Tuesday, 04 February 2014 19:15 Written by 

    How do I get to East Africa?

    When looking through our websites at all the different options for safaris, beach resorts and adventures, you will inevitably encounter the question ‘how do I get there?’

    The truth is that the answer is different for everyone!


    There are always lots of options in these days of competitive aviation routes, but usually one airline will stand out as the most suitable for your individual itinerary. There are a multitude of considerations when selecting the right route, for some the price is the most important factor, others just want to get where they are going with the minimum time and fuss.

    A very important factor that some people overlook is arrival and departure times at your destination. The best example is if you are arriving to go on safari then it is vital you have an early arrival to make the most of your stay. Arrive in the afternoon and by the time you get to your camp, the day is all but gone, a day you may have paid a lot of money for.

    As an independent specialist, we do not favour any airline or route. We favour what works best for you, and what will allow you to make the most of your time away.

    When you contact us, we will first discuss your ground arrangements. Which safari, which hotel, how many nights and the many small details we like to go into. We should then have a start point and an end point. Your agent will at this point be able to give you some advice regarding which airline should work the best with what you want to do.

    From here we then to call our IATA licenced flight agent to get a quote for the international flights, which we will then tie into your quotation from us, giving you a full ATOL protected package. This means you only deal with one agent, who will make sure the flights you book work well with the overall package. This also means that any time changes from the airline, or amendments by yourself are all handled by your Pure Safari agent.

    Another question we often have is ‘wont I pay more for my international flight if booking them through you?’ The answer is no! We use one of the country’s top flight agents, and have an agreement in place with them that rewards our continued business with reduced airfares. The quote price we get from them is the price you pay for your flights. So we offer this as a complimentary service, and find on around 80% of bookings we make, that we also arrange the international flights.

    Despite the best laid plans, things can go wrong. Bad weather, strikes, last minute changes etc. This is when booking your flights through an internet site can lead to a lot of stress and frustration, and it is often very difficult to get in touch with them, if you even are informed about any changes before you arrive at the airport.

    Here are some quick summaries of the airlines we use regularly, with some pros and cons:

    Kenyan Airways
    Fly from – London, Paris, Johannesburg
    Fly to – Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro

    For many itineraries Kenyan will give the best routing and connections possible, especially when going to Kilimanjaro airport to start a safari. These advantages can come at a premium though, especially around peak seasons. Kenyan provide a good level of service, comparable to a European carrier like Air France. The best option by far if you are doing a Kenyan safari, followed by Zanzibar.

    Qatar Airways
    Fly from – London , Manchester, Paris
    Fly to – Dar es Salaam, Nairobi

    Qatar airways are one of the world’s only 5* airlines, so a high quality service is assured. They work very well if you are going on a Selous safari at the start of your trip. All flight go via Doha, where good connections are possible on most days. Prices can be very competitive outside of peak seasons.

    Oman Air
    Fly from – London
    Fly to – Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam

    We have really seen Oman Air take off over the past couple of years, and besides Kenyan they are the only airline you can take to Zanzibar with just one change. They are an excellent option if you are just going to Zanzibar. All flights go via Muscat, and the outbound journey is fantastic. On the return you need to overnight in Muscat, and the airline provide a 4* hotel, transfers, breakfast and visas. I did this in 2013 and it was great. Another option we are fining popular is a stopover in Oman on the return, for 2-3 nights.

    Why would you know about Oman Air unless you have flown with them. Take it from me, they are a great airline and very competitively priced.

    These are the 3 airlines we use more than any other. Options are also available with Emirates, Ethiopian, KLM, Air France, Turkish, Swiss, but we generally don’t use them as much as the times are not ideal. You can sometimes save a lot with them over peak seasons though, and even though we mostly use these 3, we always look at all options.

    The best advice I can give anyone when booking a flight is to get in early, especially around peak dates. Long-haul flights are generally released 11 months ahead of departure, and this is when they are cheapest. The more seats that sell on a flight, the more the price creeps up. So booking early will always get you the best price, and also gives you longer to look forward to your holiday, adding extra value I think.

    I am the resident flight expert at Pure Safari, having worked for our flight agent for over 7 years before specialising at Pure Safari 4 years ago. Before I moved across I arranged all the flights for Pure Safari as the flight agent, so know all the routes, times and small details about all the options you have. All of our agents know the routes well, and we look forward to discussing the options with you.

    John Gaze

    John Gaze

    Worldwide Luxury Specialist

    Experienced Worldwide agent.

    After leaving school John joined the Royal Navy, serving 6 years as a gunner and seaman, travelling to some of the more and less glamorous corners of the globe on service.

    Leaving the Navy to seek a new challenge, John set of for a years backpacking, followed by a couple of ski seasons and several periods of living abroad in various parts of the planet.

    Not being able to sustain this lifestyle forever John decided the sensible move was to return to England and move into travel, using his wealth of experience to send other people on holiday. He spent the next 6 years working for Dial-a-Flight, further extending his knowledge of all things travel and becoming an expert in countless worldwide destinations.

    John has been a friend of Pure Zanzibar from its conception, and from his desk at Dial-a-Flight arranged all the flights for Pure Zanzibar customers for over 2 years, during which time he visited Zanzibar and fell in love with it.

    Again seeking a new challenge, he decided to make the transition and move to Pure Zanzibar in October 2010, becoming a manager within a year and bringing his worldwide travel experience to the team. He has since been back to Zanzibar, staying a good range of properties across the island.

    John last travelled to Tanzania in October 2013, staying in several more luxury lodges, including Kilindi, Kasha, Mnemba Island and the Hideaway. Mnemba Island was very special indeed, it would be hard to find a more perfect beach destination.

    To date John has visited 48 different countries,across every continent! If forced to choose, New Zealand would come out on top, its mixture of rugged scenery, beaches and olde world feel is hard to draw a comparison to.

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