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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 transfers: Semester Study Abroad first semester 2018

We look forward to welcoming our incoming class of semester study abroad students to Cape Town in the next two weeks! 

UCT has partnered with Uber to provide you with transport from Cape Town International Airport to your accommodation. No waiting for a bus to fill with students from other flights!  No problems with buses reaching houses in narrow roads!  Transport available for you within a few minutes of submitting your request.

If you would like to make use of the Uber service for your airport transfer, please complete the form online here to give us your arrival information.  Our colleague  Vuyokazi Pono will then email you directly with your UBER code.  Please check the email address you used when you applied to UCT for this email.   The Uber voucher is only valid for a short period, so will be mailed to you 5 days before your expected arrival date in Cape Town.  If you have not received it by this date, please email

Your email will include a voucher code which entitles you to ONE ride with Uber to the value of a maximum of R200.  This should be more than enough to cover the cost from Cape Town International to UCT or the suburbs surrounding UCT.

The email will detail exactly how to redeem the voucher.  For those of you arriving on the  4th, 5th and 6th of February, between 9am and 5pm, at least one of our friendly Orientation Leaders (OLs) will be at the airport to meet you in the arrivals hall and help you to organize your Uber ride.  Look for a sign with the IAPO logo carried by someone with a big smile and wearing a turquoise coloured T-shirt with the UCT logo.

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 2017 for the 2018 year (but, our latest information indicates that these dates will be the 4th, 5th and 6th February 2018).

Details of how to reserve an airport pick-up will be available on this site towards the end of December 2017.

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.