New Direct Flights from the US to Africa!

It’s now easier than ever to get to Africa! This year, two major African airlines kicked off new direct routes from US cities: New York and Chicago.

Before these new routes arrived, most flights from the US to Africa involved a long layover in Europe or the Middle East. But now, safari travelers on a time crunch have more great time-saving options to choose from. These are the new direct routes to Africa launched in 2018:

Kenya Airways: New York City (JFK) to Nairobi

This is huge for all of us accustomed to flying via Europe to get to East Africa. Now you can bypass that layover, arrive into Nairobi in the morning, and be on safari that afternoon! In addition, those looking to go beyond Kenya have plenty of connection options with the morning flight arrival, including connecting flights to Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zanzibar.

Kenya Airways is pulling out all the stops on its new Dreamliner route, so expect all the bells and whistles, including lie-flat beds in business class.

You could be on safari the same day you arrive in Nairobi! Pictured: Amboseli National Park

Ethiopian Airlines: Chicago (O’Hare) to Addis Ababa

Being a Chicago girl myself, I’m super excited for this route, especially since I’m actually flying it next year! By connecting in Addis Ababa, I can get all the way to Nairobi in just over 17 hours (compared to my usual overnight stay in Europe). And since it’s quite easy to get around the Addis Ababa airport, you only need a minimal connection time. Like Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines has wide connectivity throughout the African continent, so with a morning arrival, you can get almost anywhere!

Ethiopian Airlines is also flying a new Dreamliner on this route, so expect less jet lag, better sleep, and an overall improved experience. The airline has a fantastic reputation for onboard service.

Video: What to expect on Ethiopian Airlines Business Class

Want to know more about how to get to Africa? Give me a call at (888) 367-0933 or email me at and I’d love to chat! You can also use our online trip planner to browse African safari vacations.