Flights & getting there
King Shaka International Airport Opened in 2010, the airport is at La Mercy, 40km north of the city.
Several airlines link Durban with South Africa’s other main centres. Internet fares vary greatly depending on the day of the week, the month and even the time of day.
Kulula A budget airline linking Durban with Jo’burg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
Mango A no-frills airline that is a subsidiary of SAA, with flights to Jo’burg and Cape Town.
South African Airlink Flies daily to Nelspruit, Bloemfontein and George.
South African Airways Flies at least once daily to most major regional airports in South Africa.
There has also been an uptick in international flights direct to Durban in recent years, with a direct flight from Dubai linking King Shaka to the rest of the world for tourism.
Some hostels run their own taxi shuttle services for clients at competitive prices. By taxi, the same trip costs around R400.
The King Shaka Airport Shuttle Bus runs hourly from the airport to hotels and key locations in Durban and the beachfront via Umhlanga Rocks.
Long-distance buses leave from the bus station near the Durban train station. Enter the station from Masabalala Yengwa Ave (NMR Ave), not Umgeni Rd. Long-distance bus companies have their offices here.
Note: tickets for all long-distance buses can be bought from Shoprite/Checkers shops and online at www.computickettravel.com.
Baz Bus Based in Cape Town. You can hop on and off as often as you like along the route for a given price, and can be picked up and dropped off at selected hostels. The seven-/14-/21-day pass (R2600/4100/5100) allows you to travel in any direction and as often as you like within the period. See the website for routes.
Eldo Coaches Inexpensive bus liner that runs to many locations around KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the rest of South Africa. Tickets to Johannesburg are around R200, but it's not as nice as other options.
Greyhound Has daily buses to Jo’burg (R350, eight hours), Cape Town (R750, 22 to 27 hours), Port Elizabeth (R600, 15 hours) and Port Shepstone (R350, 1¾ hours). Within KZN, Greyhound buses run daily to Pietermaritzburg (R250, one hour) and Ladysmith (R360, four hours), among other destinations.
Intercape Has several daily buses to Jo’burg (R340, eight hours). For connections to Mozambique, buses head to Maputo (via Jo’burg; R810, 22 hours).
Intercity Cheap bus option for destinations all over South Africa from Durban's bus depot. Trips to Johannesburg run around R200. The service gets lower reviews from travellers than other options.
Margate Mini Coach Head to Durban station or King Shaka International Airport to hop on this bus, which links Durban and Margate three times a day (R220, 2½ hours), and also Port Edward (R240, three hours).
Translux Runs daily buses to nationwide destinations, including Jo’burg (R300, eight hours) and Cape Town (R720, 27 hours).
Durban train station is huge. The local inner-city or suburban trains are not recommended for travellers; these are not commonly used and even hardy travellers report feeling unsafe.
However, mainline passenger long-distance services are another matter – they are efficient and arranged into separate male and female sleeper compartments. These are run by Shosholoza Meyl and include the Trans Natal, which leaves Durban on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings for Jo’burg (sleeper R360, 14 hours) via Pietermaritzburg and Ladysmith.
Premier Classe The fully serviced, luxury Premier Classe has trains between Jo’burg and Durban on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Tickets should be booked in advance (R1230, about 14 hours).
Rovos Rail The Rovos is a luxury steam train on which, from a mere R18,950, you can enjoy old-world luxury on a three-day choof from Durban to Pretoria via the Battlefields and nature reserves.