The purpose of this Airfares Africa information page, is not to provide pricing, but an overview of Africa's main flight hubs and air routes, so that you are able to view ‘how’ one can link the various countries and destinations in Africa together to piece together your African vacation.
However, ‘don’t sweat it’, we will be able to guide you in the best route around Africa for your holiday, so get in touch with us for expert advice. We know that information is king, and sticking with the goal of our website, which is to provide credible content to our clients, to guide you in your choice of vacation country/destination, we hope that you will find our African airfares page of value.
For your international flights, we are certainly able to assist with your flight arrangements, as long as your itinerary touches down on South African soil. Alternatively and for comparative pricing, as very often flights are 'better priced' at the point of origin, please book your flights with your local travel agent, who may even be able to book your domestic flights within Africa as well, in conjunction with your international flights.
Intriguing Africa is able to book any regional or domestic flights that you may require in Africa, to connect and in conjuction with your international flights.
Sometimes flights may work out cheaper if you book your international flights separately to your regional/domestic flights in Africa. South Africa two low cost airlines (Mango – linked with South African Airways, and Kulula.com – linked to British Airways), which compete aggressively for business, and we can certainly quote you on these no frills low cost carriers that ‘move’ thousands of leisure and business travellers daily.
Intriguing Africa work with reputable airlines and air charter services throughout Africa and we will quote you on the best flight solution for your holiday at a competitive price.
For domestic flights we suggest that you arrive at the airport an hour and a half prior to departure and for international flights two and a half hours prior to departure.
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- Book in advance (at least 2 months), international flights to South Africa, particularly from the US, as the carriers into Africa on direct routes are ‘limited’ and book up quickly. The same can be said for seats from the UK, particularly as there are many South Africans living in the UK and flights over peak holiday periods – Christmas in particular – go quickly. Remember that over traditional peak holiday periods flight prices will always be higher. If you have some flexibility in your dates of departure, your travel agent has a better opportunity to shop around for the best flight prices for you.
- For those in the USA, ask your travel agent to check flight prices via Europe to Africa (particularly Amsterdam, Rome and Paris), as you may just find some off-season deals. Flying via London has become more costly due to an increase in airport taxes. Quite often flying via Dubai on Emirates can lead to a good deal airfare, although this will add some extra flying time, so you need to weigh up what suits you – discount versus more time in the air. The same concept applies if you fly via Europe.
- Once in Africa, it is advisable to save time by flying into your safari destination, particularly if you are pressed for time. This may add a little more expense onto your holiday bill, but the time saved is well worth it. However there are instances, when a road transfer is totally acceptable and can save you money, and we will advise you in this circumstance.
On safari or heading off to a small tropical island paradise, here are the 'rules' when travelling by light aircraft.
On the regional routes, there are ‘smaller’ air carriers that offer competitive pricing. For safari packages, particularly into the remote areas of Africa such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana or the wildlife parks in Zambia, your safari package is quoted inclusive of accommodation and light aircraft scheduled flight transfers.
In certain instances these light aircraft companies also offer scheduled flight transfers to other safari destinations within the same country or into neighbouring countries, that can save you a great deal of time as a direct transfer and will also be competitive on price. This all inclusive package rate i.e. accommodation plus light air craft transfer also applies when flying to the small and remote islands of the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelago’s of Mozambique for instance – when you think of a light aircraft, think remote location. These transfer hops are really enjoyable and can provide a wonderful vantage to take in some spectacular scenery.
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Posts in date order. Older posts may be deleted.
02 November 2012 – Qartar Airways
Has launched thrice weekly flights to Maputo in Mozambique, effective 31 Oct 2012. With the discovery of large reserves of natural gas, Mozambique is today emerging to be one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Mozambique and Maputo are destinations that are under served as far as flight options is concerned.
Light Aircraft Transfer Options
There are a number of light air-craft options – scheduled circuit, seat in plane, sole use charter and private charter – basic explanations follow:
This is when guests hop onto a light air craft that operates at a set time on a set route and is usually the most cost effective option as it uses all seats on an aircraft and guests are aware of departure times in advance. There may be certain stops en route and other guests may join the flight.
