#AfriTravel: 3 New African stopover flights to the rest of the world to add to your itinerary

2019-11-05 14:50
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Air travel connections continue to expand across Africa, linking up the continent to the rest of the world.

The two newest connections come from Lufthansa and Ethiopian Airlines, connecting East and Southern Africa to Europe, while earlier in the year West Africa was connected to the US by SAA with a new route - so why not make a quick stopover in these African cities before jaunting off to the rest of the world?

READ: #AfriTravel: Qatar Airways becomes the first Middle Eastern airline to fly to Gaborone 

Windhoek to Frankfurt

On Monday Lufthansa has started flying a new full-time route, in partnership with Eeurowings, between the Namibian capital and Germany's Frankfurt three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It will be serviced by an A330-200 with 310 seats in two classes. 

The Lufthansa flight will depart Windhoek at 09:30 and arrive in Frankfurt at 19:05, while the Eurowings flight will fly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, departing Frankfurt at 20:00 and arriving the next day in Windhoek at 07:20.

This opens up direct access to 177 destinations in 72 countries for travellers from Namibia.

"I wish to say that we are happy to have the Lufthansa Group as a business and tourism partner and that based on [their] track record of growth and performance, we know that we can look forward to a long and successful partnership as we continue to work to position Namibia as a preferred tourist destination and a logistic hub”, said Namibia’s Minister of Works and Transport John Mutorwa.

QUICK GUIDE TO NAMIBIA: Visa-free travel for South Africans

What to see in Windhoek:

Where sauerkraut and the OvaHimba headdress meet, take a walk through the city's shops for German imports and African souvenirs - including seeing Gibeon Meteorites that fell centuries ago and is on display in Windhoek's CBD. 

Also take a stroll past the city's landmark Lutheran church designed by architect Gottlieb Redecker, standing tall with a watchful eye over Windhoek.

You also don't have to travel far outside the city limits to see Namibia's famous animals, where a variety of game farms and lodges are perfect for easy game viewing.

READ: Discover Namibia - 3 Top routes to explore 

Addis Ababa to Athens

After 18 years, Ethiopian Airlines has resumed their flight route from Addis Ababa to Greece's capital Athens, effective from 13 December 2019. This will be the African airline's 20th European destination, connecting two ancient cities.

It will be a three-weekly flight operated by the B787 Dreamliner on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday, and the route will extend from Athens to Moscow (DME) in Russia. 

This is the flight schedule:

  • ET  0760 Mon, Wed, Fri ADD 23:45 ATH 03:45
  •           .......                     ATH 04:50 DME  09:05
  • ET  0761 Sat                    DME 18:05 ATH 20:20
  •           .......                     ATH 00:20 ADD 06:30
  • ET  0761 Tue, Thu, Sat DME 21:05 ATH 23:20
  •           .......                     ATH   00:20 ADD 06:30
  • ET  0761 Tue, Thu, Sat DME 21:05 ATH 23:20
  •           .......           ATH 00:20 ADD 07:20

"We are delighted to return to Athens, Greece with direct services. With our direct flight, Greece will be closer to Africa than ever before and to the rest of our global network," says Abel Alemu, Ethiopian Airlines' southern African regional manager.

"Athens will serve as a key destination on our ever-expanding European network and offers global tourists an opportunity to explore the majestic country. As one of the world’s oldest and historic cities, [Athens] enjoys a high level of tourism from visitors across the world. Hence, the resumption of the service to Athens will help meet the exponential demand from global tourists, as well as provide them with more connectivity options within our extensive global network.”

QUICK GUIDE TO ETHIOPIA: Easy eVisa travel for South Africans 

What to see in Addis Ababa:

Known as the African country that was never colonised, Ethiopia has a vast ancient history still seen today in its archaeological artefacts and ruins of Christian temples from long ago.

It's also quite famous for its cuisine found in restaurants around the world, but you can experience it firsthand in its country of origin - a definite must-visit is the Yod Abyssinia, where you'll get a show with your meal.

You can also peruse its natural and historical museums, including seeing the world-famous Lucy, the oldest human remains ever to be found.

READ: Ethiopia: Old-world Africa, brimming with modern life 

Accra to Washington DC

Earlier this year South African Airways (SAA) increased its frequencies on nonstop flights between Washington, D.C.-Dulles International Airport and Accra’s Kotoka International Airport to a daily schedule. SAA offers the only nonstop flight between Washington D.C. and Ghana and offers travellers convenient connections to and from over 100 cities across the U.S. and Canada through its Star Alliance partner, United Airlines via Washington, D.C.-Dulles.

South African Airways’ flights to Accra operate five days a week with continuing service to Johannesburg, South Africa, operating on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

SAA’s flights between Washington DC and Accra will be operated with both the Airbus A330-300 and the Airbus A330-200 aircraft. 

ALSO SEE: SAA to launch daily service between Accra and Washington DC, suspends Dakar route 

What to see in Accra:

This city will tantalise your taste buds with the best of West African cuisine - especially their jollof rice! Another big draw of the city is their festivals - ranging from food to music to film - so it's important to check the year's events to line up at least one with your trip.

Accra also hosts the renowned Makola Market - the city's most popular shopping district where you'll find almost anything - including an insane variety of shweshwe materials and clothes.

After a long day of shopping, you can relax on Labadi Beach and watch the sun set over the Gulf of Guinea, sipping on some fresh coconut water.

WATCH: Ghana draws African-American tourists with 'Year of Return' 

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