How long does it take to travel to Africa from the US?

Many individuals planning an African Safari from California or New York often inquire about the duration of the journey and whether recovery time is necessary upon arrival. While we strive to ensure your safari adventure is extraordinary, the flight length and jet lag are factors beyond our control. Nevertheless, we can assist you in preparing for the journey and making the most of every moment along the way. Co-Founders Leah and Kyle Green Above Image: Co-founders, Kyle and Leah Green, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. 

How long is the flight to Africa?

Embarking on a journey from the US to Africa requires a substantial amount of time, typically spanning an entire day. The flight durations can vary, ranging from 15 to 21 hours, contingent on your departure location. For those seeking direct options, flights from Atlanta or New York to Johannesburg take approximately 15 hours. Alternatively, if you opt for a connection through Europe, the flight from LAX to Europe lasts around 11 hours. Subsequently, the following leg to Johannesburg entails an additional 10-11 hours. We often recommend different flight paths based on your preferences, airline affiliations, or the possibility of leveraging airline miles or award points.

A quick flight cheat sheet:

  • LAX (Los Angeles, California) to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Kenya) = 21 hours
  • JFK (New York, New York) to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Kenya) = 13hrs 30min
  • LAX to Cape Town (South Africa) = 21hrs 40min
  • ATL (Atlanta, Georgia) to Cape Town (South Africa) = 14hrs 45min
  • ATL to Johannesburg (South Africa) = 15hrs 30minUS/

US/East Coast airports, direct to South Africa 

  • ATL (Atlanta, Georgia) to Cape Town = 14hrs 45min
  • IAD (Dulles, Virginia) to Cape Town = 14hrs 45min 
  • EWR (Newark, New Jersey) to Cape Town = 14hrs 45min 
  • EWR (Newark, New Jersey) to Johannesburg = 15 hrs 
US/East Coast airport direct to Kenya:
  • JFK (New York, New York) to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport = 13hrs 30min

Co-founder, Kyle Green, on a walking safari in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. Above Image: Co-founder and travel designer, Kyle Green, enjoying a big game walking safari in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. 

Travel to Africa via Europe

The silver lining to two long flights is the opportunity to break up the journey and explore some wonderful countries along the way! Many of our African Safari tour guests opt for an extended layover in Europe. For instance, you can spend an entire day in Paris, touring around, experiencing the city’s sights, indulging in some shopping, and savoring a delightful Parisian dinner – all before heading back to the airport for your next flight. For those who prefer not to venture far from the airport, the business class lounges also offer spas and showers, providing a relaxing space to freshen up before the next leg of your journey.

How long should you stay in Africa?

As the journey to Africa spans an entire day, and adjusting to jetlag may take another day or so, we generally suggest planning for at least 12 days in Africa. In our view, allocating 12-days on the ground allows for an ideal timeframe to explore multiple countries without feeling rushed. If you’re contemplating a multi-country experience, a two-week stay in Africa provides ample time to immerse yourself in diverse adventures.

Little Governors’ Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

If the idea of an African Safari has sparked your interest, look no further than Ubuntu Travel. We are here to assist you in selecting the perfect African Safari Adventure tailored to your needs and desires. Contact us today to begin planning your ultimate African getaway.

Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime?

If you’re thinking of planning a trip, we’re here to help! Our team of travel designers will create an itinerary just for you to create memories to last a lifetime and conquer your bucket list. Get in touch with us today to start planning your adventure in Africa.

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