Seat in Plane
This is when guests are transferred by light air craft from a main airport into a remote safari camp, there may be stops en route and other guests may join the flight.
Scheduled circuit and seat in plane are the most widely used flight transfers in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Sole Use Charter
This is when guests book a sole use flight from point A to point B but the plane does not stay with them, but set departure times/routes still apply. It just means that there will be no other guests on the flight and no stops en route.
This is when a light air craft/plane is booked for a full itinerary and the plane and pilot are at the group’s disposal for the duration of their holiday itinerary, which allows for timings to be flexible, but is obviously the more expensive option.
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- It’s important to note that you are restricted with your luggage on these light aircraft transfers into remote safari destinations. Generally luggage restrictions are between 12kgs (26lbs) to 20kgs (44lbs), which includes your camera equipment and any hand luggage. The restricted weight value refers to your total luggage allowance. Another stipulation is that luggage needs to be in soft bags without any wheels, frames or rigid structures.
- Luggage size/weight is strictly controlled due to air craft luggage pods being restricted in size and due to stringent safety regulations.
- Private or sole use charter weight allowances may vary and are dependent on circumstances and therefore you will be advised upon quotation. In this instance, provided that all the seats in the aircraft have not been used, then additional luggage is generally not a problem (but all luggage, including excess luggage will still need to be packed into soft bags).
- Should a guest weight over 100kgs (220lbs) an extra seat will have to be costed into the holiday itinerary per sector due to safety purposes.
- Incorrectly sized luggage will not be allowed and the client will need to a) purchase a soft bag and repack b) purchase an extra seat (per sector) for their excess luggage which is subject to availability and may be delayed.
20kgs Sounds very little for luggage, however please note that most of the camps will provide certain basic necessities that you won’t need to actually pack into your ‘soft bag’ (this will need to be confirmed per camp) such as flash lights, insect repellent, soap, shampoo and towels etc. Some camps also do basic laundry which may be at an additional fee. On safari, only casual clothing is required.
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At the main airport hubs, there is usually opportunities for you to store excess luggage, so do check with us with regards to costs and options here. We don’t recommend leaving any valuable items in luggage storage.
In South Africa, domestic luggage restrictions on domestic airlines are currently at 1 bag hand luggage at 5kgs and check in baggage at 20kgs.
Luggage Storage in Johannesburg and Cape Town is easy and hassle free. You have the option of being met in Cape Town or Johannesburg on arrival at the airport, where you will hand over your luggage (that you can’t take with you on safari). If you are met in Cape Town, your luggage will be taken through to Johannesburg (if necessary) where at an appointed time you will be met again for your luggage to be returned to you. Another option is to be met at your hotel, your extra bags are then transferred and stored at either Cape Town or Johannesburg depots, then at an appointed time your luggage will be once again handed over to you at the airport or they can be transferred yet again to another hotel for you. There is also an international door to door service that you can make use of.
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South Africa is the fore runner of the airline industry in Africa, certainly the most established airline/aviation network in Africa, both internationally, regionally and on the domestic front.
Low Cost Airlines
There are two low cost airlines that operate throughout the major hubs, they are Kulula.com (operated by British Airways), and Mango Airways (operated by South African Airways), where pricing and competition is aggressive.
South African Airways is the national carrier, with subsidiaries being SA Airlink (regional airline that operates as a franchise of SAA) and SA Express. Between the three brands they offer an extensive network throughout South Africa, into Africa as well as internationally to destinations in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. South African Airways serves more than 700 destinations throughout the world, carries more that 6.5 million passengers each year and serves 34 cities in 26 countries on six continents!
The three major international airports in South Africa are:
OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) being Africa’s major gateway, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport (Durban), with both the latter airports gaining in stature, with a growing number of direct international flights into both Durban and Cape Town.
Flights between the US and Johannesburg average around 15 hours and flights between London and Johannesburg average about 12 hours. Below we have highlighted the typical tourist flights to visit the highlights of Southern Africa.
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