Southern Africa is a true tourist marvel. Offering a wide range of attractions and activities from the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Okavango Delta in Botswana, it is difficult not to have the region top the visitor’s African bucket list.

Despite the many attractions, the unavailability of a well-connected and scheduled flight network has always been a concern for travellers coming to the region. Visitors to these areas are known to rely on charter flights to get from attraction to attraction which is not always cost-friendly. This has been known to be a hindrance to the development of the tourism industry in the region.

It came as no surprise when one of Africa’s highly awarded and value-based airline’s, fastjet, was met with safari-like cheers within the tourism landscape in Southern Africa when they announced flights from Victoria Falls to Maun in Botswana.

The awarding-winning airline announced that it will be launching flights to Maun from Victoria Falls on four times a week basis effective 30 June 2022. The flight launch will coincide with the peak season of tourist arrivals in Maun signalling the dawn of a new era post the COVID19 travel restrictions.

Fastjet has announced a flight schedule that will see flight number FN8901 departing Victoria Falls at 10:30 in the morning and arriving in Maun at 11:25. The flight schedule is designed to allow tourists the opportunity to have an activity on the day of their travel. Flight 8902 departs Maun at 13:30 and arrives in Victoria Falls at 14:20 in time for the much-revered sunset cruise along the Zambezi River.

With this flight, tourists can now enjoy the unique tourism offering of these two countries with both the Victoria Falls, known as Mosi-oa-Tunya by the locals and Maun connected by regular scheduled flights onboard the comfort of an Embraer ERJ145 regional jet.

The Okavango Delta is the only inland tropical delta in the world. Each year the rains from neighbouring Angola flow down into Botswana to the delta where there are trapped inland by higher ground in the area. The waters spread out to inland rivers forming islands along the way. Attracted by the abundance of water; wildlife, flora and fauna species are found in colonies along the delta creating what has been called a Flood of Hope.

The true Okavango experience is when you navigate the delta through reeds filled channels with birds and frogs providing you with an African soundtrack in a traditional canoe called mokoros. Handcrafted from a single wooden log, using the knowledge that has been passed on from father to son, the mokoros are dug out, shaped and refined until they are ready for the delta.

Following the announcement of the direct flight from Victoria Falls and Maun, the tourism industry has expressed excitement, in particular as it followed an announcement that the airline will also be servicing flights from Nelspruit Kruger Mpumalanga to Victoria Falls. This is what they had to say;

“We are super excited about fastjet linking two of the key access points for safaris to Botswana and Zimbabwe; Victoria Falls and Maun. Providing travellers easier access to our destinations is key to growth in our region". Carina Grueninger, Managing Director, Safari Destinations – Maun, Botswana

"The regional connection between Victoria Falls and Maun is a very positive indicator towards the opening of a multi-country destination led by consumer demand facilitated by the ease of access. A high proportion of international inbound travel to the region is based on itineraries of 2 or more countries, which in the past have been stifled by limited ease of access. Linkages such as fastjet's Victoria Falls to Maun flight open up itineraries between two UNESCO world heritage sites and potentially over half a million high-value travellers per year". Jillian Blackbeard, CEO Africa’s Eden.

"What great news to see fastjet setting the path in tomorrow's tourism and future. Today the announcement of fastjet launching from June 30th four times a week connecting two of the busiest places in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Maun in Botswana is an immediate game-changer giving access to connecting the famous Okavango Delta and one of the Seven Wonders of the World Victoria Falls. Fastjet is undoubtedly one of the best airlines in Africa making it so much easier for tomorrow's travellers". Blessing Munyenyiwa Founder & Conservationist Love For Africa.

Commenting further, Julian Edmunds, the Chief Commercial Officer for the fastjet Group said “Finally, we have managed to connect one of the missing pieces in the Southern African Safari jigsaw. As a former safari tour operator, we used to link the safari locations in Zimbabwe to the Okavango Delta with direct flights from Victoria Falls to Maun. Sadly, these flights ceased operating and have been missing for many years. From June 30th, I am delighted to be part of the team that will recommence this vital link. I hope this flight will aid the tourism development in the region". Julian Edmunds, CCO fastjet Group.

Flights between Victoria Falls and Maun are available for booking on the fastjet website