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Yes, Uber is available in Johannesburg. The bustling South African metropolis has embraced the convenience and efficiency of Uber. The ride-share service and those like it, have become increasingly popular since its introduction, offering residents and tourists alike an accessible, tech-driven transportation alternative.

Affectionately known as Joburg or Jozi, Johannesburg is a vibrant and dynamic city in South Africa, known for its rich history, diverse culture, and bustling urban life. If you’re planning a trip, you might be wondering how you are going to get around, and, is there Uber in Johanmesburg.

This guide aims to provide comprehensive information about using Uber in Johannesburg, alongside other transportation options available in the city.

Is There Uber in Johannesburg?

cartoon of man ordering a taxi, a large phone shows the different options for different taxis
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Uber has been operational in Johannesburg for several years and is a popular choice for both locals and tourists. It provides a reliable and convenient way to navigate the city’s extensive neighborhoods and attractions. The introduction of Uber brought a modern twist to the city’s transportation landscape, offering an alternative to traditional taxis and public transport.

Are Ubers Cheap in Johannesburg?

Comparatively, Uber can be more cost-effective than traditional taxis. Prices fluctuate based on demand, time of day, and traffic conditions, but generally, Uber offers competitive rates. The affordability of Uber rides makes it a favored choice for many residents and visitors.

How Much Does Uber Cost in Johannesburg?

Uber Fare Structure in Johannesburg

Uber calculates fares in Johannesburg using the standard formula: a base fare plus charges per minute and per kilometer traveled. Prices may vary depending on the type of Uber service chosen (e.g., UberX, Uber Black) and current demand levels, which can lead to surge pricing during peak times.

Example Uber Fare

An illustrative fare for a standard route, such as from O.R. Tambo International Airport to Johannesburg city center which is about 20 kilometers and takes 30 minutes (or more depending on traffic), currently costs around 350 ZAR close to $20 USD. However, fares can fluctuate depending on time of day, traffic and exact destination, for the most accurate and current fare estimates, it’s recommended to use the fare estimator feature in the Uber app.

Comparing Uber with Traditional Taxis

Traditional taxis in Johannesburg may have a different pricing structure, often with a higher base fare and per kilometer rate compared to Uber. Taxi meters are commonly used, but in some cases, drivers may negotiate the fare upfront. This variability can make Uber a more predictable and often cheaper option.

Payment for Uber Rides

Uber in Johannesburg accepts various forms of payment, including major credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payment options through the Uber app. This cashless transaction system adds to the convenience and security of the service.

Uber Issues in Johannesburg

Uber has transformed the transportation landscape in Johannesburg, offering convenience and efficiency. However, like any service, it’s not without its challenges and potential issues. Being aware of these can help riders have a smoother experience.

Technical Difficulties
  • App Glitches: Occasionally, users might experience technical glitches with the Uber app, such as difficulty booking rides or fare estimate errors.
  • GPS Inaccuracies: In some areas, GPS inaccuracies can lead to confusion in pick-up locations.
Service-Related Issues
  • Surge Pricing: During peak hours, festivals, or major events, surge pricing can significantly increase fares.
  • Availability: Finding an available Uber can be challenging in some parts of the city, especially in more remote or less populated areas.
Safety Concerns
  • Safety: While Uber generally offers a safe travel option, it’s always prudent for passengers to check the driver’s identity and vehicle details before getting into the car.
Potential Scams
  • Overcharging: Some drivers might take longer routes to increase the fare. Always check the estimated route in the app.
  • Cancellation Scams: Be aware of drivers who accept your ride and then call to ask you to cancel for a vague reason. This might be an attempt to collect a cancellation fee without providing the service.
  • Fake Ride Requests: Beware of scams outside busy venues where people may pose as Uber drivers. Always verify the car model and license plate through the app.
Resolving Issues

Uber provides in-app support for reporting and resolving any issues. Users can report their concerns directly through the app, and Uber typically responds promptly to these queries.

Do I Need to Tip Uber Drivers in Johannesburg?

Tipping culture can vary significantly from one country to another. In South Africa, tipping is customary in service industries, but tipping Uber drivers is not a requirement. Nevertheless it is certainly accepted and appreciated. For those who choose to tip, a common guideline is about 10% of the fare. However, any amount deemed appropriate by the rider is acceptable.

While the Uber app does include an option to add a tip after the ride, passengers can also tip in cash if they prefer.

