South Africa is a beautiful and diverse country that attracts travelers from all over the world, including the United States. If you’re planning a trip to South Africa from the US, it’s important to know which cities offer direct flights to make your journey more convenient and efficient. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the US cities with direct flights to South Africa, the airlines that operate these flights, and some tips for booking your trip.
New York City
New York City is the most popular departure point for direct flights to South Africa from the United States. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) offers non-stop flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town. Several airlines operate flights from JFK to South Africa, including South African Airways, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. Flight times to Johannesburg are around 15 hours, while flights to Cape Town take around 18 hours.
Atlanta is another popular departure point for direct flights to South Africa. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) offers non-stop flights to Johannesburg on Delta Air Lines. The flight time from ATL to Johannesburg is around 16 hours.
Washington, D.C. is also a departure point for direct flights to South Africa. Dulles International Airport (IAD) offers non-stop flights to Johannesburg on South African Airways. The flight time from IAD to Johannesburg is around 16 hours.
Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) offers non-stop flights to Johannesburg on United Airlines. The flight time from IAH to Johannesburg is around 17 hours.
Lastly, Newark LibertyInternational Airport (EWR) offers non-stop flights to Johannesburg on United Airlines. The flight time from EWR to Johannesburg is around 15 hours.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) also offers non-stop flights to Johannesburg on South African Airways. The flight time from LAX to Johannesburg is around 19 hours.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to Cape Town on United Airlines. The flight time from SFO to Cape Town is around 22 hours.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) offers non-stop flights to Johannesburg on United Airlines. The flight time from ORD to Johannesburg is around 17 hours.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) offers non-stop flights to Johannesburg on American Airlines. The flight time from DFW to Johannesburg is around 17 hours.
Miami International Airport (MIA) offers non-stop flights to Johannesburg on South African Airways. The flight time from MIA to Johannesburg is around 16 hours.
Tips for Booking Direct Flights to South Africa
When booking direct flights to South Africa, it is important to consider the following tips:
- Book your flight as early as possible to get the best deals.
- Compare prices from different airlines to get the best deal.
- Consider joining the frequent flyer program of the airline you choose to accumulate miles and earn rewards.
- Be prepared for a long flight, as flight times can range from 15 to 22 hours depending on the departure point and destination in South Africa.
- Consider upgrading to a premium economy or business class seat for added comfort on the long flight.
- Research visa requirements and make sure you have the necessary documentation before your trip.
- Pack appropriate clothing for the season and climate of your destination in South Africa.
- Be aware of any travel restrictions or health requirements in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Consider booking multi-city flights to explore more of South Africa, such as flying into Johannesburg and out of Cape Town, or vice versa.
Top Attractions to Visit in South Africa
South Africa is a country that offers a wide range of attractions to suit every type of traveler. Here are some top attractions to visit during your stay in South Africa:
- Kruger National Park: One of the largest game reserves in Africa, home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) and a diverse range of other wildlife.
- Table Mountain: A flat-topped mountain that overlooks Cape Town and offers stunning views of the city and surrounding coastline.
- Robben Island: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and former political prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years.
- The Garden Route: A scenic coastal drive in the Western Cape, featuring beautiful beaches, forests, and quaint towns.
- The Cape Winelands: A wine region located near Cape Town, known for its world-class wines and beautiful scenery.
- The Apartheid Museum: In Johannesburg, offers a powerful and moving experience about South Africa’s history of racial segregation and its journey towards democracy.
- Blyde River Canyon: One of the largest canyons in the world, located in Mpumalanga, offering stunning views of the canyonand surrounding landscape.
- The Cradle of Humankind: A UNESCO World Heritage Site located near Johannesburg, known for its important fossil finds and the origins of humankind.
- Soweto: A township in Johannesburg that played a crucial role in the struggle against apartheid, offering a glimpse into the country’s political history and vibrant culture.
- The Drakensberg Mountains: Located in KwaZulu-Natal, offering stunning scenery, hiking trails, and opportunities for outdoor adventure.
- The Big Hole: A former diamond mine in Kimberley, Northern Cape, offering a glimpse into the country’s mining history.
- The V&A Waterfront: A popular tourist destination in Cape Town, offering shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as views of the harbor and Table Mountain.
- The Durban Beachfront: Stretching along the Indian Ocean, offering beautiful beaches, water sports, and a vibrant beach culture.
- The Addo Elephant National Park: Located in the Eastern Cape, home to over 600 elephants as well as other wildlife such as lions, zebras, and buffaloes.
- The Cango Caves: Located in the Western Cape, offering guided tours through a series of underground limestone caves and tunnels.
Food and Drink to Try in South Africa
South Africa is also known for its delicious food and drink, influenced by a mix of African, European, and Asian flavors. Here are some must-try dishes and drinks during your stay in South Africa:
- Braai: A traditional South African barbecue, often featuring meats such as boerewors (sausage), lamb chops, and chicken.
- Bunny chow: A popular street food in Durban, consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry.
- Biltong: Dried meat, similar to jerky, often made from beef or game meats.
- Bobotie: A spiced meat dish with a custard topping, influenced by Cape Malay cuisine.
- Malva pudding: A sweet and sticky dessert made with apricot jam and served with custard or ice cream.
- Rooibos tea: A caffeine-free tea made from the leaves of the rooibos plant, grown in South Africa.
- Pinotage: A red wine grape variety unique to South Africa, known for its smoky and fruity flavors.
- Castle Lager: A popular South African beer, known for its light and refreshing taste.
- Amarula: A creamy liqueur made from the fruit of the marula tree, native to South Africa.
- Gatsby: A sandwich popular in Cape Town, filled with a variety of meats, fries, and sauces.
Traveling to South Africa from the United States can be a long and expensive journey, but direct flights from several US cities make it easier to plan your trip. New York City, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Houston, Newark, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Miami all offer non-stop flights to Johannesburg and/or Cape Town, making it easier for travelers to reach their destination. When booking your flight, it’s important to consider factors such as flight times, airline options, and travel requirements, including any COVID-19 restrictions in place. Additionally, joining a frequent flyer program and upgrading your seat can add comfort and rewards to your journey.
During your stay in South Africa, be sure to explore some of the country’s top attractions, try its delicious food and drink, and immerse yourself in its rich culture and history. With its stunning natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and vibrant cities, South Africa is sure to provide a memorable travel experience.