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Arriving into Johannesburg train station - safety issues

Marlow, UK
Level Contributor
177 posts
2 reviews
Arriving into Johannesburg train station - safety issues


We want to get a train from Cape Town to Johannesburg (either Premier Classe or Shosholoza Meyl) but we are worried about the safety issues of arriving into Johannesburg station and getting a taxi/transfer to our hotel. We are a couple in our late 20s/early 30s and pretty safety conscious but we will have all our luggage with us which makes it harder to keep an eye on everything while we try to find a taxi and will make us stick out as tourists. Even if we book a car and driver to meet us, I am told it could be difficult to find each other. Any advice on how to get out of the station and on our way safely? Is there anywhere safe we could wait and meet a driver?


Edenvale, South...
Level Contributor
140 posts
1. Re: Arriving into Johannesburg train station - safety issues


I would not advise to travel into Johannesburg from Cape Town by train. As you rightly say, you will stand out as a tourist and you stand a good chance of being 'relieved' of your belongings. Either fly or take a bus.

Cape Town
Destination Expert
for Cape Town
Level Contributor
2,749 posts
105 reviews
2. Re: Arriving into Johannesburg train station - safety issues

Suggest you get a porter from Johannesburg Station to Taxi Rank.

The arrival area for the Premier Classe Train is cordoned off so that only passengers and train personnel are allowed on that arrival platform. Your luggage should be kept under tight control.

Santa Monica
13 posts
3. Re: Arriving into Johannesburg train station - safety issues

My husband did that exact route on Premier Class this past December. I have to say that we were so grateful we booked premier class when we saw the state of Shosholoza (which we had considerd). However, Premier Class wasn't that great and we have now said that we will not do any more trains (having experienced them now in China and South Africa).

The station in Joburg was a nightmare. We were booked to stay at the Melrose Arch hotel and they were resistent to send a driver as they said we may be difficult to find. The previous post is correct in saying that the area you come into is cordoned off however, the train personnel does not take care of you or luggage as you get off. It was an absolute nightmare with everyone wondering around the train station separately not knowing where to go. We finally all ended up at the Premier Class lounge which it would have been great if the train personnel could have lead us there and we were able to have someone call the hotel and tell them to tell the driver to meet us there.

So, my advice if you take the train when you get off ask the personnel to take you to the premeir lounge (which is in the main area of the station) and let your hotel know that you will be there and that's where your driver can find you and you should be fine!

Hope this helps.

Pretoria, South...
Level Contributor
774 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Arriving into Johannesburg train station - safety issues

Hi BenjiBear,

Rather stay in the Premier Classe and continue to Pretoria Station which is safer than Johanneburg Station. The other option is to fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

have fun!

Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
5. Re: Arriving into Johannesburg train station - safety issues

We regularly travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg on the Shosholoza Premier Classe train and absolutely love it. The staff are unfailingly polite and helpful and make you feel that your enjoyment and safety is their prime concern. Johannesburg is a bit scary, but if you take the advice of others who have posted info, and go to the Premier Classe lounge, you shouldn't have any problems. It is a great shame that Spoornet changed the final destination of this train from Pretoria to Johannesburg. In the past, we always got off in Pretoria, even when Johannesburg was our destination, as the station is smaller and less congested, and felt a great deal safer. However, we've never had problems in Johannesburg. Get a porter, don't flash expensive equipment about, and look confident. As for the advice about flying instead of taking the train - do it by all means, but you'll miss out on a great experience.

Level Contributor
298 posts
81 reviews
6. Re: Arriving into Johannesburg train station - safety issues


I am looking into doing the same Trip next year,so would like to hear how you got on. My only concern after all the research i've done, is how to get a Taxi from the Train Station to the Airport Hotel we will be staying at. Is it possible to pre-book one or is it safe to go to the Taxi Rank


7. Re: Arriving into Johannesburg train station - safety issues

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