Book Cheap Flights to Basra

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About Basra

Basra is a port city in Iraq with a large population of over 2 million people. Basra serves as Iraq’s main port and is an ancient city that has played a vital role in early Islamic history. The city is famed for being part of the historic Sumer port, which the fictional hero, Sinbad the Sailor, journeyed through.

Cheap flights to Basra are now available for a limited period of time, so prepare to revel in the adventure and beauty this ancient city has to offer! Basra is home to the Basra International Airport (BSR) which is a 40-minute drive from the city centre. BSR mainly serves Emirates and Qatar Airways. There are no direct flights from South Africa to Basra, but affordable, connecting flights depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Basra is approximately 12 hours.

Why visit Basra

basra ancient ottoman architecture

Ancient Arabic Architecture

Explore the Old Town of Basra and its suburbs, like Shanasheel, where you will find ancient yet beautiful Ottoman-styled homes hidden in narrow streets just off the canal.

basra ziggurat temple

Religious Monuments

Just a stone’s throw away in the neighbouring city of Ur, stands the majestic, Neo-Babylonian Ziggurat Temple. This is just one of the incredible religious sites you can visit while in Basra.

basra mesopotamian art

Incredible Art

Discover the treasured and rare Mesopotamian, Babylonian and Persian art and artefacts in the Basra Museum, housed in what was formerly Saddam Hussein’s Lakeside Palace.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Iraq
Currency Iraqi Dinar (IQD)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 88.72 IQD
Language Arabic
Hub Airport Basra International Airport (BSR)
Airline Iraqi Airways
Time Zone GMT +03:00
Travel Adaptor Type C, D and G

Best time to visit Basra

The best time to visit Basra is between November and April. Cooler temperatures during these months attract more visitors, making it the peak tourist season in the city. The pleasant conditions make sightseeing, shopping at Basra Times Square Centre or relaxing at a restaurant alongside the water spectacular holiday experiences. The May to October period brings moderate to scorching temperatures to the city, however, if you can handle the heat, this will be a great time to plan your holiday. Lower air fares, affordable accommodation prices and the additional perk of the city being practically crowd-free make a great combination for an authentic and enjoyable Iraqi holiday experience.

Weather & Climate in Basra

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low (°C) 7°C 8°C 12°C 17°C 24°C 26°C 27°C 26°C 23°C 18°C 14°C 9°C
High (°C) 18°C 20°C 25°C 31°C 37°C 40°C 41°C 42°C 40°C 33°C 27°C 20°C
Rainfall (mm) 31 21 19 18 5 0 0 0 0 2 23 33

Basra is a port city in Iraq and is affectionately referred to as ‘the garden city’. Basra is an ancient city that has played a vital role in early Islamic history. It is famed for being part of the historic Sumer port, which the fictional hero, Sinbad the Sailor, journeyed through.

Basra is one of Iraq’s art, culture and museum hubs. After being closed for years, the famous Basra Museum opened its doors again in 2016 and you can now browse through the rare and ancient art and artefacts it houses and admire the gorgeous, palatial architecture.

The city is vibrant and offers a large variety of entertainment options like shopping at the beautiful Basra Times Square shopping mall or spending time with your family at the Basra Land theme park that hosts a large number of games and rides to enjoy. After a long day of sightseeing, the waterfront along the Shatt-al-Arab hosts a multitude of eateries where you can relax and discover the flavours of local Basra cuisine.

Compare several airlines, and book your cheap flights to Basra online at Travelstart.

South Africans do require a visa to enter Basra unless in possession of a signed and stamped letter issued by the Ministry of Interior of Iraq. Ensure your South African passport is valid for at least six months beyond date of return and has at least two blank pages available for stamps. For more information, the Embassy of Iraq in South Africa is located at 803 Duncan Street, Brooklyn in Pretoria.

Tel: (+27) 12 362 2048 / 9

Email: iraqiembassy5.pretoria@gmail.com

Web: www.mofamission.gov.iq/zaf/

Make sure your routine vaccines that include the MMR vaccine, DPT, Chickenpox, Polio and yearly flu shots are updated before travel. Although it is not an entry requirement, you are recommended to get vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Cholera and Rabies, in case you come into contact with bats, dogs or other infected mammals.

Basra is one of the safer cities to visit in Iraq, however, it is still located in a conflict zone. Before travel, it is extremely important to do in-depth research. You are advised to consult your home country’s embassy before travel and practice safety precautions as advised.

Due to Iraq’s association with religious and sectarian warfare, avoid related discussions and try to keep your opinions to yourself. Keep your valuables stored safely and important documentation securely on your person at all times.

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Basra
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R 100.00 R 100.00 R 120.02
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) R 25.00 R 25.00 R 40.64
Cappuccino (regular) R 22.33 R 22.34 R 29.55
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 10.00 R 11.56
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R 37.50 R 37.50 R 23.25
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