For anyone considering a bucket-list safari vacation, KLM is offering $600 round-trip flight deals from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) near Arusha, Tanzania.
For those unfamiliar with it, Kilimanjaro Airport is a hugely popular tourist transit hub for African adventures. The joint venture 2017 redevelopment between the Dutch and Tanzanian governments equipped the airport to handle 747-400 airplanes on its runways and 1.2 million passengers per year.
Flights on this route between Tanzania and the U.S. typically cost upward of $1,000, with holiday pricing approaching the $2,000 range. So if you can find dates in your travel schedule that work with this $600 fare, you should snap up some tickets.
Whether you’re considering a visit to Tanzania for a safari, to climb the 19,000-foot mountain itself, or to use the airport as a jumping-off point for further Tanzania exploration or as a transfer point to Zanzibar, this could be a great deal for you.
Here are the details and limitations of this flight deal.
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Elephants at a watering hole in Tanzania. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Airlines: KLM (and Delta as a codeshare partner).
Routes: From New York and Washington to Tanzania via Amsterdam.
How to book: Search through Google Flights with direct links to Delta and KLM.
Travel dates: November 2022 through April 2023.
Book by: While discounted tickets are available.
Related: Honeymooning at the Four Seasons Resort in Tanzania
The sample flights below show itineraries between John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
All of the flights involve stopovers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). Given the Amsterdam airport’s well-documented troubles this summer, be sure to allow enough layover time to account for potential problems and carry on your luggage if possible.
Depending on the flight date, some itineraries will involve an additional stopover at Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Most of these two-connection flights are on the return route. In this case, regular fares typically also have two stops on return flights, so you wouldn’t be sacrificing time of transit to save money in this case.
KLM currently advertises the deal as a “Promo Fare” but has not confirmed how long this promotion will run. So if you see attractively priced flights that match your schedule, you should book them soon.
Find flights in the $600 range by searching through Google Flights on a monthly matrix. You’ll be able to see that flights on this route typically run about $1,100, with discounts offered in the November-to-April time period.
When booking the flight, it is best to go through the Delta website, rather than KLM, as prices on identical itineraries are selling for $20 lower via delta.com.
From New York
The sample $600 itinerary above, on codeshare Delta/KLM flights between JFK and Tanzania, involves a stopover in Amsterdam in both directions. The return route requires an additional stop at the airport in Dar es Salaam.
Unlike many deal airfares, the total travel time for this itinerary, including stopovers, is typical for most of the full-cost airfares on this route.
When booking the flight, it’s best to use the Delta website, as the price on this itinerary rose by $20 when I tried booking on the KLM website. The Promo Fare deal advertised on KLM also lists the price as $620.
The fare is nonrefundable but does allow a free carry-on and two checked bags, so you’ll be able to pack everything you need for an extended trip. While this itinerary covers two weeks in November, other discounted flights are also available for one-week trips.
Listed fares in the $600 range begin in November and currently run through April on select dates — don’t expect to find this fare during peak holiday periods.
You can also find this promotional $600 fare deal on flights between Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), a savings of nearly 50% off typical fares on this route.
This sample January 2023 itinerary has quite a reasonable two-hour layover in Amsterdam but an additional eight hours of travel time on the return flight, which requires an extra stop in Entebbe, Uganda. But even on regularly priced flights, the return itinerary tends to have two stops.
Adding flexibility to your travel dates may help you optimize the travel time and perhaps eliminate the extra stop returning home.
Prices for this itinerary typically hover in the $1,100 range for much of the year, with a few discounts at about $900. So this $600 fare should be considered an excellent deal. And there’s no extra charge for even two checked bags.
Related: Everything you need to know about going on safari in Africa
Maximize your purchase
Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases. Airline cards are always a good call for earning status and rewards specific to those airlines.
In this case consider a Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, which also provides complimentary Sky Club access when flying on Delta, as well as the ability to earn Medallion Qualification Miles and a Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver through spending on the card.
For more flexibility in using the points, The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5 points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year.
The Citi Premier® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve earn 3 points per dollar spent on airfare, while the American Express® Gold Card earns 3 points per dollar spent on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel. Read this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
These $600 round-trip flights between New York or Washington and Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya are a great deal, close to 50% off of typical fares on this route. The travel times on these sample itineraries match those seen in regularly priced flights, so you won’t have to sacrifice timing to get the deal.
Note that currently, you can get the fares for $20 cheaper by booking on Delta’s website rather than with KLM directly.
If you’re considering taking a Tanzania safari or another East African adventure between November 2022 and April 2023, you should seriously look into booking one of these fares. Just be sure you can find dates that sync up with the land portion of your Africa visit.
Featured photo by Torleif Svensson/Getty Images.