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Flying from Aust for southern Africa trip...J'burg base?

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posts: 6
reviews: 1
Flying from Aust for southern Africa trip...J'burg base?

Hi all,

We're booking our first trip to Africa on short notice for March-April. We have 3 weeks and, having seen most of Sth Africa, hoping to take in Victoria Falls / Botswana and possibly then gorilla trekking.

Am hesitant to book in and out of J'burg given we don't know where we will start/ end up and at the very early stages of planning ... but am stunned at Qantas' sale on offer at the moment.

It ends soon so thinking I might go ahead and book it.

a) How easy/regular/reliable are short-haul flights in southern Africa?

b) How expensive are they...does it make more sense to book as package?

c) Would you recommend flying in and out of J'Burg from Aus for an itinerary taking in the above.

Many thanks for your help.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 501
reviews: 4
1. Re: Flying from Aust for southern Africa trip...J'burg base?


I reckon Jburg would be best for those destinations. We flew Comair to VF it was not that cheap but check SAA. Air Botswana flies out of JNB to Kasane and Gaborone. At least Qantas flies direct into JNB unlike Emirates which stops in Dubai or SAA via Perth. If Qantas has a special I would go for it, assuming you mean stunned as in good not stunned as in not good - $$$$. If the latter perhaps a rethink.

Johannesburg, South...
posts: 394
reviews: 96
2. Re: Flying from Aust for southern Africa trip...J'burg base?

Yes fly in and out of Joburg. It is the shortest flight by far from Australia. Joburg has two international airports with regular flights all over the continent, a local search engine worth checking out is www.travelstart.co.za

Flights to Vic Falls will always be expensive as it is primarily a tourist destination. BA fly at least once a day, but there are other operators.

Flights here are as reliable/regular as you find in Australia. I've done numerous trips in the last 6 months and not had a problem.

Cape Town
posts: 9,052
3. Re: Flying from Aust for southern Africa trip...J'burg base?

Hi Andrew/JSack

It's not particularly because VF is a tourist route. There is in fact a bit of competiotion on this route which keeps prices down - relatively! In fact flying between African countries are some of the most expensive routes ($ per 100km) in the world. Specifically because of no competion and flown by inefficient state run airlines.

SAA simply goes along with this and charges the same (or even higher!) prices for a little bit less inefficiency! These are the only routes that SAA makes a profit on and they have been closing down routes where they have competition - such as London - Cape Town, and even some domestic routes - to transfer resources to these intra-African routes. Just to give an idea I can fly from Cape Town to Joburg (a 1200km two hour flight) for as little as R650 during frequent special offers on one of the low cost airlines. Joburg to Gabarone (Botswana's capital) - a 300km 40 min hop - costs R2,000. Cape Town to Windhoek (about the same distance as CPT-JNB) is R3,400 one-way.

If you can consolidate some of the intra-African flights with your ticket from Aus it might end up better value. Talk to Quantas or your travel agents.

Edited: 8:02 am, November 25, 2013
4. Re: Flying from Aust for southern Africa trip...J'burg base?

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