Flying to Cape Town
What You Need to Know
- Only three airlines can fly you direct to Cape Town from the UK; BA, South African Airways, and Virgin Atlantic.
- All three of these services fly from Heathrow, meaning a trip to London will need to be factored in to your plans.
- You may be able to save money using cheap flights to the continent and flying from there.
- Cape Town boasts scenes of outstanding natural beauty, including the iconic Table Mountain, as well as incredible beaches.
- As well offering a host of urban attractions, Cape Town is a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts, who can engage in whale watching off the coast.
Flying to Cape Town from the UK
There are few airlines that can fly you direct to Cape Town from the UK. Both national carriers, namely South African Airways and British Airways, operate regular services between Cape Town and London, but other than that, Virgin Atlantic are the only other airline offering a direct service, though they only operate a certain times of the year.
On top of this, if you want to fly direct you have no choice as to the airport you use, with Heathrow being the only option. This means wherever you’re based, you’ll have to factor a trip to London into your plans.
Flights are available from a number of other locations around the world, with most major European airports operating a service. If you’re flexible about you route, It’s well worth seeing if you can’t save money by prolonging your journey, by taking cheap flight to the continent and going from there.
Where is Cape Town in South Africa?
South Africa's second most-populous city, Cape Town serves as the capital of the Western Cape province and hugs the Atlantic shore, thereby benefiting from one of the world's most impressive natural harbours.
This geography gives Cape Town a typically Mediterranean climate, making it popular with tourists, while the fact that it is also the legislative capital of the country makes it a busy destination for business and diplomatic travellers.
Where would you have to fly over?
For those travellers not taking advantage of cheaper routes, such as flying to Amsterdam first, flights between the UK and Cape Town take an average of 11 hours.
Direct flights head straight over Spain and then almost dissect the African continent, while the fact that South Africa is just two hours ahead of the UK means any jet lag should be minimal.
Places of interest in and around Cape Town
It is easy to see why Cape Town remains one of the most popular destinations in South Africa for UK tourists.
The natural harbour setting boasts some stunning landmarks, not least Table Mountain and Cape Point, both of which can be explored, either by hiking or by taking a breathtaking cable car ride over the water.
Likewise, Cape Town also boasts some stunning beaches and excellent surfing conditions as well as some of the continent's finest resorts and hotels.
Other notable attractions include Robben Island, the former penal colony Nelson Mandela called home for many years and which can be reached by ferry, and the shopping paradise of the Victoria and Albert Waterfront.
Just outside of the city, the vineyards of the Cape Winelands can be easily reached, while the waters which were once feared by European sailors now offer some of the world's finest whale watching opportunities.
- Discover out more about your destination with our holiday guides for South Africa.
- Read up on the spectacular Table Mountain.