One of the most convenient ways to reach Africa is by air. There are several direct flights from India to various countries in Africa such as Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa etc, to name a few. The continent is also connected to several countries of the world by air and there are several airports here that serve a number of cities and countries.
Although there are direct flights to Africa available from India, Europe and the Middle East also serve as good starting points for flights to Africa. North African countries such as Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia are well connected with Asia and the Middle East while South Africa is also easily accessible from a number of Indian cities as well as various other countries through direct flights or otherwise.
Several Indian and international airlines fly to Africa. They include British Airways, Swiss Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and KLM.
Here’s a list of some of the most well-known airports in Africa –
Travelling with Africa by train is a great way to see the numerous countries of the continent. There are some really good rail services in South Africa and Egypt which offer a great way to travel between different countries.
The numerous ports in Africa make it easy for those who want to reach the continent by sea on a cruise. While this may not be a convenient mode of travel as it can be time consuming, it is certainly an experience to cherish and remember. As Africa is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, going on a cruise is a great way to discover the continent.
Some of the countries in Africa such as South Africa and Botswana have well-connected roads and there are some relatively good bus services as well.
As Africa is such a huge continent, travelling between countries can take up quite a bit of your time. Hence, people tend to choose local airlines to fly between various countries here. Since the terrain can be difficult as well, flying is a good option especially over Central African Republic, the Sahara or South Sudan.
The hitch is that there can be delays and even cancellations, so be prepared for that and make it a point to check flight details with a great deal of care. It would also be a good idea to check flight availability for these inter-country flights when booking your main flight to Africa as you can get some decent discounts on fares etc. In fact, there’s an ‘air pass’ scheme which has great value as it offers savings of up to 50% on domestic fares as well, so do look into that.
Travelling within Africa by boat is an unforgettable experience. With the many rivers and lakes here, connecting many different countries, people often choose to travel by ferries and barges. Don’t skimp on money here and pay up a little to enjoy the bare minimum when it comes to comfort. Some of the routes that can be taken are along Lake Tanganyika that connects Tanzania and Zambia, Zambezi River along Zimbabwe and Zambia, Lake Malawi along Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania to name a few. There are also coastal ferry services such as the one between Dar es Salam and Zanzibar or between Cameroon and Nigeria. Travelling by boat in Africa can be quite hazardous as there aren’t many safety regulations, lifeboats etc. in place so safety concerns have to be taken into consideration too.
Several countries in Africa have sealed roads and most major roads are linked together and there are bus services between countries. If you’re travelling along certain African countries that have better resources, chances are you might be able to enjoy a decent bus service. However, in certain countries there aren’t sealed roads, and buses can be substandard and uncomfortable and you might end up travelling with livestock too! If you are a creature of comfort, you might not enjoy the experience, so do check beforehand to see what sort of buses you will be travelling in. A word of caution would be to book the bus or minibus ticket in advance and avoid talking directly to the driver.
These days, people are opting to hire a four wheel drive to explore Africa on their own. However, there are a few things that you need to note before you opt for this. Only those who are 25 years and above can hire vehicles. It’s also quite expensive as four wheel drives can cost anywhere around $150 a day especially in sub-Saharan Africa. There are also high insurance costs as well. However, hiring a car tends to be cheaper in South Africa and can be only $30 a day. Exploring countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Morocco and Mozambique by car is a popular option. Also, in some places, hiring a car means a local driver is part of the deal.
It’s important to remember that driving in Africa is not the same as driving in your own country. Roads can have big potholes and it’s a good idea to drive slowly. In fact, it’s never a good idea to drive at night and in areas of poor visibility, there are chances of collisions etc. Fuel tanks are best kept filled completely along with a jerry can in case you run out of fuel. There are frequent checkpoints with police, customs and border officials who will expect to see your papers all the time.
Travelling around train can be a marvellous experience to experience Africa. The landscapes are wild and magnificent and it’s a fantastic cultural learning experience. While trains tend to be slow, they are considered a safer option than travelling by road. The Blue Train is a luxury train that operates between Cape Town to Victoria Falls while in Kenya, you get the chance to see wildlife on the way if you take the Mombasa-Nairobi-Kisumu line. There are several train journeys to choose from if you want to experience a different side of Africa.