So, now that you've booked your African safari, how exactly are you planning to get there from the United States? These African safari tips address that very important question to help you calculate your total time away and costs.
Bushtracks' expertise is in identifying top safari camps and linking them by either private or commercial air within Africa. To get to your desired point of entry in Africa from the U.S., you can either work directly with the airlines, or you can contact us at AirTreks to make your international air arrangements for you.
Consider adding a layover city for bonus sightseeing
First-time travelers to Africa may be surprised by how long it takes to get there from the U.S. The journey can add easily two to three days to your overall vacation. If you are not flying direct to Johannesburg from JFK, Atlanta or Washington, D.C., you may want to entertain bonus sightseeing flying via one of eight main connecting airports: London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Zurich, Dubai, Abu Dhabi or even Istanbul, for the adventure-minded traveler. Spending an extra day or two in any of these cities also helps you acclimate to the time zone before arriving in Africa.
Or add a recovery day at your point of arrival
Alternatively, some travelers like to take the journey without breaking it up with an overnight midway, and instead add an extra day in Johannesburg or Nairobi to unwind in a comfortably appointed boutique hotel like the Fairlawns before embarking on their safari activities.
International carriers to Africa
The most commonly used international carriers are: South African Airways, Delta, British Airways, KLM, Air France, Swiss, Lufthansa, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic (for Southern Africa), and sometimes Etihad Airways or Turkish Airlines. Which airline you choose will ultimately come down to your schedule preferences, duration of your layover, mileage programs, availability of economy and extra legroom seats, and, for business class travelers, whether flat beds are available (and in most cases they are).
Keep air travel plans simple and connected to your safari
To help navigate this sea of choices, many Bushtracks' travelers opt for the convenience of working with AirTreks to ensure their international flight arrangements are seamlessly connected to their safari. AirTreks has contracted rates with airlines, often offering discount fares, particularly in business class. They are also familiar with the most reliable connections, and can help you balance these decisions with cost and convenience considerations. They will interface with the airlines and help you manage scheduled and voluntary changes, and also work with your Bushtracks travel planner to make sure everything works together.
✽ Think about adding a day in a layover city or on arrival to rest up before your safari
✽ Allow at least two hours for safe connections, especially on your outbound flight
✽ If you want to redeem mileage points, you'll need to work directly with your airline, and 11 months out is recommended