Learn how to catch a taxi in South Africa

Minibus taxis are a very common and convenient way to travel around South Africa. If you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there, things can get a little bit tricky. If you are travelling around cities like Johannesburg, you’ve probably noticed thousands of hand gestures signalling taxis. These have become an unspoken 12th language around South Africa.

Here are some common hand signals for taxis around Gauteng and parts of South Africa:

The general signals

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The finger up is commonly used to get you to any city centre (CBD) of any city in South Africa. The finger down hand signal usually means “local” and will get you around a local neighbourhood.

Most common signs in Johannesburg


Most common signs around Gauteng


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From Johannesburg to Diepsloot

From Johannesburg to Phola Park

Watch a video showing taxi signs around Gauteng:

Source: https://rekordeast.co.za