights are often more affordable.

4. Join Loyalty Programs: If you frequently travel domestically in South Africa, consider joining the loyalty programs of your preferred airline. This can help you earn points and discounts on future flights.

5. Check for Special Deals: Keep an eye out for special deals and promotions offered by airlines. These can help you save money and make your domestic travels more affordable.


Domestic flights in South Africa have come a long way since their inception in the 1920s. With numerous airlines and popular flight routes, it is now more convenient and accessible to travel within the country. Whether you are a local or a tourist, flying domestically is a great way to explore the diverse landscapes and cultures of South Africa. Remember to follow the regulations and tips mentioned in this article to make your domestic flight experience in South Africa as smooth and enjoyable as possible.