Questions about the duration of time to get to Africa are often asked by people traveling from the US. Of course, booking an African Safari trip from California or New York need a good deal of preparation.
The main concern, nonetheless, is whether you need recovery time once you arrived. Jet lag and flight length is another issue for those traveling from the US.
Well, the African continent is far from North America. It will take you a whole day by plane to reach Africa. To be more specific, the actual plane ride will take about 15 hours up to 21 hours, depending on where in the US you live.
For example, a flight from New York to South Africa will cover 15 hours flight. It is when you choose a direct flight.
But if you want cheaper flights, a connecting flight through Europe from LAX to Europe is 11 hours. Then your next flight will take another 10 to 11 hours to finally reach South Africa.
Since the US is our point of departure, there are various flight paths that you can take to reach the continent. It will depend on which airline you choose.
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How far is Africa on a plane?
Of course, the easiest way to reach the African continent is by riding on a plane. If you are coming from the US, how far is Africa by plane?
First, we should determine which part of Africa you want to fly to. Africa is a big continent with 54 countries all. Having a specific destination in Africa is crucial to measure the distance of travel.
Second, what part of the US are you flying from? The United States is a massive country with an estimate of 6,100 km from north to south. It has 4,500 from east to west. Your starting point in the US will also determine the duration of your trip to Africa.
Then, when you book a direct flight or connecting flight to Africa, it will change the duration, as well.
If you want to save time, and considering direct flights to Africa, here are the pointers to remember:
The USA to West Africa
Delta Airlines offers direct flights to some countries in West Africa. You can choose Atlanta or New York, going to Lagos, Nigeria. Flights from Atlanta are available four days a week for three days in New York.
If you are in New York, there are available flights with Delta going to Senegal or Accra in Ghana. The Dakar flights are available two days a week and will only take eight hours of travel time.
Another, South African Airways, offers direct flights from Washington to Accra, too. The flight will take ten and a half hours to arrive in Ghana.
Recently, Ethiopian Airlines included three flights from New Jersey to Cote d’Ivoire. It will only take nine hours and forty-five minutes to get there.
Also, the Cabo Verde Airline has direct flights from Boston to Praia every Friday a week.
The USA to North Africa
If you visit the Great Pyramid in Egypt, Egypt Air has a direct flight coming from New York to Cairo. It operates daily, so you need not worry about not booking anything.
On the other side, there is the Royal Air Maroc with one direct flight from New York going to Casablanca. It will take an estimate of seven hours. Royal Air Maroc also has flights from New York to Casablanca that will take a total of seven and a half hours.
The USA to Southern Africa
Of course, the most sought after destination in Africa is in the south. There are daily flights from New York to Johannesburg with South African Airways. It will take long, covering almost fifteen hours of travel time.
Delta Airlines have flights from Atlanta to Johannesburg that operate daily. Around fifteen and a half travel time to get to the place.
The USA to East Africa
There is a non-stop flight between the USA and East Africa under Kenya Airways. It has a daily flight from New York to Nairobi and will take fourteen and a half hours.
Basically, flying from the US to Africa is pretty easy. All regions of Africa can be accessed through major airports and cities in the US. Africa is highly accessible, and you can reach its top destinations easily.
How much does it cost to go to Africa?
Most of us find Africa intimidating. Even seasoned travelers would agree that having a trip to any place in Africa can be very expensive.
Despite its reputation of a relatively low cost of living, hotels in Africa is double the Price. You may find it overrated and does not equal the comfort that you expect.
Transportation can be very cheap yet frustrating. You might hire a private vehicle. The travel infrastructure in the continent is very limited, making your travel expenses.
Unlike other developing nations in the world, traveling to Africa is way more expensive. You will surely spend more in Africa than any other country in Southeast Asia. Yet, the facilities that you get is beyond the Price that you paid for.
So, how much can you actually spend on an African trip? We have broken down below the things to consider when taking a trip to Africa:
Of course, your initial spending is the plane ticket to Africa. It corresponds to a big chunk from your budget, so you need to book carefully. An economy seat will cost you an estimated amount of USD 1800-2500 per person. It is a very generous amount already. Price will change depending on seasons, as well.
African Safari Experience
The cost of an African Safari activity is the most expensive part of your trip. Seeing a lion or other wildlife in Africa is not cheap. There are safari locations that will cost you more than the usual, and you need to watch out for that.
The price ranges from USD 300 to 1500 during a safari night activity. The said price range is in South Africa and Namibia. But if you chose less developed locations, prepare USD 600 to 2500 for that. Of course, those in rural areas have more wildlife and higher chances of seeing animals close. So, why are a safari activity in Africa expensive?
An African Safari experience is rare and has a high demand among tourists. Going to these locations is logistically exhausting and will cost money already.
Also, you will pay taxes that are very costly because it will be used for the conservation of these areas. It goes to infrastructure projects and welfare for the animals’ projects.
