OR Tamb International Airport (Photo: iStock)
Over the past decade or two, international travel has become an ever more accessible pastime to people from all corners of the globe, meaning that previously sufficient commuter networks and flight routes have had to adapt.
Which, in turn, has seen airports evolve from glorified waiting rooms to mini destinations of their own.
As global passenger numbers increase, so does the need for airports to provide services that not only ensure the comfort of travellers, but also at least give them the option of being entertained.
Now, while our local airports may not have reached the dizzying heights just yet of mega-airports like Singapore's Changi Airport, they have some pretty cool features to make the average traveller's experience memorable and enjoyable.
Cape Town International
How great is the Flybrary at Cape Town International? While it looks like a polished and fancy bookstore, you won't need to pay a cent to pick out the novel of your choice! It works on the concept of a book exchange, and basically comes down to you swapping your completed paperback for one of those on the shelf.
Okay, so books aren't really your thing. Well, good news! There's also wine! In fact, Cape Town International Airport has their very own Merlot with the help of Du Preez wine.
You can check out the little mini cellar while you wait for your next flight!
OR Tambo International, Johannesburg
Since you're at the airport, you might as well get some plane spotting done, or what?
OR Tambo is home to a spectacular Aircraft Viewing Deck, offering passengers a peek over the main operational area as well as the main runway. Being South Africa's largest airport, you will be treated to a truly exotic selection of liveries from all corners of the earth and all manner of aircraft from Boeing's Dreamliners to the Airbus A380.
There are a variety of takeaway outlets forming part of the viewing deck, so you can take in the view while tucking into a drink and a snack.
King Shaka International, Durban
Perhaps our favourite of all the airport features, King Shaka is semi-old-school with a Grand Piano into its domestic arrivals area and everyone's invited to play!
Whether you're a maestro or never touched a piano key in your life before, know Fur Elise off by heart or can play the latest pop song perfectly by ear, King Shaka's beautiful Steinway is waiting for anyone to tickle its keys.
Don't you just love the policeman tinkering away? We think it's simply beautiful!
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