Tonga Flights:

Flights to Tonga

image of TongaTonga is situated within the South Pacific Ocean and is an archipelago consisting of 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. Tonga became known as the Friendly Islands from the time when Captain Cook first visited here in 1773, due to the friendly welcome he received.

There are a great many options for flights from South Africa to Tonga. Airlines offering flights from Johannesburg to Tonga all have two stops and include Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, British Airways, South African Airways, BMI, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, United Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui.

You can also get a flight from Cape Town to Tonga. These also involve two stops and include most of the above airlines plus a few others… Delta, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, American Airlines, BMI, South African Airways, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

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The Tourist Attractions of Tonga:

Although Tonga is a very friendly country to visit, some visitors who are used to luxurious surroundings and a great infrastructure may not get on well in Tonga. Services and facilities are limited, and roads and the vehicles using them leave a lot to be desired! But if you’re willing to substitute some of the luxuries you’re used to you should still have an excellent time here.

The islands of Tonga are divided into three main groups called Tongatapu, Vava’u and Ha’apai. Of these, Tongatapu includes the capital of Tonga, Nuku’alofa; Ha’apai is the least populated group of islands and the Vava’u group is a very popular yachting destination as Tonga is a popular stopover on around the world trips. Unless you arrive by boat you’ll probably spend most of your time within the Tongatapu group, but it is also possible to move around the islands using either boat or plane.

As the infrastructure isn’t so great here in Tonga you may find it easier to join a tour which will take you around all the most popular attractions on the main island, Tongatapu. There are several companies offering such tours and these could work out to be the best value for money and the most effective use of your time! Whether or not you do join a tour, here are a few of the sights you should probably visit on Tongatapu…

The Mapu’a ‘a Vaca Blowholes – these geyser-like blowholes translate as ‘Chief’s Whistles’ in Tongan and are situated on the southern shore of Tongatapu where they stretch for about 3 miles (5km). When the tide is higher you get the best effect because the water is forced through the vents (or holes) in the coral limestone. Windy days are the best as the force of the waves is stronger and you can expect to see fountains of up to 30 metres (98 feet) high!

Mu’a Archaeological Site – Tonga’s most impressive archaeological site contains a total of 28 royal stone tombs. These include the very large pyramid-like memorial to Tele’a, a king of Tonga during the 16th century. Another large structure is called Langi Namoala which is thought to be the burial site of a female Tongan chief, and there are various other noticeable structures too.

Ha’amonga – Ha’amonga features highly in many photos of Tonga, and resembles Stonehenge with its large stone across the top of two others.

The Royal Palace – The Royal Palace isn’t exactly Buckingham Palace but in Tongan terms it is very luxurious and is the home of the current Royal Family.

When Should You Visit?:

Tonga has a tropical climate and experiences two seasons – the warm season and the cool season. The warm season is between December and May when the weather is hot and humid, though Tonga experiences considerable rainfall during this time. The cooler season has average highs of 22C and runs from May to November, and this is the driest time of the year.

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