Other Ride-sharing Apps in Johannesburg

While Uber is a popular choice for ride-sharing in Johannesburg, there are several other apps offering similar services. These alternatives provide options for users to compare prices, availability, and service types. Here’s an overview of some notable ride-sharing apps operating in Johannesburg:


  • Overview: Bolt is a strong competitor to Uber in Johannesburg, known for its competitive pricing and user-friendly interface.
  • Features: Similar to Uber, Bolt offers various categories of rides, including more economical options and premium services.
  • Pricing: Bolt’s fares are often slightly lower than Uber’s, making it a cost-effective alternative for riders.
  • Website: Bolt


  • Overview: inDrive stands out with its unique model where passengers can negotiate the fare directly with drivers.
  • Features: This service allows users to set their own fare for a trip, and drivers nearby can accept this fare or counter with their own offer.
  • Advantages: This bidding system can sometimes lead to lower prices than traditional fixed-rate services.
  • Website: inDrive


  • Overview: DiDi is another global ride-sharing service that has expanded to Johannesburg, offering competitive services.
  • Features: DiDi is known for its safety features, competitive pricing, and regular promotions.
  • Pricing: Often provides promotional fares and discounts, which can be very attractive to users.
  • Website: DiDi

Each of these services has its own app available on both iOS and Android platforms, making them easily accessible for users. They offer varying features, pricing models, and levels of service, catering to a wide range of preferences and needs.

Taxis in Johannesburg

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Taxis play a significant role in the transportation landscape of Johannesburg. They offer a traditional alternative to ride-sharing apps and are widely available across the city.

Are Taxis Cheap in Johannesburg?

  • Comparative Pricing: Generally, taxis in Johannesburg can be more expensive than ride-sharing services like Uber. Prices can vary based on the taxi company, the time of day, and the specific route.
  • Metered Fares: Most official taxis are metered, and the fares are regulated. However, it’s always advisable to confirm whether the meter is used before starting the journey.

How Much Do Taxis Cost in Johannesburg?

  • Fare Structure: Metered taxis usually charge a base fare plus an additional cost per kilometer. There might also be charges for waiting time. The base fare is usually somewhere between 50 – 100 ZAR ($2.50 – $5 USD). The cost per kilometer is around 10 – 20 ZAR ($0.50 – $1). Waiting time might be applied at 50 – 100 ZAR per hour.
  • Example Fare: An average fare from O.R. Tambo International Airport to the city center might cost around 500 ZAR or $25 USD.
  • Flat Fare: Although taxis have meters in Johannesburg it is common for fares to be negotiated between passenger and driver upfront.

Payment Methods

  • Cash and Card Payments: While many taxis accept cash, an increasing number now also accept credit cards. However, it’s advisable to confirm the accepted payment methods with the driver before beginning your trip.

Catching a Taxi in Johannesburg

Hailing on the Street

This is not common in Johannesburg to hail a taxi in the street however you may find taxis queing outside popular tourist hubs. Nevertheless, it is more reliable and safer to pre-book a taxi.

Taxi Ranks = Minibus

Taxi ranks in Johanessburg are not like taxi ranks in other places! Here shared taxis travel along a set route and you can catch an economical (albeit hectic) ride. While the experience can be daunting for first time visitors to South Africa it is also an truly authentic way to travel. There are designated taxi ranks in significant areas where taxis queue for passengers.

In Johannesburg, three primary taxi ranks exist: Bree/Metro Mall, MTN (Noord)/Park Central, and Westgate. Each rank specializes in different destinations. For assistance, you can request a taxi marshal at these ranks to guide you to a taxi that travels to your specified location. Taxis at the Bree rank primarily serve the South and West of Johannesburg. Those at the MTN rank cater to the North and East, while Westgate’s taxis are designated for longer journeys.


For a more secure and predictable private taxi service, pre-booking a taxi via phone or a taxi company’s app is recommended.

Taxi Companies in Johannesburg

  • Popular Taxi Services: Companies like Rose Taxis and Orange Cabs are well-known and reliable.
  • Contact Information:

Taxi Safety in Johannesburg

While taxis in Johannesburg are generally reliable, being aware of potential scams can help ensure a safe and fair travel experience. Here are some additional scams to watch out for:

  • Safety Considerations: While taxis are generally safe, it’s advisable to use reputable companies and avoid unmarked vehicles.
  • Tips for Safety: Always check that the taxi has a functioning meter and clear identification.
Taxi Scams to Be Aware Of
  • Overcharging: Some drivers may take longer routes to increase the fare. Being aware of your route can help avoid this.
  • Unofficial Taxis: Beware of unmarked or unofficial taxis, especially at airports and tourist areas.
  • Switching Notes: After receiving a cash payment, the driver quickly switches the note for a smaller denomination and claims the passenger underpaid. Always pay attention when handing over cash and be familiar with South African currency denominations.
  • Tampered Meters: Some unscrupulous drivers may use a tampered meter that runs faster than normal, inflating the fare. Look for a meter that seems to be running too fast or jumping in large increments. If in doubt, ask to stop and settle for a reasonable fare based on distance traveled.
  • Long Route/Detour: The driver takes a longer route or claims a detour is necessary to increase the fare, particularly if they sense the passenger is unfamiliar with the area. Use a GPS-enabled device or a map app, ideally with real time traffic conditions to monitor your route. Politely suggest the route you prefer if you notice deviations.
  • No Change: The driver insists they don’t have change for a large note, hoping the passenger will allow them to keep the change. Try to carry smaller denominations or ask for the estimated fare in advance and prepare the exact amount.
  • No Meter: The driver claims the meter is broken at the start of the trip and then charges an inflated flat rate. If the meter is not working, negotiate a fare before departing or choose another taxi.

