Deal Alert: US to Africa From $547 Round-Trip
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.
We're continually seeing solid fares to East and South African destinations, with prices starting at $547 round-trip.
You can fly from Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), Washington, DC (IAD), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD) and Houston (IAH) to Dar es Salaam (DAR), Cape Town (CPT), Johannesburg (JNB) and Nairobi (NBO).
Flights are mostly operated by United or SWISS, both Star Alliance carriers that could bring you some United miles on your flight. Qatar, which is known for its fantastic economy product, also has decent fares from Boston and Chicago. Flights include seat selection, free checked bags and a meal.
Most itineraries have just one short stop while a few others have longer layovers. If this is the case, you can go explore your layover city (likely Zurich or Doha) or hangout in an airport lounge via Priority Pass. Once at your destination, there are variety of ways to use points to book an epic African safari.
To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or through an OTA like Priceline or Expedia.
Airlines: United, SWISS, Qatar, British Airways
Routes: LAX/EWR/IAD/BOS/ORD/IAH to DAR/NBO/JRO/JNB
Cost: $547+ round-trip in economy
Travel Dates: February to May, August to November
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare on plus excellent trip delay insurance), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Washington DC (IAD) to Nairobi (NBO) for $547 round-trip on United/SWISS:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Nairobi (NBO) for $552 round-trip nonstop on United/SWISS:
New York (JFK) to Johannesburg (JNB) for $550 round-trip on United/SWISS:
Newark (EWR) to Dar es Salaam (DAR) for $551 round-trip on United/SWISS:
Chicago (ORD) to Mount Kilimanjaro (JRO) for $698 round-trip on Qatar via Orbitz:
Boston (BOS) to Nairobi (NBO) for $710 round-trip on Qatar via Expedia:
Houston (IAH) to Nairobi (NBO) for $715 round-trip on Qatar via Expedia:
Boston (BOS) to Nairobi (NBO) for $717 round-trip on British Airways:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare on plus excellent trip delay insurance), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.