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Flying into Africa: New Routes & Travel Tips

Flying into Africa: New Routes & Travel Tips

When it comes to picking the perfect safari lodge or working out flight connections to remote game reserves; nothing can compare to the expertise of a professional travel consultant. However, with today’s excellent selection of flight comparison websites, booking long-haul flights into Africa has never been easier.

And the choice is only growing as new routes open up, while well-established airlines increase the frequency of their flights to Africa’s major travel hubs. Just take a look below at a few of the recent developments along with some tips on the best flight routes from the UK and USA.

Tips for Bagging the Best Possible Flight Deal:

  • Start researching flight prices as early as possible
  • Check with a flight search engine like Skyscanner that compares top airlines
  • Deals get snapped up quickly, so check back regularly
  • Try to secure your seats at least 11 – 12 weeks before departure

Cape Town International Airport
Planes line up at Cape Town International Airport.

South Africa

Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport is the biggest gateway to Southern Africa. But nowadays if you fly in from the UK or Europe, there’s a good chance you won’t hang about or even touch down in Johannesburg (or ‘Jozi’ to the locals).

As of July 2016, KLM will operate year-round daily flights between Amsterdam and Cape Town. In the past KLM reduced their flights during the European summer, but this will no longer be the case. This is also great news if you're coming from the USA, as flying via Amsterdam is a great alternative to Johannesburg (on South African Airway) or London (on Virgin Atlantic or British Airways).

Lufthansa has also started a daily non-stop schedule, their flights run from Munich to Cape Town during South Africa’s summer season, while Edelweiss will connect Zurich with Cape Town twice a week from now until mid-May 2016.

In October last year Turkish Airlines introduced daily flights between Istanbul and Cape Town, and from December 2016 Thomas Cook Airlines will start operating three direct flights a week from London Gatwick direct to Cape Town. 

Victoria Falls Airport
The new Victoria Falls International Airport terminal opened in December 2015.

Southern Africa

In Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls airport has undergone a $150 million upgrade with the new terminal officially opening in December last year. This upgrade includes a new 4km runway, and it is believed that this will encourage direct flights from airlines such as British Airways, Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates.

And if you’re thinking of a safari in the Okavango Delta, Air Botswana has said they will re-introduce their direct route between Cape Town and Maun (the gateway to the Okavango) as of March this year.

andBeyond Benguerra Island
andBeyond Benguerra Island in Mozambique's magical Bazaruto Archipelago.

Free Island Flights

Then there are all the fantastic travel deals that include flights. For example Medjumbe Island Resort (which re-opened in December last year) is offering free flights from the Mozambique mainland to this idyllic private island in the Quirimbas Archipelago. Or you can also fly free to andBeyond Benguerra Island - perfect for a relaxing beach break on a sandy tropical island after all the excitement and early mornings of a big game safari.

Take a look at more of our top travel deals or contact a consultant to start planning your African safari. All that's left for you to do is pick one of the many flight options available - and make 2016 a year to remember!

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