things you may not know about O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg

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What’s my name?

The airport has changed names three times. It was first known as Jan Smuts International Airport, in honour of the country’s former prime minister; then it was renamed the Johannesburg International Airport. Its current name is an homage to the former president of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela’s political party.

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Impressive numbers

Around 19 million passengers pass through the airport each year. This accounts for over 50% of the air traffic flows in South Africa.

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Local handicrafts

At the Duty Free area in Terminal A you’ll find Indaba Lifestyle, a store that sells handmade design pieces with African motifs, including ceramic pots, wood spoons, and bracelets.

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Oxygen bar

Letsema Airport Spa offers relaxing massages and has an Oxygen Bar: just 5 to 20 minutes of oxygen (combined with aromatherapy) can revitalize your body and make a headache, for instance, disappear, as well as eventual hangovers. This treatment can also make you feel less stressed out.

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Transportation

To take official Airports Company South Africa cabs, head to the terminal’s information booth. The train known as Gautrain, which connects the airport and the city, operates every day from 5:15 a.m. to 10 p.m. The ride takes 20 minutes.

 

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All connected

The airport offers 30 minutes of free internet access. You need to go to the website AlwaysOn, select the option “complimentary access” and register.

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A well-deserved rest

The 366 rooms at the Southern Sun are a comfortable place to rest. In addition, the hotel offers free shuttle service to guests. It’s also home to the restaurant Bernoulli’s, which stands out for its distinctive cuisine and appealing wine bar (open 24 hours).