Travel Advice: How to get to Africa, as holiday interest increases

Addis Ababa is an excellent gateway to 75 routes on the continent – and no transit visa required

Interest in, and traffic to, the African continent is steadily increasing from Ireland, particularly for business and honeymoons. Ethiopian Airways flies direct to Addis Ababa on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Addis Ababa is an excellent gateway to 75 routes on the continent, and there is no requirement for an Ethiopian visa for transit passengers. The average age of the Ethiopian fleet is four years. The most popular route to Johannesburg in South Africa cost from €525, with Mombasa, Kenya, from €509 and Windhoek in Namibia from €592.

Using Turkish Airlines' twice daily services from Dublin via Istanbul can put you on to 51 destinations in Africa at good rates. Passengers with a six hours or more layover in Istanbul can take a free city tour to kill the time. You can book it on istanbulinhours.com

The Gulf carriers of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, all have extensive Africa networks. Emirates flies to 20 countries, Qatar Airways to 14 countries and Etihad has 12 African country routes. Prices are quite reasonable and watch out for seasonal sales.

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British Airways fly routes to 20 African countries. Flights can be from Heathrow or Gatwick. Always book from Ireland via London for your flights, you will not have to pay UK passenger tax. Be careful making bookings, sometimes BA can route people into one airport and out another in London.

South African Airways fly from London and has an extensive network in Africa of 25 cities. Fares are competitive.

South Africa is having a resurgence in tourism traffic and starting to reappear on the honeymoon destinations list. The exchange rate of 15 Rand to the euro is great value.

Fastjet, the low-cost carrier founded by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of Easyjet, is a pan-African carrier linking eight cities in eastern and southern Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

jscales@irishtimes.com