Johannesburg is a sprawling city and the lack of convenient and safe public transport is often an obstacle to visitors. City transport consists of an unreliable bus network and a series of minibus taxi routes, neither of which operate much after dark.
The main bus terminus is at Ghandi Square in the city centre where there are timetables and route maps, but times are rarely accurate. Gautrain bus services only run to stops around Sandton. Alternatively, a sightseeing bus provides hop-on hop-off tours around the city in open-topped buses.
The quickest and cheapest way to get around is on a minibus taxi, an informal bus service that goes everywhere but has no schedule or formal stops and can be picked up at taxi ranks or hailed anywhere along its route. However, dangerous driving, overcrowding, and high crime rates at taxi ranks have deterred many from using them as a means of transport. If necessary, use them for short hops only and never with baggage.
Safer but far more expensive are metered taxis, which need to be booked in advance. The best way to get around is by private car and there is an excellent network of highways and well-maintained roads. There are a number of car rental agencies that require drivers to be over 23 years old and hold a full driving license.
A passport and credit card are also necessary. Drivers should keep their windows up and doors locked at all times, never leave anything visible in a parked car, and never stop for hitchhikers. Be aware that there is a risk of car hijacking so remain alert, especially when leaving or returning to the car, and seek out secure parking.
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