Saturday 31 March 2018


In the past year I’ve probably been to King Shaka International Airport around 30 times. Whether it’s just to drop off or pick up someone or to go on another adventure, this airport has become my second home. Now anyone that knows me knows that airports aren’t my favourite thing in the world (It's no secret!). They generally aggravate my anxiety and cause me to freak out a little (Okay, a lot). But since it’s absolutely impossible for me to totally avoid airports, I had to come up with my own game plan to “deal”.
Here are some of my tips to making the most of your experience at King Shaka International airport!

Source: Unsplash


King Shaka is located about 15 minutes from Umhlanga, 15 minutes from Ballito and about 30 minutes from the Durban CBD. An Uber from the airport to the beachfront will cost around R300 so that’s definitely something to take into account. If you’re just in Durban for a quick beach getaway, it’s a cool idea to book accommodation in Umdloti as the seaside town is a beautiful little getaway near the airport and has amazing beaches.

This view though


If I’ve already checked into my flight and have some extra time to roam around in departures, I generally go to ALBA restaurant for a bite to eat and to make use of their wifi. They have an amazing selection of wines which is great for a late night flight. On days that I’ve landed in Durban and have to wait at arrivals for my lift, I usually grab a coffee from the Woolworths CafĂ© or a smoothie from kauai.


King Shaka has a fair number of stores both outside the boarding gates and at arrivals. If you want souvenirs you’ll have lots of options and most are quite affordable. If you want some reading to keep you occupied, head over to CNA or Exclusive Books. When I flew to Cape Town last year for Rocking The Daisies music fest I packed like a typical Durbanite and didn’t take any warm clothes. Luckily I realized before my flight and quickly went to Woolworths to grab a few jackets and jerseys – definitely came in handy. If you forget other necessities like phone charges etc. you don’t have to worry much as a few stores stock them.

So where to next?


If it’s your first (or second or tenth) time flying, here are my most important general tips:

Go to the airport at least an hour before your boarding time. Two years ago I missed my flight to Johannesburg because the boarding gates had just closed and this meant that I missed my international connecting flight. Ouch! 12 hours later and thousands of rands lost, I was able to book another flight. Definitely a mistake I will never make again!

Make sure to carry your ID! I’m such a forgetful person and making sure to carry my ID is one of the things I need to be reminded of by my parents all the time. Remember, it can either be your ID card (or book) or your driver’s license.

And last but not least, the most important tip I can give you is to just relax! Although flying can be terrifying and airports can't be so intimidating, they're just going to take you one step closer to you dream destinations! So make the most of your flying experience.

Source: Unsplash


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