South Africa’s fourth largest airport by passenger, Lanseria, has become a popular option for visitors from all over the country and the world. Lying just north west of Johannesburg, Lanseria is in close proximity to a host of Gauteng’s tourist gems, making it a convenient location to land and take off from.
Lanseria: The story
This privately owned airport started out simply as a grass strip airfield in 1974, after Fanie Haacke and Abe Sher, two locals with a strong interest in aviation, conjured the dream of building the busiest airport in the country.
What brought Lanseria to initial fame was its hosting of the 1975 Air Africa air show, which it was chosen to host again in 1977, 1979, and 1981. Today, the airport attracts a lot of national and international traffic, including politicians, presidents, and renowned stars.
Lanseria operates 24/7, 365 days of the year, receiving and sending off flights from commercial airlines and charter companies. With its newly expanded terminal building, the airport is able to receive a higher volume of air traffic, meaning that it will soon be able to offer more flights and accommodate larger aircraft.
Commercial airlines moving through Lanseria currently link to both Durban and Cape Town, with plans of connecting to more destinations in time. The airport has a host of restaurants, duty free shopping, and lounge facilities to keep occupied while waiting for a flight.
Within a 45 km radius, Lanseria is just a stone’s throw away from a few of Gauteng’s historical sites and natural sanctuaries. The airport has made accessing these destinations much easier, often only requiring a 20 to 40-minute drive, in contrast to distances from OR Tambo International Airport, which require an hour or more of travelling.
The Cradle of Humankind
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, the Cradle of Humankind [link to our article #1] is a historical, archaeological, and natural wonder. Home to a diverse range of flora [link to our article #3], limestone caves, and natural springs, the Cradle offers much to explore. The start of the Cradle lies just under 7 km from Lanseria, making the airport a great choice for travellers.
Sterkfontein Caves and Wonder Cave
Amidst the grasslands, lie the mysteries of the Cradle’s caves. It is within these treasure troves, where some of the most incredible archaeological discoveries have been made, including the nearly complete Australopithecus fossil, ‘Little Foot’ and a newly declared species, Homo naledi.
Along this strip of dolomitic caves, those open to visitors include the Wonder Cave, which is located inside the perimeter of the Bothongo Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, and the Sterkfontein caves, where palaeontologists, Robert Broom and John T. Robinson, recovered the most complete Australopithecus skull, ‘Mrs Ples’. Visitors have the opportunity to join guided tours, which meander through the caverns and illuminate breath-taking features, like underground pools, stalactites, and stalagmites.
FARMHOUSE at 58
For a moment of peace and time to rejuvenate, FARMHOUSE is a natural haven located in Krugersdorp, just 25 minutes from Lanseria. Here, guests are encouraged to reconnect with nature, themselves, and others through hikes, integrated well-being treatments, fresh, locally grown food, storytelling, and art. Accommodation is minimally designed to blend in with the Highveld allowing guests to immerse themselves in their surroundings.
Nirox Sculpture Park
Also run by the NIROX Foundation and just six minutes from FARMHOUSE, lies an artistic playground of expression – the NIROX Sculpture Park. These grounds, which cover 30 hectares of land, host over 50 permanent and long-term installations from artists the world over, making it a place that blends creative energy with the natural landscape.
It is the ideal place to forget about shoes for a moment, walk on the grass, and take in what people’s minds and hands have formed.
On weekends and public holidays, the park is open to all from 10:00 – 16:00, with an entry cost of R120 for adults and R60 for children.
And Then There Was Fire
Resting in the midst of the NIROX sculptures, lies And then there was fire, the collaborative foodie passion project of Bernardo Corti and Muela Gutierrez. The restaurant serves a cultural blend of Spanish and Argentinian flavours, ranging from tapas, to woodfire grilled, to freshly farmed food.
Those with reservations may enter the Sculpture park at a reduced rate of R70 per person and enjoy a stroll among the art before settling down for a meal. And then there was fire is open Thursday to Sunday from 11am, with the kitchen closing at 4:30pm.