they have a website and you can see the prices in graph form. usually about 47 days out is the best time... also, do what I did and google "when is the best time to buy plane tickets"
lot of good information and it can save you a lot of money..my daughter knew more than her father and did not listen to me on her first trip to South Africa. She paid $1700 round trip.. on her second trip, she listened to her dad, went to google flights and about 47 days out bought her tickets for $1000 round trip
Most airlines don't open their calendars to book more than 10 months out. This includes the 2 carriers that I would recommend which are Delta and SAA. If you are using miles to book, you need to book as early as the flight comes available. If you are paying for your ticket, then do as the others have suggested and search for deals. A deal in August is going to be tougher because it is peak season in southern Africa.
I would also suggest booking your safari as early as possible if you have not already done so. The weeks around the dark moons of the prime season months fill up more than a year out... Get your safari reservation tentatively in the books asap... Any reputable outfitter will work with you a day or two in either direction when it comes time to book your flights.
Delta 200 ATL >JNB.(Direct flight/non stop) Leave ATL approx 8PM arrive in JNB about 5:30 next afternoon.
Delta 201 JNB>ATL.(Direct flight/non-stop) Leave JNB about 8PM and arrive in ATL about 6:30 AM.
If you have to layover in JNB would suggest Afton House. They pick you up at airport and carry you to their place. $25 steak meal cooked to order. Breakfast in the AM. If flying on, they return you to airport, help you get to your next flight. Very nice facility and services.
If you have a travel agent, he/she should know when to get the booking deals and purchase your flights to save you $$$. They should also be able to handle your lodging reservations.
Make sure you have your passport before you try to book flights.
Just my $.02.
I would also mention the Africa Sky guesthouse as an option for overnighting in Jo'burg. Both the Afton and AS are very comfortable accommodations that offer airport meet & greet, and very hunter friendly. The Afton is more basic, clean and comfortable, and the Africa Sky is more luxurious. The Africa Sky is also about double the cost per night.
I've always flown Delta from MT to JNB as I fly a bit with Delta and have a few perks that go with being frequent flyer.
Personally I like the bulkhead Economy Comfort seats best as it gives you some added leg-room and very easy to get up and stand or walk around without disturbing your seatmates, even from the window seat. After the flight reaches altitude I pull my carry-on down and use it as a foot-stool to keep my legs slightly elevated.
I've flown SAA from JNB to Harare six times and they do fine for that leg. Can't speak of the JFK or Washington, DC legs but I'm not too keen on stopping in Dakar.
Just my .02 but to answer your questions, I usually book my tickets at least 6 mos. in advance.
One thing to think about is there is a huge flood of ticket booking after SCI and the Dallas Safari show so I always try to get out in front of those if possible.
Hope this helps!
RSA taxes at work !!! Why countries and people are poor !!
You must be hunting at Chattaronga?