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East London to CPT flight bookings qualify to earn SouthAfrica.TO travel vouchers. Simply email us a writeup of any flight, including how it went, and we'll send you a travel voucher to discount your next flight booked with SouthAfrica.TO.

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Phone Numbers:
· Cape Town Airport: 021 937 1200

shortest flight path from East London to Cape Town

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Cheap Flights from East London to Cape Town

The East London to Cape Town flight route is probably the busiest flight route in South Africa which has only one airline flying it.

Even though they went into liquidation, we still get clients contacting us wanting to get quotes for 1time flights from East London to Cape Town - which shows not just how strong their brand was, but how important they were in getting cheap flights on the route. There are no low cost carriers flying the route anymore, the only ELS-CPT flights are with SA Express.

Kulula fly from Johannesburg to East London, and it should be a simple matter to connect ELS and CPT, as they already operate to both airports from Johannesburg.

SA Express flights are expected to take some 90 minutes in their DH4s (De Havilland Q400 Bombardier). The DH4 is a turboprop plane which seats about 70 passengers. So expect a smaller plane and a bit of a bumpier ride than you may be used to in larger jet aircraft.


Flight route

South African Express

East London (ELS) to Cape Town International Airport (CPT)

non-stop (1h30m)

SA Express turboprop plane with crew


2 November 2012. 1time airline applies for liquidation, and flies its last ELS-CPT flight.


It is 1014km from Avis at East London Airport to Avis at Cape Town International Airport, travelling the N2 National Road. On average it takes some 13 hours of driving. Along the way you'll pass Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay and Bellville.

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Top blog

Platothefish decided to drive from East London to Cape Town:

  • "A phenomenon known as rural roadification is occurring across Africa . Where villages used to spring up along rivers or close to water, they are now almost all being built along main roads. This is a result of the fact that these days people need money in order to eat and live. As you can't hunt, catch or grow money, you have to exchange your labour for it. To do this you have to get to somewhere where the more affluent (economically) people are, those who have enough spare folding stuff that they want to use the only thing you have to sell - your time and effort.  The people with the money don't want to live around the people without the money, the people without the money have to live where they can find a place that they can get to the people with the money".

  • We pass through Kinklebos, where they train the traffic police and guess what, a police road check. Luckily it's on the other side of the road today. For a place that is the centre for road traffic police, no petrol station. "

  • South African N roads have a runoff strip in the left a bit like the emergency lane on the UK motorways.  Slower vehicles often move over into this runoff to let faster cars pass.The delineation between this and the carriageway is a continuous yellow line and if you are lucky orange cats eyes. Obviously only those lucky enough to have headlights powerful enough to reflect back at you are able to see these. Lulu can just about manage one or maybe two cats eyes dimly lit in front  of her, as long as they are closely spaced. This is fine on the open road. When the N2 goes through townships most of the cats eyes decorate the exterior walls of the nearby hand made houses."

By Bus

If you don't want to drive yourself, you can catch a bus trip from East London to Cape Town:

Intercape bus

The Intercape bus operates a traditional bus service across a vast network of South Africa and some of its neighbouring countries.

Baz bus

Baz Bus operates a hop-on hop-off bus tour across South Africa, and is especially popular amongst backpackers, stopping off at 180 youth hostels along its route. On your way from East London to Cape Town you can stop off at Port Alfred (see Port Alfred hotels), Port Elizabeth, Jeffreys Bay, Cape St Francis, Storms River, Nature's Valley, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna (see Knysna accommodation for a place to stay), George, Mossel Bay and Swellendam.

By Train

There are no trains going all the way from East London to Cape Town - this route has been suspended.

Getting from Cape Town Airport

Cape Town car rental options are as follows:

Europcar Cape Town

Avis car hire

Budget rent a car

First Car Rental

Hertz car rental

Tempest car hire

Thrifty car rental

Take the N2 to get to Cape Town city


There are a number of companies offering a shuttle from the Cape Town airport. We usually use EZ Shuttle - it's not the cheapest but we find them quite reliable.

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