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Arrivals and Airport Transfers

Arrival and Departure dates

Do not book your flights to Cape Town before you have received confirmation of acceptance into your programme.
We ask students to arrive on time; that is, only when you housing is available and before the beginning of orientation. Our recommended departure date is no sooner than the final day of each semester.  See "Arrival & Departure Dates; Booking flights" for more information.


You will either fly directly to Cape Town International Airport, or enter South Africa through O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, and transfer to a national flight to Cape Town. 

The Johannesburg international arrivals and domestic departures are located about 15 minutes away from each other. When making your air ticket booking, please ensure that you have adequate time to move from one terminal to the other to catch your connecting flight in time.  We recommend that you allow no less than 2 hours, but preferably 3 hours transfer time.

You will enter the country through one of the border posts. Ensure that you have the following documents handy: your passport and study permit (to be shown to the immigration officer), letter of offer of study at the university and details of accommodation arranged.

IAPO Airport Arrival Transfer

This service is available for Semester Study Abroad Students (SSA) and new (first-time) international full degree students arriving at Cape Town International Airport (domestic or international arrivals).

This pick-up service is at no cost to all new students living in University accommodation and surrounding areas.

The pick-up service is limited to specific days and specific times (approximately 3 separate times over two to three separate dates at the start of the first semester) and these times and dates will be advertised towards the end of December 2016 for the 2017 year (but, our latest information indicates that these dates will be the 4th, 5th and 6th March 2017).

Details of how to reserve an airport pick-up will be available on this site towards the end of December 2016.

NB: If you are coming to UCT with one of the following partner programmes: Arcadia, CIEE, IES, Ida Cooper and Associates or ISA, your arrivals transfer will be arranged by them.

If you are a returning student, or plan to arrive on a date when an airport pickup organized by IAPO is not available, and you wish to use a shuttle service to get to UCT, you could make a booking with the Jammie Shuttle Taxi Service. It is advisable to make a booking before leaving for South Africa should you wish to use this shuttle service. Contact details:

Jammie Shuttle Taxi Service
Tel: +27 21 685 7135
Fax:+ 27 21 685 7138

NB: Travelling from Cape Town International Airport to UCT, Mowbray, Rondebosch, and Rosebank areas will cost you about R335.00 on average.

Alternatively, you could make use of the MyCiti bus which travels from the airport to the centre of the city’s business district, and then arrange a taxi from there. UBER also operates in Cape Town and is available as an option from the airport to anywhere in greater Cape Town, as are metered taxis.

Transport while in Cape Town

Cape Town offers many forms of transportation including trains, buses and minibus taxis, UBER and metered taxis. Although the buses and trains are less expensive than taxis, they stop working early in the evening.

We recommend that students do not make use of buses or trains outside of regular commuter hours (07h30 to 17h30, Monday to Friday).

UCT has a unique shuttle service, the Jammie Shuttle, available to all members of the university community.

We highly recommend that students also make use of arranged transport. Details and phone numbers will be provided at orientation.