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Tuesday 5 March 2024

Gauteng hopes new flights will boost tourism numbers


The Kruger National Park and the wine regions of the Cape are probably the two major tourism drawcards in South Africa for Australian visitors. 

That said, Gauteng Tourism is hoping the new South Africa Airways Perth-Johannesburg direct route will open myriad African experiences for Australian travellers - including the much-maligned city of Johannesburg. 

The non-stop three times a week flight takes-off from late April and has already seen a keen uptake of seats, particularly in economy class. 

"We are really excited that this flight has recommended after a three-year hiatus," says Sthembiso Dlamini, CEO of Gauteng Tourism Authority, with takes in both Johannesburg and Soweto, 

"The route provides an easier and direct passage for both leisure and business travellers and promotes trade and cultural exchange between South Africa and Australia." 

She says the new flights give Australian travellers easier access to the rich tapestry of experiences that Gauteng offers – from its edgy urban lifestyle to natural landscapes. 

Having visited regularly, I can assure it is a fascinating destination if you take sensible precautions. 

"It is an invitation to explore the #GPLifestyle - a unique blend of adventure, culture, and gastronomy that the province is renowned for," Dlamini adds.
Among the attractions being touted are the Cradle of Humankind, the caves where early man lived; and Soweto, the former residence of Nobel winners Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu, who actually lived in the same street in Dube. 

There is also plenty to thrill the outdoor adventurer and those hooked on adrenaline from bungee jumping, the world's longest SCAD freefall at the Soweto Towers, kayaking, mountain climbing, cycling and water sports. 

The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is recognised as one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world; and there are multiple nature reserves and game reserves. 

The direct flights (SA 280) depart OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays and arrive at Perth International Airport, the following day. 

Flights from Perth (SA 281) are scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and arrive the same in Johannesburg.

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