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travel to South Africa

Mom and I would like to go to South Africa next year, but don't know how we can deal with the long 17 hour flight from New York. We are wondering if we can stop somewhere....like a half way point, and stay for 3 or 4 days before going to South Africa. Any suggestions on a half way point that we could visit?

Posted by
9110 posts

Using the carriers that have a lock on the cheap/traditional routes, you'd do okay on price by pausing where they switch: London for Delta/KLM and Amsterdam for AA/BA.

Doing it the old fashioned way, you could stop in either Rio or BA. That'd give a more even split on the segments. I'd give Buenos Aires the nod.

Another option would be to pause in the UAE, but that'd empty your wallet for room and grub.

My picks would be either Cairo or the South American cities.

Nairobi would be an option if critters weren't on the South Africa agenda.

Posted by
37 posts

Thank you Ed of Pensacola for the information....I always wanted to see Buenos Aires.....so perhaps we will go there first...

Posted by
9110 posts

If you go from BA, keep in mind that TAM has the best route, but usually there's a stinking eight-hour break in Sao Paulo that you might want to jigger around.

Posted by
37 posts

Maybe Rio would be easier to go visit and fly to south Africa from there....

Posted by
91 posts

We are just back from South Africa 3 weeks ago. Had a flight from Chicago to London on American Airlines early afternoon and landed there 10:30 PM. After a good night's sleep, spent the next 2 days in London and then flew overnight on a direct flight to Capetown on British Airways. There was only a 1 hour time difference (10+ hour flight) between the two cities so jet lag was not a significant factor and we went on a walking tour as soon as we checked into the hotel. London was a good "stopping point" for us as we love to catch a West End show whenever we pass through there.

Posted by
9110 posts

Rio still has the stinking Sao Paulo problem. I'd forgotten to mention that we just usually go up there and spend the night and start fresh the next day when I included the South America idea.

One note, if you start doing your own research out of BA. TAAG (Angola Air) runs a route straight from Rio to Luanda and then down. I'm not very picky about who I fly with, but TAAG was EU-banned for safety concerns a few years back and has never been certificated for US entry. I flew them once in China a few years ago and that was enough. For reference, I've been mucking about in flying machines since I was a wee boy in knickers and have much more flight time than most carrier captains do when they retire.

Posted by
9110 posts

There's one other fast route combination that my sister uses and she just about commutes: Reagan to J'burg with short stops in either Atlanta or JFK - - it's about seventeen or eighteen hours, total.

Posted by
37 posts

Well, now that I have the London option to think about, I will have to do some research. I like that there is only a 1 hour time difference between London and South Africa, so that is a BIG plus for me since jet lag is not fun. Now the flight time between London and South Africa is 11 1/2 hours, but if we won't suffer from jet lag, then that sounds good to me. We also have done long flights before when we flew to Turkey and Russia and this year Greece, so I guess we could handle 11 1/2 hours. I also like that we do not need visa applications for London and South Africa. Rio requires a visa, and argentina reguires $160.00 payable online. I think mom and I will be going to London before South Africa. Mom will be very happy with this new development since we have never been to London and if we stay 4 days there, that would give us 3 good days to see the sights....1 day to recover from jet lag...thanks all for the insight.

Posted by
4 posts

I'm a Sth African, living in Boston. London is a good choice. I may do the stopover the next time but that does add a few days going and coming so if your time is limited, you might want to weigh the cost for an upgrade, even economy comfort, and just taking the direct flight. Last time I went to SA was in Oct 2010. Note that the plane WILL stop on the way back in Dakar to pick up passengers, get refueled and get rechecked for security. Staff will come on board, spray some cabin disinfectant and then do a cabin security check. No idea why but there you go! That will happen at some crazy time early morning.

Give me shout for any travel tips.

Posted by
1 posts

hi there !! the Buenos Aires direct flights to Johannesburg, South Africa were cancelled as from 28 March 2014. The option via Sao Paulo, Brazil is the only South American connection possible. It has eleven weekly flights to Johannesburg. Brazilian beaches are very beautiful and from Sao Paulo the nearest ones are 88 kms east to the coast upto Guaruya via 050 Motorway and from there follow north east coastline to Pauba and Ilha Bella via 101 motorway. it is a long coastline and many nice seaside spots along the way. Should u have the time u can even reach Ubatuba, Ilha Grande and Angra dos Reis, beautiful spots. Please bear in mind that to travel to South Africa via Sao Paulo you must have a Yellow Fever International Certificate to show at Migrations upon arrival. There are also new regulations in place when travelling with children under 18. Find more info in www.southafrica.net.

Laura - tourism specialist in Buenos Aires

Posted by
19 posts

We flew Air France Houston--Paris--Johannesburg and overnighted in Paris. That split the flight time in halves for us, and Paris I believe was the same time zone. It was also much cheaper than flying through S. America.

Posted by
10879 posts

we flew through London on the first trip for the world cup a few years ago. we are booked on South African Air Washington DC, Dakar, Jburg for the next trip.

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Posted by
6542 posts

My sister and brother in law went to London on the way to South Africa. They were on photo safari, and staying in some of the world's most luxurious accommodations--in tents. It was a tour where everyone was assigned a Cessna 206, and they flew in formation from country to country.

My nephew had already been to South Africa on real safari--lion hunting. It was one of the highlights of his life. He said that their guides were rather civilized, but it was like they'd lived in a tent their whole lives.

If you're going for the wildlife of Africa, VacationsToGo.com is the biggest seller of such travel into the region.