Air­port nav­i­ga­tion 101: King Shaka Air­port

RISKSA Magazine - - CONTENTS - An­ton Pre­to­rius

Got time to kill? The air­port can be a sanc­tu­ary of shops, ac­tiv­i­ties and leisure fa­cil­i­ties. But what if you’re to­tally un­ac­cus­tomed to the go­ing- ons of an in­ter­na­tional air­port? While in- be­tween flights may mean lengthy wait­ing pe­ri­ods for pas­sen­gers, there are sev­eral things to do at an air­port that can keep you en­ter­tained. Maybe a strong cup of joe, a quick shower, a place to un­wind or pick up a gift for your loved one. Hol­lard’s Zuriel Naiker points out some cool fa­cil­i­ties even the ex­pe­ri­enced trav­eller may not know about.

Cof­fee snob

There are a cou­ple of things a cof­fee snob would un­der­stand. Good cof­fee isn’t merely a hot bev­er­age on the morn­ing menu, it's a ne­ces­sity. Naiker reck­ons that the best place for a proper cup of cof­fee at Dur­ban’s King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port, is the Wool­worths Cof­fee Shop, lo­cated on the ar­rivals level. “It ’s the best place to grab a quick and yummy espresso or cap­puc­cino be­fore you leave or as you ar­rive,” he says.


For a healthy slice of life and a taste of Hawaii, Naiker rec­om­mends you sink your teeth into the de­li­cious Magma Wrap from Kauai. Its com­bi­na­tion of moz­zarella, ched­dar, rice, beans, tomato, sweet chilli sauce, fresh salsa, chicken and spring onion and is a great way to si­lence those hunger groans af­ter a long flight. For the healthy at heart, Naiker rec­om­mends a chicken Cae­sar salad. “They’re sit­u­ated in the food court on the ground floor and de­liver con­sis­tently de­li­cious meals. I al­ways make sure I grab a bite to eat there,” Naiker says.

Life in the SLOW lounge

Most reg­u­lar trav­ellers are all fa­mil­iar with our in­ter­na­tional air­ports’ SLOW Lounges – a sanc­tu­ary for weary feet, tired bod­ies or those who want to catch up on work or just en­joy a quiet mo­ment while wait­ing be­tween flights. The King Shaka Air­port’s SLOW Lounge is your study, board- room, dining room, li­brary, mail room, shower or even your sit- in- the- dark- and­think- room – and it feels just like home. “The SLOW Lounge has a de­cent wine and spir­its se­lec­tion – great to just sit, en­joy and un­wind af­ter a long day of work­ing and fly­ing. It’s the best lounge by far from a com­fort per­spec­tive. It gets pretty busy in the morn­ings and evenings around 17h00,” Naiker ex­plains.

Trav­el­ling book­worms

You just found out that your flight to Cape Town is de­layed by an hour. What to do? When you’ve got time to kill, there is no bet­ter way to while away the time than to get stuck into a re­ally good book. Traipse the world from the com­fort of your arm­chair or get lost in some ex­otic Mediter­ranean des­ti­na­tion. For the trav­el­ling book­worms, King Shaka has a wide se­lec­tion of book and magazine stores to keep you en­ter­tained while you wait for your flight. “There is a great se­lec­tion of pre- flight mag­a­zines and books for your trip ( or hol­i­day) at Ex­clu­sive Books, of which there are two out­lets avail­able, one on the land side and the other on the air side,” he com­ments.

A quiet spot

The hus­tle and the bus­tle of a busy in­ter­na­tional air­port can take its toll on trav­ellers. And with­out a lounge ac­cess card ( and plenty of time to burn in be­tween flights), another great sug­ges­tion from Naiker is to, “grab a bag of sweets from Cos­mic Candy, a magazine from Ex­clu­sive Books

and head to the far right side of the air­port, to­wards gate A13. There is a quiet spot at the end of the gates with a great view over the run­way. Hardly any­one ever bothers you here, and you can sit qui­etly, gather your thoughts and catch up on some emails or work.”

Bot­toms up!

Af­ter a long day of meet­ings, or to keep the hol­i­day spir­its alive, head for the Sta­bles Wine Es­tate bar and cel­lar on the land side op­po­site the Ex­clu­sive Books store, next to NWJ Jew­ellery, for an au­then­tic wine tast­ing or a nice bot­tle of cham­pers to cel­e­brate. Sta­bles’ pro­fes­sional team, led by Ru­pert Spence from Sphere Ar­chi­tects, has trans­formed the 50 m ² space into an invit­ing gath­er­ing spot for trav­ellers. “The food and wine of­fer­ings here are amaz­ing. Cre­ated by lo­cal cui­sine kings, Sta­bles has a wide se­lec­tion of choice on their tast­ing menus, paired to com­ple­ment the wines,” says Naiker.

Chil­dren of the air­port

Trav­el­ling with kids can be a chal­lenge. Trav­el­ling par­ents are al­ways on the prowl for kid- friendly fa­cil­i­ties or play ar­eas. While there isn’t re­ally any at King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port, the Spur Res­tau­rant, lo­cated out­side on the land­side is the per­fect place to take your kids. Ev­ery par­ent needs a break and Spur’s mas­sive chil­dren’s entertainment area has enough to keep the young ones busy for hours while you en­joy your meal or your part­ner’s com­pany. If they’re bored with Spur and you have enough time, take them to uShaka Ma­rine World just down the road where they can marvel at the myr­iad of ma­rine life on dis­play. If you don’t have any kids, you can grab a proper meal ( like some mouth- wa­ter­ing sushi) at the Cape Town Fish Mar­ket out­side the ter­mi­nal build­ing.

Charge your bat­ter­ies

It’s com­mon knowl­edge that cell­phone charg­ers top the list of things that are most fre­quently left be­hind at home when you’re trav­el­ling – which is ex­actly why cell­phone ac­ces­sory re­tails make such a killing at air­ports ( or any­where for that mat­ter). “Cell­phone ac­ces­sories and air­time are ridicu­lously priced at the air­port, so head down to any stall in Umh­langa and you’ll save hun­dreds of Rands on a mo­bile phone charger,” Naiker sug­gests.

Shop till you drop

It’s cus­tom­ary prac­tice to get the fam­ily mem­bers a gift from your trav­els. The air­port is a per­fect place to pick up those last­minute. com gifts. Trav­ellers can shop till they drop at King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port. They of­fer a wide va­ri­ety of shops that sell per­fumes, liquors, de­signer sun­glasses, fashion watches, stuffed toys, books and all the lat­est elec­tron­ics and gad­gets. Fan­tas­tic gift shops pro­vide shoppers am­ple op­por­tu­nity to hunt for that unique sou­venir or spe­cial gift to take home. Naiker sug­gests Wool­worths, Ex­clu­sive Books and the Nike Store ( all be­fore you pass through se­cu­rity) as per­fect places to pick up gifts for your loved ones.

Ro­man­tic res­tau­rant

While air­plane food is usu­ally nu­tri­tious, a good steak or some hearty res­tau­rant food usu­ally hits the spot af­ter a long flight from over­seas. If your flight has an ex­tended de­tail, Naiker sug­gests that you head to Bel Punto Res­tau­rant in Umd­loti – a 15- minute drive from King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port. Es­tab­lished in 2004, Bel Punto is a mod­ern and ca­sual- chic diner with great food, a con­tem­po­rary feel and out­stand­ing panoramic views of the ocean, no mat­ter where you are seated. Make some mem­o­ries with a loved one by sit­ting out on the deck un­der the stars and watch the moon rise over the ocean.

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