Africa flights and travel guide

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Reasons to fly to Africa

With an ancient history dating back to 3300 BC, Africa has an indefinable mystery and allure surrounding it, and each country within this large continent differs dramatically. The North African countries – Morocco, Egypt or Tunisia are closer in culture to the Arab countries, whereas South Africa is a multicultural melting pot with strong Dutch and British roots. Most of the other countries including Nigeria, Sudan and Mali retain their rich African heritage.

Coming off a flight to Africa is an experience that even the most jaded visitor never forgets, but it’s important to plan your trip right since it is such a vast continent. If you’re interested in a trip to safari then visit Kenya for the most impressive wildlife and the best organised tours. Or if history is your forte, where better to revel in the past than the ancient land of the pyramids and pharaohs? Visit Egypt for an experience of a lifetime. But if your idea of the perfect holiday is to spend lazy days on unspoilt beaches, then book flights to Africa's popular island - Zanzibar in Tanzania.

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Africa climate

The weather throughout the African continent is generally the same: warm year round. But the North African countries including Egypt and Tunisia tend to be extremely hot between the months of June and September. High season is from September to April when the weather’s milder.

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When to fly to Africa

The best time for game watching and safari is in mid-summer, specifically July when the rainy season is over.

South Africa enjoys its high season in December and January when hoards of tourists visit its cities but flights and accommodation are pricier during this period. Try to avoid visiting in from September to January when the gale winds blow wildly.

Countries closer to the Indian Ocean, Tanzania and Mauritius for example, have a heavy tropical rainy season that runs anywhere from January to March or even until June in some countries. For the best weather book a flight to Africa anytime between June and October but try to avoid the scorching heat from December to March.

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Africa insider information

  • History buffs should head to Tunisia where they’ll find ancient Roman ruins in Carthage and Roman mosaics in the Unesco World-Heritage protected Medina. Libya is another fascinating North African country that boasts remnants of Greek and Roman civilizations. And Egypt, of course, is undeniably the mecca of archaeologists and historians.
  • Many travellers would pick the Caribbean when searching for a beach destination, but Africa has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, for example, has some of the best diving and fishing in the area. While the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania has been dubbed “paradise” by many visitors because of its turquoise waters.
  • Zebras running in the wild, elephants brushing up against your jeep; these are the images of safari, and Kenya offers visitors an authentic safari experience in game lodges and tented camps. Less popular than South Africa, but virtually untouched, is Botswana – home to the spectacular Okavango Delta. Here, you’ll find a 5,850 sq. mile inland flood plain filled with waterways, forests, islands and stunning wildlife.
  • If Lawrence of Arabia ever inspired you to ride on a horse through the endless desert, then you’ll get your wish in Mali. This West African country sits on the edge of the Sahara, the world’s largest desert, where nomads and camels ride in from the legendary city of Timbuktu.
  • Safaris, beaches, nightlife and history: South Africa combines them all seamlessly. Head to Cape Town and visit the infamous Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned under Apartheid. Then take the cable car up to Table Mountain and enjoy the sensational views of the city.

Thinking of planning a safari holiday in Africa? We've found the best safari destinations in Africa and beyond in our Safari Holidays travel tip.

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Oonagh Shiel
Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!
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    Cheap flights to Africa

    London (LGW) to Enfidha, Tunisia (NBE)
    from£120RTwith Monarch.co.uk
    London (LGW) to Enfidha, Tunisia (NBE)
    from£132RTwith Monarch.co.uk
    London (LGW) to Enfidha, Tunisia (NBE)
    from£167RTwith Monarch.co.uk
    London (LGW) to Enfidha, Tunisia (NBE)
    from£177RTwith Monarch.co.uk
    London (LGW) to Enfidha, Tunisia (NBE)
    from£185RTwith Monarch.co.uk
    London (LGW) to Enfidha, Tunisia (NBE)
    from£187RTwith Monarch.co.uk
    London (LGW) to Enfidha, Tunisia (NBE)
    from£207RTwith Monarch.co.uk
    London (LTN) to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (SSH)
    from£268RTwith Monarch.co.uk
    London (LTN) to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (SSH)
    from£273RTwith Monarch.co.uk
    London (LGW) to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (SSH)
    from£280RTwith Monarch.co.uk
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    Approx flight times

    Heathrow to Aeroporto 4 de Fevereiro (Belas):
    8 hr 28 mins
    Gatwick to Ambouli:
    9 hr 30 mins
    Heathrow to Houari Boumediene:
    2 hr 45 mins
    Gatwick to Houari Boumediene:
    2 hr 40 mins
    Gatwick to Oued Irara:
    3 hr 19 mins
    Heathrow to Borg El Arab:
    4 hr 45 mins
    Heathrow to Cairo International:
    4 hr 46 mins

    In-flight reading

    The Famished Road

    Ben OkriThe harrowing story of a little boy’s survival in a chaotic African village and his family’s struggle to overcome hunger and violence. Winner of the 1991 Booker Prize for fiction.

    A Good Man in Africa

    William BoydA humorous novel about a western diplomat's struggles to understand the cultural and political differences he encounters while living in Africa.

    Paradise

    Abdulrazak GurnahA finalist for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award, Paradise is a story set in pre-World War One Tanzania about a twelve-year-old boy who’s sold to a rich trader by his own father.

    A Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

    Nelson MandelaA must-read for anyone visiting South Africa, this inspirational book reveals the sacrifices and struggles Mandela had to endure in his fight against apartheid.

    The Cairo Trilogy (Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street)

    Naguib Mahfouz Winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature, The Cairo Trilogy is a story of the joys and sorrows of one Egyptian family’s life from the First World War to the independence of Egypt in 1922.