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Getting to Africa

There are many options for flights to Africa. I'll cover some strategies for getting the best deal on your flights.

I'll start with Kenya (Great Migration Safari.) You need to fly to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO.) Here are some options:

  • Fly direct from JFK on Kenya Air. It's a long haul (15 hours) but shortest route and you arrive mid morning versus night time. Consider staying over in New York the night before your flight. TWA hotel is a short walk to the terminal. t n

  • Take Delta, American, or United and connect in Europe. Delta connects with KLM in Amsterdam or Air France in Paris. American connects with British Air in London. United connects with Luftansa in Frankfurt. Consider staying a night or two in those locations to break up your flights and sightsee.

  • Qatar and Emerates are knows for high quality. You would connect in Qatar or Dubai if taking these flights.

  • Ethiopian Air is usually the lowest cost option. Fly to Addis Ababa and then take a short flight to Nairobi.

Our Victoria Falls/Botswana safaris originate in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (VFA.) Most people will fly to Johannesburg and spend the first night there. Then take Fastjet or Airlink to Vic Falls. Another option is Ethiopian Air which you can book on same ticket from U.S. to Vic Falls. That one connects in Addis Ababa. Kenya Air through Nairobi is also an option.

How much do flights cost? Expect to pay $1,500 to $2k for a round trip economy class ticket. Pay $3k to $4k for Premium Select cabin. This is a separate cabin and not to be confused with Economy comfort. I would compare it to a first class domestic seat. It doesn't lay flat but is much better than economy. Business class is going to cost between $4k and $12k.

When to purchase my tickets? Set an alert on your phone to remind you to check flights as soon as they are open to book (usually 11 months before your trip.) If you find a good price, book it then. If it doesn't look like a good deal, have google track your flight price and alert you when there is a change. When you see a good price, jump. You should be ok to wait up until two months before your departure. After that the prices are not likely to go down.

Economy, Premium Select, or Business Class? That really depends on your budget. If you can afford it, go business class. You'll have a much nicer experience. However, everyone on the flight will arrive the same time regardless. Business select is usually $1,000 to $2,000 more than economy. It's a good alternative to a pricey business class ticket. But consider taking the money you save by flying economy and applying it to a nice stay over in London, Paris, or Amsterdam. For a couple, you may pay an extra $10,000 for business versus economy. That could pay for a very nice layover in Europe.

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