By being vigilant and informed, passengers can avoid these common taxi scams in Johannesburg. Always prefer reputable taxi services and remain alert, especially when traveling in unfamiliar areas.

Other Ways to Get Around Johannesburg

Apart from Uber and taxis, Johannesburg offers various other modes of transportation that cater to different needs and preferences. Here’s a look at some of the key alternatives:


  • Overview: Gautrain is a modern rapid transit railway system in Gauteng, connecting Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekhurhuleni, and O.R. Tambo International Airport.
  • Usage: It’s an efficient way to travel, especially for avoiding traffic during peak hours. Gautrain offers a clean, fast, and safe travel experience.
  • Cost: Fares vary depending on the distance. A typical ride from Sandton to O.R. Tambo International Airport costs around ZAR 170 (~ 11 USD).
  • More Information: Gautrain


  • Overview: Metrobus is a large bus service operator in Johannesburg, offering extensive routes covering most areas of the city.
  • Usage: It’s a cost-effective option, especially for those without access to a car.
  • Cost: Fares are distance-based, with an average cost around ZAR 10 to ZAR 20 (~ 0.65 to 1.30 USD) per trip.
  • More Information: Metrobus

Minibus Taxis (Taxi Rank)

  • Overview: Minibus taxis are a popular and ubiquitous form of public transportation in Johannesburg.
  • Usage: They are ideal for short to medium distances and are very affordable, though they may not offer the comfort and safety standards of other modes.
  • Destinations: Three primary taxi ranks exist: Bree/Metro Mall, MTN (Noord)/Park Central, and Westgate. Each rank specializes in different destinations. For assistance, you can request a taxi marshal at these ranks to guide you to a taxi that travels to your specified location.
  • Cost: Fares are very low, typically around ZAR 10 to ZAR 30 (~ 0.65 to 1.95 USD), depending on the distance.
  • Note: Minibus taxis can be crowded and may not always follow a strict schedule or route.


  • Overview: For the more adventurous, biking is a way to explore Johannesburg, although it’s more common for leisure than daily commuting due to the city’s layout and traffic.
  • Bike Rentals: There are several bike rental services and guided bike tours in the city.
  • Safety: Always wear a helmet and follow traffic rules.


  • Overview: In certain areas, particularly those that are more tourist-oriented like Sandton, Braamfontein, and Maboneng, walking can be a pleasant way to explore.
  • Safety: Always be aware of your surroundings and prefer walking during daylight hours in well-populated areas.

How to Get from O.R. Tambo International Airport to Johannesburg City Center

Passengers with luggage in airport flat illustration
Image by pch.vector on Freepik

O.R. Tambo International Airport is the primary airport serving Johannesburg and the busiest in Africa. There are several convenient ways to travel from the airport to the city center:


  • Fast and Efficient: The Gautrain offers a quick and comfortable ride from O.R. Tambo International Airport to major hubs like Sandton and Johannesburg city center.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 15-20 minutes to reach Sandton.
  • Cost: Around ZAR 170 (~ 11 USD).
  • More Information: Gautrain

Private Transfer

  • Conveinient and Hasslefree: Not the cheapest but perhaps the easiest way to get to your accommodation after a long flight.
  • Estimated Cost: Rides to the city center starts from $35
  • Travel Time: About 30 minutes to the city center, depending on traffic.

🔎 Search and compare private transfers on Trip Advisor

Uber (or Other Rideshare)

  • Convenient and Familiar: Uber operates at O.R. Tambo International Airport, providing a familiar option for many travelers.
  • Cost: The fare to the city center is roughly ZAR 350 (~ $19 USD), subject to surge pricing and traffic conditions.
  • Pick-up Point: Uber has specific pick-up zones at the airport, which are indicated in the app.

Car Rentals

  • Availability: Several car rental agencies operate at the airport for travelers preferring to drive themselves.
  • Cost: Varies by company and type of vehicle. Remember to consider parking and traffic within the city.

🚗 Considering renting a car? Check out DiscoverCars to search, compare, and save up to 70% on car rentals!

