Top 5 Best Airports in Africa 2023

Airports are symbolically the gateways to a country. There is a common belief that a country’s airport reflects the country itself.

As a result, each country must ensure that its airport provides the best possible travel experience for all passengers.

Every year, the World Airport Awards conducts a survey, and Travel and Leisure invites readers to submit their views on the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, Airports and more from across the world. Airports were rated on accessibility, check-in/security, restaurants/bars, shopping, and design.

In this article, I present to you the top 5 best airports in Africa for the year 2021, as ranked by the World Airport Awards.

5. Marrkesh Meanara Airport |Morocco

Marrakesh Menara Airport serves both domestic and international flights. Prior to the Covid 19 pandemic, the airport served over 6.3 million passengers in 2019.

There are two passenger terminals at Menara Airport which were  housed in a single large building. However, a separate freight-terminal was built with a capacity of 9 million passengers per year.

The airport is modern, and many consider it to be one of the most beautiful in Africa. Marrakesh,  is a typical city break destination that is very popular with European tourists.

Banking facilities, internet access, public telephones, cafes, restaurants, duty-free outlets, pharmacies, first aid services, conference rooms, multi-purpose meeting and event centers, wheelchair services, staff assistance, ATMs, luggage facilities, and post offices are all available at the Marrakesh Menara Airport.

4. SSR International Airport | Mauritius 

Mauritius’ main international airport. The Airport serves direct flights to African, Asian, and European destinations and is home to the country’s national airline, Air Mauritius.

On August 30, 2013, a new passenger terminal was officially opened, and it became fully operational in September 2013. The New Airport Terminal is designed after the “Traveller’s palm,” a tropical plant native to Mauritius.

The new terminal, which cost $306 million, is in line to the “Maurice Ile Durable” concept. Environmental and ecological aspects considered include the use of photovoltaic cells to collect solar energy  from recovering rain water, the integration of nature into the heart of the building, and the inclusion of thermo-insulated facades to reduce heat gain.

The terminal is 57,000 square meters in size and has five boarding gates with airbridges. The airport has three passenger lounges that provide comfort to passengers.

The ATOL Lounge is available to all passengers, regardless of airline or class of travel. The modern and comfortable surroundings create a relaxing atmosphere for you to unwind before your departure.

The Amédée Maingard Lounge is reserved for Air Mauritius Business Class passengers and Kestrelflyer Gold members. Passengers on partner airlines and members of partner airport lounge access programs may also have access to the lounge facilities, depending on eligibility.

Passengers traveling in Economy Class can use the Air Mauritius Premium Lounge upon request and subject to availability.

3. O. R. Tambo International Airport | South Africa

O. R. Tambo International Airport  is the biggest Airport in Africa and  the primary airport for domestic and international travel to and from South Africa, and it has been Africa’s second busiest airport since 2020, with a capacity of up to 28 million passengers per year. The airport also serves as the hub for South African Airways.

The duty-free shopping mall at O.R. Tambo International Airport demonstrates Airports Company South Africa’s ability as a “best-of-breed” airport retail developer. The mall has three massive structural nodes that project between aircraft, exposing passengers to aeronautical activity, world-class shopping, and the best of African culture.

 2. King Shaka International Airport | South Africa

King Shaka International Airport is the primary international airport serving Durban. It started receiving passengers on May 1, 2010, just over a month before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It replaced Durban International Airport.

The passenger terminal is split into 2 levels: the lower floor handles arrivals and the upper floor handles departures. The terminal has a total floor area of 102,000 m2, which can handle 7.5 million passengers per year.

The check-in concourse has 72 check-in counters and 18 self-service kiosks, as well as ticket offices for the airport’s various airlines.

The arrivals area is on the lower floor, and it includes a baggage reclaim hall with 5 conveyors that can be allocated to domestic or international use. The majority of the airport’s retail shops, as well as a piazza area are  located on the lower floor immediately outside the terminal building. The airport has 52 retail outlets, including shops in the departure lounges.

1. Cape Town International Airport | South Africa

Cape Town International Airport is the primary international airport serving the city of Cape Town, as well as the second busiest airport in South Africa and the fourth busiest airport in Africa.

Domestic and international terminals are connected by a central terminal. The airport serves direct flights from South Africa’s other two major cities, Johannesburg and Durban, as well as flights to smaller South African cities. It has direct flights to a number of destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the United States.

The terminal building is divided into two levels, with departures on the upper floors and arrivals on the lower; an elevated roadway system provides vehicular access to both departures and arrivals levels. The Central Terminal Building, which features 120 check-in desks and 20 self-service kiosks, is where all check-in takes place.

The terminal has 10 air bridges, which are evenly divided between domestic and international traffic. Lower levels of the domestic and international terminals are used for bus transportation to and from remotely parked aircraft.

Within the airport precinct, there are two hotels: Hotel Verde, a four-star hotel ranked as “Africa’s greenest hotel, and Road Lodge, a budget hotel.

The airport also has a MyCiti BRT station that connects the entire city of Cape Town. 

For public transportation, the MyCiTi bus rapid transit system operates a shuttle service between the airport and the Civic Centre bus station in the city center.

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