The price of this activity varies due to the following:
- remote and less developed areas are more expensive
- less tourist crowd, more changes of seeing wildlife
- professional safari guides
- service and reliability
- comfort during the activity
Hotels and Accommodations
Do not expect the highest level of comfort from hotels in Africa. Remote places in the continent tend to be less comfortable, yet at a higher price range. There are luxury hotels in major cities like Johannesburg, but with a much higher price tag. Again, Africa has fewer travel infrastructures and includes hotels as well.
To sum it up, the cost of your whole African trip will range from $3000 up to a whopping $50,000. In the highest range, the most comfortable and luxurious African trip is prepared for you.
Why is it expensive to fly to Africa?
Spending $50,000 for an entire African trip is not a joke. It means that the continent can really be this cost compared to the rest of the world. Yet, a lot of tourists are willing to shell out such a huge amount, as this is an experience of a lifetime.
So, why is it expensive in Africa?
Low Tourist Demand
As I mentioned earlier, a big chunk of your African trip budget will be your plane ticket. In this part, you will already spend more than a thousand dollars for a comfortable flight. The reason is that fewer people are going or flying to Africa to have leisure. So, airlines will rate more than the usual. Airlines will have less profit when they conduct flights to Africa.
Again, the continent has less tourist-friendly infrastructures making your trip more expensive. In the aspect of transportation, it can be very cheap, yet frustrating. You may opt to choose to hire a private vehicle for a more comfortable ride.
Another reason, in less remote areas of the continent, there are few roads and bad railways. If you want to travel from country to country, flying is more reliable. Yet, it will cost you a huge amount of money, as well.
Not priority of the government
Well, most of the countries in Africa are developing. In a developing world, infrastructures and other tourism projects are not the priority. Basic services like health, education, and housing will weigh more. The tendency is that tourism can be very expensive. They can get an opportunity to generate more income from this sector. Another airline will spend more on their operations.
African Safari Tour is a serious expense.
Most of the tourists visiting Africa save a lot for an African Safari tour. Of course, it is the reason why you visited the country in the first place. Aside from an expensive plane ticket, a huge percentage of your budget will be spent here. The logistics and transportation side is expensive. Adding security and trained and professional tour guides will be an added expense.
What is the cheapest country to fly to Africa?
We know that African travel will cost you more than any country in the world. Yet, there are places that are less expensive but still offer you the beauty of the continent. So, what are the cheapest country to fly to Africa?
The country has a European vibe and can reach via Spain. It is only a short distance from Europe, and you can choose cheap flights to get there. A train ride or a boat journey will get you to Morocco from Europe.
Aside from cheap rides from Europe, Morocco has plenty of budget hotels that can only range from $5 to $6 dollars a night. Breakfast is included in the package as well.
Local transportation, like trains and buses, is also affordable. If you want private, car rental is also accessible and cheap. Even visiting attractions will be around $4 per visit.
The same with Morocco, Tunisia is cheap to travel to as well. You can get to Tunisia by Europe. There are budget flights available from Europe, or Sicily, which will cost you less. It is a short ride from Sicily by boat.
In the aspect of accommodation, spend $12 for a shared space in Tunisia. It is relatively affordable too. The food, on the other side, will amount from $2 to $3 a day.
When you visit historical attractions like El Jem, allot $5 as an entrance fee. Yet, organized tours can tend to be pricey, so you may want to avoid it if you want to maintain a tight budget.
Do you think visiting Egypt is expensive? Well, think otherwise. Egypt is a lot cheaper than you can imagine. You can get the cheapest bargain in Africa when you visit this country.
Hotels and accommodation can range from $7. Even visiting the Great Pyramid is affordable for only $6. You can easily access one of the greatest inventions of man for a very low price.
If you want an African destination with a lot of options for safari activity, Kenya is the place to be.
There are plenty of attractions you can choose from. It includes mountain hikes, national parks, and yes, wildlife experience. Kenya is one of the cheapest countries in Africa that provides less expensive safari tours. You can choose the Amboseli National Park and Nakuru National Par. Even the popular Masai Mara is there too.
A safari experience will cost $410. It is way cheaper than any other country in Africa.
The country is one of the most less expensive to travel to Africa. It is naturally blessed with a lot of beautiful landscapes. Spending a night in the country in a dorm bed is around $10.
You can visit Tofo, a beautiful sandy beach that lies in the Indian Ocean. Tofo is famous for its amazing shoreline and coral reefs. You can have dolphin watching or even whales when you choose to visit the country.
Do US citizens need a visa for South Africa?
The main destination for a US citizen in the continent is South Africa. The most prominent question for Americans is the need for a South African visa.
Well, to keep you informed, US citizens visiting the country for 90 days do not need a visa. You may apply for a visa if you want to stay longer in the country.
Yet, you need to prepare the usual requirements for traveling when you plan a visit to South Africa. It includes a valid passport that has at least two unused blank pages. For Americans, South Africa is highly accessible, as well as other parts of the continent.