Public Buses

  • Budget Option: Public buses are available but might not be the most convenient for travelers with luggage or during peak hours.
  • Cost: Relatively inexpensive, but less convenient than other options.
  • Find more information here

Shuttle Services

  • Pre-Booked Shuttles: Various companies offer shuttle services that can be booked in advance.
  • Cost and Convenience: Prices vary, but they offer the convenience of a set fare and direct transportation to your destination.
  • Find more information here

Airport Taxis

  • Official Taxis: Airport taxis are available outside the arrivals terminal. Taxi drivers will begin harassing you the moment you step out of the terminal.
  • Estimated Fare: The fare to the city center should cost approximately 500 ZAR (~ $25 USD) however price gouging is common practice here.
  • Travel Time: About 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

Is There WiFi at O.R. Tambo International Airport?

O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg offers travelers complimentary WiFi, facilitating easy internet access for various needs, including arranging transportation upon arrival.

Accessing WiFi at the Airport

  • Free WiFi Service: The airport provides free WiFi, which can be accessed in most public areas within the terminals.
  • Connection Process: To connect, you typically need to select the airport WiFi network on your device and complete a simple registration process.
  • Time Limit: The free WiFi service has a 4 hour time limit. After this period, you may have the option to purchase additional time if needed.

Tips for a Smooth Experience

  • Charge Your Devices: Ensure your devices are charged, or have a power bank handy, as you might need them for internet access and booking transport.
  • Prepare for Connectivity: If you’re planning to use apps like Uber or Bolt upon landing, it’s a good idea to have them downloaded and set up on your device beforehand.

Having WiFi access at the airport is a great convenience for travelers, allowing for seamless organization of transport options upon arrival in Johannesburg.

How to Travel Between Cities in the Region

Traveling between cities in the Gauteng region and beyond from Johannesburg offers various options, catering to different preferences and budgets. Here’s a guide to some of the most common inter-city transportation methods:


  • Connectivity: The Gautrain not only serves Johannesburg but also connects to Pretoria and other key locations in the Gauteng region.
  • Comfort and Speed: It’s a fast, comfortable, and efficient way to travel, especially during peak traffic hours.
  • Fares: Prices vary depending on the distance and destination. For example, a trip from Johannesburg to Pretoria costs around ZAR 55-85 (~ 3.60-5.55 USD).
  • More Information: Gautrain

Long-Distance Buses

  • Companies: Major bus companies like Greyhound, Intercape, and Translux offer services between Johannesburg and other major cities in South Africa.
  • Comfort Levels: These buses range from standard to luxury, with varying amenities.
  • Cost: Fares depend on the destination and service level, with a trip to Cape Town, for example, costing around ZAR 500-800 (~ $25-45 USD).

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Domestic Flights

  • Air Travel: For longer distances, domestic flights can be the fastest way to travel. Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport is well connected with other major cities like Cape Town and Durban.
  • Airlines: Carriers include South African Airways, FlySafair, Kulula, and Mango.
  • Cost: Prices vary widely based on booking time and airline, with flights to Cape Town typically ranging from ZAR 800 to 2000 (~ $45 – $110 USD).

Car Rentals

  • Flexibility: Renting a car offers the flexibility to travel at your own pace and explore off-the-beaten-path destinations.
  • Costs: Daily rental rates vary, and you’ll need to consider fuel and tolls. It’s a good option for those comfortable with long drives.

🚗 Considering renting a car? Check out DiscoverCars to search, compare, and save up to 70% on car rentals!


  • Scenic Routes: For a more scenic and leisurely journey, consider using the train services like Shosholoza Meyl.
  • Travel Time: Trains take longer but offer a unique travel experience.
  • Fares: Reasonably priced but vary based on the route and class.

Is There Uber Eats in Johannesburg?

Availability of Uber Eats

Yes, Uber Eats is available and active in Johannesburg. This service provides a convenient option for ordering food from a wide range of restaurants and eateries across the city.

Alternative Food Delivery Services

In addition to Uber Eats, there are other food delivery services operating in Johannesburg, such as:

  • Mr. D Food: A local favorite with a wide range of restaurant options.
  • OrderIn: Another popular choice offering a variety of cuisines.

Each of these services has its own app and website, making it easy for residents and visitors to order food conveniently.

Additionally, many restaurants offer there own delivery service.

Final Thoughts on Transportation in Johannesburg

Johannesburg’s transport scene is as dynamic and diverse as the city itself. With Uber leading the charge, it offers a convenient, tech-savvy way to navigate the bustling streets. Whether it’s hopping in an Uber for a quick ride or exploring other local transport options, getting around Jozi is an adventure in itself. The city’s commitment to improving and expanding its transportation services promises an even smoother journey ahead for locals and visitors alike.


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