Traveling between Johannesburg and Mpumalanga, one of South Africa’s smallest provinces, can take anything between a 45-minute flight and 10 hours by train. There are a range of different travel options available.

A flight from Johannesburg to Nelspruit, the capital city of Mpumalanga, is the most time-efficient and convenient way to go. Those with more time on their hands may choose to travel by car, bus, or train. Traveling by car or private transfer is more convenient than using the bus or train, and those hoping to use the train should be aware that many travelers have had poor experiences with service and timing in recent years.

If you’re interested in exploring more of the province, this guide to South Africa’s top regions offers useful travel recommendations for Mpumalanga.

By Plane

Duration: 45 minutes

A direct flight from Johannesburg to Nelspruit, the capital city of Mpumalanga, is the quickest method of travel. The flight is only 45 minutes. From the airport, travelers can choose to rent a car or use a private transfer to get around Mpumalanga.

Most of the roads in Mpumalanga are well-maintained. Those who choose to drive should be aware of animals on the road. Those hoping to visit nearby game reserves may benefit from the guidance and advice that private transfer options offer.

By Car or Private Transfer

Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours

The drive to Nelspruit is 212 miles and typically takes three and a half hours. With traffic, however, it can take closer to four hours. Travelers can choose between using a private transfer or renting a car. Travelers comfortable with driving should be aware of pay tolls on the road and keep cash or a credit card accessible.

The shortest route is via the N12 and N4 highway. There is an alternative route, which is 19 miles longer, via the N1 and N4 highway. Travelers should check both routes for accidents and traffic before departing.

By Bus

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

While traveling by bus is more affordable than renting a car or using a private transfer, it is less convenient. Most bus trips take longer than car trips due to drop-off and pick-up stops. The trips can also take longer due to delays. Most bus lines do, however, include at least one refreshment stop.

By Train

Duration: 10 hours

This is the most time-consuming and least convenient method of travel. The Shosholoza Meyl train only operates once a week between Johannesburg and Nelspruit. While this train has offered many travelers a unique and memorable experience, recently the service and timing of the train have been poor. There have also been instances where the train hasn’t arrived at the station at all.


Map of How to Get from Johannesburg to Mpumalanga
Map of How to Get from Johannesburg to Mpumalanga