Flight Centre predicts a significant increase in demand for travel to Zanzibar thanks to the reintroduction of direct route courtesy of FlySafair.
Until now, getting to the island destination involved taking charter flights or flying into Dar Es Salaam or Nairobi and transferring from there. However, with the introduction of FlySafair’s new weekly flight, it is back on the map as an attractive destination for South African travellers.
“Zanzibar is now within reach for many more South Africans, thanks to this direct, convenient and affordable flight option. We believe this route will become a popular choice for those seeking an alternative to other Indian Ocean destinations, just as it was when Mango Airlines operated their popular route from Johannesburg to Zanzibar,” says Antoinette Turner, General Manager at Flight Centre.
According to Turner, Zanzibar is generally more affordable as a destination compared to Mauritius, although this can vary based on the type of accommodation you choose.
“Flight Centre experienced a surge in demand for Tanzania as a travel destination between July to November 2022. With the availability of new flight options, we are excited to provide Flight Centre customers with exciting deals with our partners in 2023,” says Turner.
FlySafair has confirmed that the high demand for chartered flights to Zanzibar was the primary factor that motivated them to add this route to their schedule. The new direct route offers similar time savings, but is more affordable.
The new FlySafair service to Zanzibar was announced on March 13. Bookings for the route, which connects OR Tambo (JNB) and Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) in Zanzibar will commence on April 8. The flights will initially operate once a week, with a same-day return. FlySafair has scheduled the weekly flight for Saturdays, and airfares will start from R2 950 one way.
“The timing of this new route is perfect, as it provides South African holidaymakers with more options to enjoy their Easter break and plan ahead for the winter holidays. Data analysis indicates that the months of March and April experience peak levels of occupancy with the highest number of room nights booked and we predict families with school-going children will also take advantage of the packages we will offer for June and July,” remarks Turner.
The most popular properties in Zanzibar for South Africans, according to Flight Centre, are Uroa Bay Beach Resort, Paradise Beach Resort & Spa and Zanzibar Bay Resort & Spa on the east coast; Sea Cliff Resort & Spa Hotel on the west coast; and Hotel Riu Jambo in the north of the island.
Turner has the following recommendations for those looking to book for the Easter break or beyond, all of which have all-inclusive options:
- The reasonably-priced Uroa Bay Beach Resort allows you to fully enjoy all that Zanzibar has to offer as a group or family. Opting for a half-board package can come in handy if you plan to venture out of your resort and explore, as it enables you to have quick, on-the-go lunches without feeling obligated to return to eat.
- For honeymooners, the Sea Cliff Resort & Spa Hotel, which offers an all-inclusive package along with a range of amazing activities, is ideal. The resort’s scenic beauty also makes for some stunning photographs that honeymooners can take back as souvenirs for their families. Further north, the all-inclusive Hotel Riu Jambo is another stunning option for couples and families.
If you’re looking for a diverse range of experiences, Zanzibar Bay Resort & Spa and Paradise Beach Resort & Spa are great options to consider. As they are sister resorts, travellers can easily switch between the two for meals and activities with prior arrangements.