As reported by Secret Flying, airfares from Orange County, CA to Johannesburgh, South Africa are available as low as $682 RT on Delta and KLM or Air France. Itineraries with Air France may qualify for the Amex Offer of 20,000 Membership Rewards points back on $1,000 spend if purchased through Air France on a card previously synced with the offer (this offer is no longer available for new accounts).
Secret Flying is actually reporting fares as low as $673, but those prices are available through travel agencies which are not listing carrier names. Prices from $682 are widely available through Google Flights:
For a quick review of using Google Flights to search for availability, see Greg’s post yesterday on using Google Flights to find great business class fares.
This sale to South Africa is in economy class and the $682 fares are available on select dates from August 22nd through December 2017.
If you have the Air France Amex Offer saved to one of your Amex accounts and you are booking for two people, you may consider booking through AirFrance for a nice rebate in Membership Rewards points. Based on Greg’s theory about getting as much as 2.17 cents per point out of Membership Rewards points towards paid flights, that bonus could be worth as much as $434 toward paid flights, not including any miles you earn on your flights. I am seeing flights that are bookable via Air France from $684 on some dates. See this example at Google flights. If the $684 fare is still available, Google should have a link to the Air France site with that price (I couldn’t find the same fare starting at Air France). Note that seat selection was not free on those flights.
For those interested in a safari, remember that August is the end of South African winter. It should be a very good time for wildlife viewing as there is typically less vegetation blocking views than in mid-summer. Those with Marriott Rewards points may want to check out the summary of my trip to Kruger National Park and stay at Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, a Marriott Rewards property located 100m from the entrance gate to Kruger National Park that costs just 7500 Marriott Rewards points per night. Alternatively, accommodations are available to fit every budget on the spectrum and other parks and reserves are plentiful.
These prices are quite good an unlikely to last for long — best of luck and let us know in the comments if you take advantage of this deal.