Where to fly from Durban?
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Jul 12, 2012 11:44 PM Last Post By: fezzly
Jul 7, 2012 12:43 PM
Where to fly from Durban?Hi guys!
I am planning to be an intern for ten weeks in Cape Town, then ten weeks in Durban. My internship will conclude early March 2013. I will have about three weeks to travel afterwards. I am wondering what some relatively inexpensive options are for flights out of Durban. I am open to all suggestions, as I will do my research before deciding.
I have not traveled much and am hoping to utilize my location in South Africa to travel to places I might otherwise never be able to visit. I am hoping to have a friend from Oregon meet me "halfway" so we can travel around together.
Does anyone know of relatively inexpensive places to travel out of Durban?
I'd love to see more of Africa, but am open to traveling anywhere as long as the price is right. A round trip ticket from Oregon into Cape Town is approximately $1,600 US dollars, so I am hoping to spend less than that for flights elsewhere before I return home to the states.
Thank you! :)
Jul 7, 2012 1:30 PM
1Why fly? A bus (or train) would take you as far as Pretoria: great for seeing the Voortreker Monument, and if budget allows a good jumping-off point for the Kruger National Park.
Travel in Africa is very expensive, so if funds are limited I suggest that you limit yourself to South Africa (so at least you won't need to spend time and money getting visas) and maybe route your return journey through Europe so that you can do some sight-seeing there.
Jul 7, 2012 3:27 PM
Jul 7, 2012 7:17 PM
3These are awesome ideas! I needed a good jumping off point. Thank you!
I have been looking a lot at Mozambique. Thanks for the tip.
I suggested flying because if I end up traveling with my friend, I wanted us to be able to meet somewhere halfway. So she wouldn't have to fly 30 hours to meet me in South Africa!
Jul 7, 2012 8:11 PM
Jul 7, 2012 10:08 PM
5Yes, or even South America or Asia. I am pretty unfamiliar with airline routes and international travel, but was curious if anyone knew of direct, frequent flights from Durban to another major city.
For example, many flights I looked at for Cape Town fly into Dubai and also London. Something like that is do-able for me and also someone from the Western US.
It sounds like maybe the best bet would be traveling around close to South Africa. This is fine by me, I was just hoping there was another option that would be quick and not too spendy!
Looks like I've got plenty of great options to research! Thank you :)
Jul 8, 2012 5:00 AM
6Well, I guess the best way to find places you can fly to from Durban would be to look at their arrivals and departure boards-
As you'll see, it's mostly domestic flights. The only international destinations seem to be Dubai (Emirates) or Mauritius. Neither of those seem particularly helpful if you want to find a destination that is easily reachable for you and your friend. Unless you fancy Dubai.
So I think it would make sense for her to come to Southern Africa, or for you to meet in Europe and route your flight home via a hub like London or Amsterdam.
Jul 8, 2012 5:40 AM
Jul 8, 2012 7:52 AM
8International flights out of Durban are really limited: Dubai and Maputo are your only options. Stay tunned to see if Lusaka can be another option on your travel dates. BTW, it's true there are flights from Durban to Mauritius at the moment (as stokeygirl said in #6) but they are going to be discountinued later this year so it's unlikely they'll be running again on your travel dates.
For any other international route, your best bet is to fly out of Johannesburg. If you want direct flights (out of Johannesburg), your options to South America would be Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. In Asia (excluding the Middle East), your options would be Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. You would have to look for the fares though.
In Africa, in addition to the suggestions made by Voyager_2002 in #7, you could consider Dakar. There are direct flights from Johannesburg and Delta and South African Airways offer direct flights from Dakar to the USA. Take a look also at the web of South African Airways to see other possible destinations in Africa (e.g.: Douala, Libreville...) and if they meet your budget requirements. I guess Dakar and Accra would be your best options in Africa but it's only a guess so it's worth checking other alternatives.
If the above options aren't good for you, you always have the option of meeting in Europe.
Jul 8, 2012 5:19 PM
Jul 9, 2012 12:34 AM
10Visas are only the beginning: prices for things like food and accommodation are probably higher than anywhere else in the world. In many cases, the only way to get to see a particular attraction is hiring a vehicle (public transport does NOT go everywhere) and then costs go through the roof. And the general chaos and uncertainty means that you often have to wait for a day or so for transport, or to find out how to continue your journey and how to get the visa or whatever you need, and of course time waiting means extra hotel stays that are not exactly free...
Jul 10, 2012 5:16 PM
11I don't really agree with Voyager. Yes, some parts of Africa is very expensive to travel in like Tanzania and Botswana. But I find that the areas I mentioned in my previous post Are quite reasonable. Safari in South Africa is much cheaper than Tanzania, car hire isn't expensive and it's easy to get around. Flying to Zambia and Namibia from South Africa is quite cheap, and there Are a lot of cheap bustickets that will Get you to Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe etc.
This is how I see it. When you're in South Africa and you have the opportunity to travel around the neighbouring areas you should do it. If you're looking for "once in a lifetime" experiences this is the area to do it in.
Food is a lot cheaper almost anywhere in Africa than in Europe, it's not hard to find cheap and good accomodation, public transport can be difficult some places but it depends on where you'd like to go.
I've travelled a fair bit in Africa, and all though you have to prepare for TIA(This is Africa, and some things takes time)I don't agree that general chaos is a rule. Some places Are more chaotic than others, but again it depends on where you'd like to go. I've never had difficulties with finding out how my journey would continue or visas, but a little bit of planning will go a long way.
Jul 11, 2012 3:17 AM
12In response to #11: I think that Cath is right about the places she mentions. Africa is vast and varied, and most of the reasons for high costs do not apply to South Africa and most of its closest neighbours. My recent experience has been in West Africa, where everything is expensive, including food. (So while a holiday in Ghana with your friend might make sense in terms of maps and distance, it would not be such a good move financially.) Another exception is Ethiopia: I was there in 2008 and found most costs to be very reasonable.
Jul 11, 2012 6:06 PM
13Thanks Cath and Voyager. That's a little disappointing about the cost for Ghana, but the more I look into southern Africa the better it looks. Tanzania has always been on my list, but I knew it wouldn't be on the cheap side.
Europe is always an option, but right now I'm drawn to a little more adventure :)
I'm sure I'll be back with more questions as the time gets near. I really appreciate everyone's wisdom!
Jul 12, 2012 11:44 PM
14Zimbabwe would also be a great option, and Victoria Falls in particular is absolutely stunning and they have done a lot of work there recently improving the whole area, then you could also go on a house boat while in Zimbabwe which is also amazing!!
Mozambique is very accessible from Durban as you could drive there...
Alternatively you could catch the bazbus which would take you the whole way down from Durban to Cape Town and you can hop on and hop off at the various back-packers along the way, I have heard it is really well run and organised, so you could do that for a week or so if you like...
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