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The airport in Cape Town services both international and domestic traffic. It has been virtually rebuilt recently and is now modern, spacious and has 4 terminal buildings.By international standards and you should be able to clear immigration, baggage claim and then Customs within an hour of arrival. The City centre and Waterfront are very close to each other (walking distance) and are about a twenty minute drive from the airport.
Most of the major car rental companies have kiosks within the airport building and their vehicles are now a short walk from the front doors to the international arrivals terminal. Try booking online before you get there - you can save a lot if you do. The road to the city is very easy to negotiate from the airport - you drive directly out of the terminal towards the N2 that then leads directly into the City centre. It is probably the easiest route in the world to negotiate from the airport to the city, because Table Mountain is always in sight and you will always have this as a reference point.
Apart from car hire there is regular transport into the city centre and from the drop-off point there will be plenty of taxis that will take you to your hotel. Do not take taxis that are not registered, particularly the mass transport mini-buses that are invariably unroadworthy and driven by maniacs who have no regard for the rules of the road. They are everywhere so you cannot miss them. For reliable and safe transport you can book via the following web site Cape Town Taxi.
Public transport, apart from the registered taxis, is very poor. Avoid using the commuter trains (except the Cape Town - Simonstown line) as they are dangerous with muggings being very common on them. The main line long distance trains however are safe and reliable especially the world renowned "Blue Train". Otherwise, there are numerous reputable tour companies who conduct tours throughout the surrounding area who will collect you at your hotel.
When leaving Cape Town by air you are required to check in at the airport 2 hours before departure for international and one hour before domestic flights. Apart from the usual international and domestic flights you can fly directly to Nelspruit International airport from Cape Town, if you plan to visit the Kruger Park.
There are also the budget airlines Kulula.com and Mango in addition to SAA, and British Airways.Check out www.travelstart.co.za to compare.