alsoran runners Logistics
(getting to) Durban

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If you live in Durban or surrounds this page will not be applicable to you.  For everyone else, you are going to need to get your logistics sorted, rather sooner than later!

For my first three Comrades Marathon runs we did the car trip up to Durban.  Thereafter we have opted to fly as it is the quickest and a fairly cheap manner of transportation.  Even having to hire a car in Durban, it still works out cheaper than driving up in ones own car. 

There are other ways of getting to Durban.  As far as I know there is a Comrades train that leaves from Cape Town.  Apparently it is quite a festive trip.  I have however, heard reports of ‘food poisoning’ and gastro on one of these trips that my fellow club mates went on.

There is a Comrades bus trip organised by Andre Hugo from Mitchell's Plain Athletic Club.  This is a very reasonably priced tour and Andre ensures all your logistical bases are covered for the trip.  Andre is an experienced Comrades Marathon runner so he knows exactly what the runners require from this bus trip.  I know Andre personally and I know that he has been ‘perfecting’ this trip over the years ensuring you get the best deal for your money.  Click here for Andre's 2013 Comrades Bus tour package

Here follows some guidelines I follow each year (in no particular order):

Number 1:  Book early!

We (me and Andy, my hubby) usually book in January but have on occasion booked earlier if we have found a good special.

Number 2:  Stick to reputable travel operators

I know this is a tricky one!  I mean, how are you supposed to know that an airline is going to go bust?  "Nationwide" went bust a few years ago and many Comrades runners lost out on their transport to Durban, with no refund either, and had to make alternate travel arrangements.  I guess there are no guarantees but try and stick with SAA/MANGO, BA or Kulula.

Number 3:  Car Hire – again book early!

If you are flying and need to hire a car in Durban, make sure you also do this booking well in advance.  Remember, most folk flying in for Comrades will also want to hire so at some point there is bound to be a shortage.  If you leave it too late you may be forced to hire a more expensive car, which will dip into your spending money for the Comrades Expo and the other tourist attractions in and around Durban!

Number 4:  Accommodation – again book early!

Make sure you have sorted out your accommodation before you get to Durban or you could find yourself sleeping in some dodge place as there is “no room at the inn”.  Find a reputable place to stay if you are not staying with family or friends.  We now opt for self catering apartments as it offers more flexibility for meals and additional guests.  We usually rent a three bedroom apartment which we share with friends.  This works out cheaper when we split it three ways.  We have however stayed in numerous hotels over the years and this also works quite well but is more expensive and you are forced to ‘eat out’ all the time.  While I love eating out, it is best to keep to eating ‘regular’ food in the days preceding Comrades.

Number 5: Getting to the airport

Make sure you arrive at the airport in good time!  My friends ‘the Macs’ have 1) overslept (and they were supposed to be giving us a lift to the airport) and 2) had their car break down on the way to the airport.  These things happen!  Make sure you have a back up plan in place (with ‘the Macs’ around, we need one!)

Number 6: On board luggage

I ALWAYS carry my running kit in my onboard hand luggage!  Just in case!  Don’t risk your luggage being lost or stolen.  At least this way, you still have your running kit.  Anything else can be replaced in Durban, but not your kit!

I hope this information has been of use to you!

Key words: Comrades Marathon, logistics, accommodation, travel arrangements, transportation
Internal links: Comrades Expo,
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website,

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2008