Monday, March 31, 2014

Africa on a Shoestring

In Kenya, that country's first budget carrier Jambojet will begin operations soon. "Jambo" means hello in Swahili, and the airline is wholly owned by Kenya Airways. It aims to have fares low enough that they will challenge those charged by buses.

Jambojet will operate three Boeing 737s between Nairobi and Mombasa, and between Kisumu and Eldoret. The lowest fare for the Nairobi to Mombasa run is expected to be $33 including tax. On a continent where air travel is notoriously expensive and often inefficient, this should be a big boon for budget travellers.

It's a long time since I was in Kenya, but at that time most of the roads were so bad that the option of travelling by air would be welcome.

If you prefer to travel to South Africa, check out the frugal traveler column by Seth Kugel titled DIY AFrica. He writes well about travelling through Kruger National Park in a self-drive Fiat that cost only $23 a day, and staying in camps rather than luxury lodges. By doing this, he estimates that a couple can enjoy a safari with up-close viewing of big game for about $120 per day.

He also chose to visit Durban on the East Coast rather than Cape Town, because the former is a more diverse city with a large Asian population. In Swaziland, he was able to find a place to stay at a mountain camp that cost only $14 per night.

You can read the entire report of his very interesting trip by going to and typing Safari March 2014 into the search function.  While I have been to South Africa, it was on a press trip organized by the government to celebrate the end of apartheid in 1994, and I wasn't able to glean much information about budget travel in that country that would still be relevant. I did learn, however, that the long flight is worth the trouble in order to visit a fascinating country.


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