Qatar Airways New Route Opens Up One of Africa’s Greatest Destinations to American Airlines Awards

Qatar has announced a host of new routes, including a new world’s longest route: Doha – Auckland.

The one that caught my is Doha – Windhoek. Wind-what, you say?Namibia Sossusvlei

Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, one of the world’s great destinations. From wildlife in Etosha, where I saw my first lion in the wild, to the adventure sports and seal colony of the Skeleton Coast, to the towering sand dunes of Sossuvlei, Namibia is spectacular and safe. The persnickety German heritage is so strong that Hertz charged us fuel for the distance from the city where we re-fueled and the airport. Drew wrote about our roadtrip and someday I will catch up, too.

Namibia Cape Cross Seal Colony

Flights are limited and mostly through Cape Town or Johannesburg. Air Namibia is not an airline alliance member.

Here comes Qatar with service starting 28 September 2016 with four flights per week. Last year American Airlines revised its routing rules to allow award flights US – Africa via Middle East as one award, meaning this trip is 37.5k/75k/100k each way in economy/business/first., which from March 22, 2016 become 40k/75k/120k each way.

Remember you can change dates for free though prospectively booking anything other than first doesn’t make much sense with economy slightly increasing and business staying the same. You would have to use the ticket within a year and already lose half a year waiting for service to start.

This routing will save time and connections for many. I have only flown Qatar once, a short-haul flight at their old bus terminal cum airport. I hear things are improved, they now have what they call ‘touch gates,’ which to you and me mean real gates, not bus gates in some of most inhospitable heat in the world. The flight I had was short and good.

Namibia Etosha National Park

Rapid Travel Chai newsletter ¦ Twitter ¦ Facebook ¦ Instagram

  • Nice! I’ve never heard anything about traveling to Namibia, I think the top destination in Africa for brazilians is probably Johannesburg and Cape Verde (stop over when going to Europe)..
    Thx for sharing

  • Great news. I can finally plan a one week trip from us, spending just 5 vacation days

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Paulo – Namibia along with Victoria Falls plus Chobe National Park are the two bug Africa trips I recommend most, both accessible and family-friendly. Interesting on Cape Verde, when I briefly visited I did not see many tourists other than some Germans, maybe it was wrong time of year, early March last year. Is there an island there the Brazilians favor?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Asar – and that will be enough to go up to Etosha for a couple and down to Sossuvlei or over to Swakopmund for a couple, it is a great new route.

  • Secretary Toaster

    This is awesome! 1 stop from ORD – WDH

  • Gene

    spring break 2017?

  • Stefan, how would you compare Victoria and Iguazu?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Andy Shuman – similar in many respects, Victoria water flow more dependent on the seasons, Victoria more adventure activities such as bungee jumping, both sides have classic hotels overlooking the falls, Iguazu Argentina side more hiking and variety of views, Iguaze Brazil side just the panorama. If just for the falls maybe not a repeat, adding in safari such as 1 or 2-day trip to Chobe is fantastic, you see so many animals you almost get bored at another heard of elephants, giraffes or hippos.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Gene – do it. That might might wet season at Etosha so you might see less so I would focus on the other of the many Namibia attractions if it is that season, you want it dry so you can see more at the shrunken water holes.