The spacious and attractive Durban King Shaka International Airport, known also as La Mercy Airport, was built in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Replacing the cramped Durban International Airport, the facility is large and modern, with state-of-the-art facilities that rival higher-traffic destinations Cape Town and Johannesburg for convenience. Named for the famous Zulu king of the 19th century, the architecture of the airport contains hints at the region’s culture, and eagle-eyed passengers will find many traditional Zulu shields.
Handling a little more than half of its 7.5 million passenger capacity, the airport rarely feels crowded. This is partly due to the limited number of destinations available on direct flights to Durban King Shaka Airport. Air traffic is primarily focused on local flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, George and East London. Most international flights to Durban International Airport connect via Johannesburg, but there are flights available to Mauritius, Maputo and Dubai.
The main annoyance of the airport is not the service or facilities, but its remote location 35km (22 miles) north of Durban. The current total lack of public transport options make getting into town an expensive prospect if you don’t have someone to pick you up.