Though flights to Harare International Airport are typically filled with intrepid travellers seeking safari tours in far-flung regions of Zimbabwe, this city has plenty to offer those who choose to stay for a few days. With its wide, tree-lined avenues and host of parks and game reserves, Harare is one of the best-planned and most diverse African capitals. From the lively, colourful Mbare curio market and the fascinating Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences to the unique flora and rare wildlife in the spectacular Mukuvisi Woodlands, exotic Harare is a destination that offers something for everyone.
Flight prices to Harare from the UK remain stable across the year, so the best bet for those looking for cheap tickets to Harare is to book well in advance to ensure you get the lowest fares. Although the city has a high altitude of over 4,800 feet, temperatures very rarely drop below 5° C. However, it can get relatively cold during the winter months of June to August and rainfall is heavy from November to February. This makes the warm spring and autumn months perfect for a visit, and if you’re planning to go on safari during your stay then September and October are ideal.
There are no direct flights to Harare from British airports, but several carriers operate one-stop routes with a layover in another African airport. British Airways fly from Heathrow to the Zimbabwean capital with a pit stop in Johannesburg, while Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines offer routes from the same airport via Nairobi and Addis Ababa respectively. Emirates is an alternative option from London, and the same airline also links Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow with Harare – though these routes require two stops. For one-stop flights from the UK, flight times average around 15 hours.
Harare International Airport is located around a 25-minute drive from the city centre, and as public transport can be unreliable, taxi is the best way to reach your final destination. The trip into town should cost around US$25. Private shuttles can also be booked in advance, and it’s worth checking if your accommodation provider will provide a free transfer. If you want to hire your own car, most of the usual rental companies are at the airport, but be aware that many of the roads outside the city may be in poor condition.
Travellers who venture outside Harare’s city limits will find themselves rewarded with some of the most jaw-dropping natural scenery and majestic wildlife in Africa, with plenty of spectacular parks and nature reserves located near the city. Lake Chivero Recreational Park is one of the most popular, offering visitors the chance to see the likes of giraffes, zebras and baboons in a natural setting. If you have your own car, take a day trip from the city and drive around the park, or rent on-site accommodation if you want to stay a little longer.
Kenya Airways, KLM, Emirates, Air France
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