Comrades 2013 - Logistics

Hi all, I really want to do Comrades 2013. I'm trying to figure out how much its likely to cost and get an idea of when to travel there, travel back, where to stay etc so I figured I'd dip into the well of experience on these here forums...

Entry fees are fine and I'm budgeting about £80 / night for a hotel - is that reasonable? To be honest, if its just me, I don't mind slumming it but want somewhere safe obviously.

Main issue is I can't seem to get an idea of flight costs for that time. Best guess is £600-£700 to Durban? Is it an option to fly to Johannesberg and drive or get train?

As for timings, from what I've read, people seem to suggest arriving on the Thursday and departing the following Tuesday as the shortest trip possible. Is this realistic for a first timer or should I give myself a bit more acclimitisation time? I've never actually travelled abroad for a race so I'm a bit unsure on how it will really affect me.

I'd probably extend and stay afterwards too (seems a long way to go and not spend a bit of time relaxing / soaking up the culture afterwards) but will think about that more when I'm actually booking.

Thoughts / advice anyone?



  • hi I ran it in 2010 for just uner £1000. Used a travel agent for flight and hotel. It was tough flew via Dubai on Thusday arriving Durban Friday evening. Register Saturday run Sunday started flight home Monday evening!!!!!!!

    Im going back in 2013 and aim to add a day each end

    C U thereimage

  • Bike ItBike It ✭✭✭

    I just ran Comrades 2012 and the rough costs that were related directly to Comrades were:

    Race Entry US$180/£120ish plus you need to buy a timing chip as well. 


    London-Johannesburg (return) - around £550 per adult Air France (via  Paris).  Direct London to Joburg flights were around 700-800

    Joburg-Durban (one-way) - around £40  per adult on a low-cost airline (Kulula)

    Hotel in Durban was around £80 per night for a 2 bedroom apartment with breakfast overlooking the ocean

    Food costs in Durban were fairly modest for excellent food - I'd be surprised if we even spent £20 per person per day for food and drinks

    Transfer from Durban airport to Durban was about £8 per adult by mini-bus each way

    Bus travel to the start was around £5

    I also indulged in Comrades branded clothing which was fairly pricy at, e.g.,  around £25 for a technical top

    All other things in Durban were very reasonably priced, e.g. we went to the uShaka aquarium/dolphins/seals and spent around 4 hours there for £20.

    The only thing I found expensive were taxis

    I ran it as part of a bigger holiday in SA and spent 4 nights in Durban (arrive Thursday. leave Monday)

    You could drive from Joburg, but it would take 12 plus hours and car hire would be £40 plus fuel - wouldn't really recomend it as you would already have been travelling for 15plus hours by the time you get to Joburg

    Enjoy it!

  • I found taxis in Durban were very cheap - I guess it's a perception thing, compared to London.

    During the day you can get around Durban on the bus - it was very easy and very cheap and the buses were all nice, new proper buses.  Avoid the mini-bus kind that screech around picking up and dropping off.  The mini-bus from the airport is fine, though.

    Acclimatising isn't a problem, there's no jet lag.  It tends to be warm in May, even though it's winter in SA, and the run can be hot.

    I certainly wouldn't fancy driving a hire car in SA.

  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    I got Air SA London-Jo'burg-Durban return for about £550 pp this year. Yoi have to keep checking as they will have offers on. I did actually end up using the "official" Comrades travel agent for the UK Safari Sun as I went with whole family and I wanted to focus on the race and I must say they were excellent. Also meant that when I was off doing bus tour, running etc my wife had a contact if needed. I'm sure others can give you names of reasonable places to stay, plenty of accomodation. Pretty cheap when you are there food etc. We stayed after and had a hire car and I had no problems driving around.
    Good luck and enjoy!

  • I managed it in 2011 on a shop assistants salary. 

    It can be done in three figures if you do not want to stay in the Ritz. 

  • It would be a good idea to get there a couple of days early to get used to the heat, and altitude (if you do the down run). 

  • Thanks everyone, very useful!

    I guess flights might be a bit cheaper than I originally thought then if I can shop around. Also if my wife doesn't accompany me I'll definitely "slum it" a bit more. I've never been too picky about where I sleep, and I can sleep through almost anything!

    I'd definitiely consider using a travel agent if the prices are reasonable then. Been trying to look at them but with the 2012 race only having just taken place, info seems a bit sketchy at the minute.

    Altitude and heat are likely to be a couple of big issues coming from London... (which hopefully means I'll probably consider the taxi's cheap too!).

    I've totally convinced myself I want to do this, I guess I just wanted a bit of confirmation that the costs wouldn't be drastically higher than I was estimating. 

    I'd best get saving! (and training image)

  • Ignore the altitude - its not that high. It affects you running up or down it but getting there a few days wont help you with that. 6 months earlier would image Even the heat wasn't that bad this year but I guess that is just luck.
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