Fly To Kona, Hawaii
Kona, on the ‘Big Island’, is a Hawaiian district famous for two main things: hosting the Ironman World Championship Triathlon every year, and growing some of the world’s best coffee. The area has a lot more than just that to offer visitors, however. Lush volcanic mountains, idyllic coastlines and 300 days of sunshine a year make Kona a popular outdoor recreational destination, and hiking, biking, diving and fishing are just a few of the activities on offer.
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Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South African Passport holders travelling to Hawaii do need a visa for the USA. Leave plenty of time for Visa processing, and make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- The nearest South African Consulate to Hawaii is the South African Consulate-General in California. 6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 600, Los Angeles, California, 90048. Phone: +1 323 651 0902. Website: link2southafrica.com.
See and do
Kona’s largest city is officially known as Kailua-Kona, and the majority of activities and accommodation are based in and around the town. True to Hawaiian stereotypes, most of Kona’s attractions are outdoors, and considering the wonderful climate and spectacular scenery, it would be a waste not to take advantage this.
Kona’s beaches and waters are perfect for swimming, sailing and fishing, and there are several companies offering snorkelling and diving as well. Sea Hawaii Rafting is a particular favourite, and their state-of-the-art and eco-friendly zodiac adventures are great for whale watching, waterfall tours and private excursions. Other options include Kona Surf Adventures and Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures. For something a little different, try Jack’s Diving Locker – they offer Manta Ray night dives for the particularly brave.
Kona isn’t short on culture either, and apart from the requisite coffee plantations, there are several interesting attractions to put on your to do list. The Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Centre, Hulihe’s Palace, the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum and Moku’aikaua Church are a few popular options. Don’t miss the Historic Kailua Village Walking Tour for a fascinating glimpse into 19th century life in Kona.
Souvenirs in Kona are easy – it’s all about the java here, and you simply can’t leave without a bag or two of 100% pure Kona coffee. If you’re not a fan of black gold, pick up a few Donkey Balls instead – these world-famous chocolate-covered Hawaiian macadamia nuts are renowned for much more than just their odd name.
The only real public transport in Kona is the Keauhou Honu Express Shuttle, which runs along Ali’I Dr and the length of Kailua-Kona. Other than that, if you’re not keen to wander around on foot, you will most likely need to hire a car to get around. It’s advisable to carry a GPS, as the streets aren’t always easy to navigate, and can be confusing if you don’t know the area.
Kona International Airport – KOA
Food and beverage: Laniakea by Centerplate.
Currency Exchange: There are no currency exchange facilities at Kona International Airport, but you’ll find ATMs in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. For items lost or found within the airport terminals, contact the Lost & Found Department on +1 (808) 329-5073, or visit the Security Office at Kona Airport.
Airport Hotels: None on site. Nearby: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Royal Kona Resort and Wyndham Royal Sea Cliff.
Car Hire: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.
Airport Hub: Kona International Airport (code KOA) is a hub for Mokulele Airlines.