I'm trying to find out how long the sea journey took from England to East Africa in the period 1868-1877. One source I've found suggests something like 3 months earlier in the 1860s. It mentions a departure from Southampton in November 1863 and arrival at an inland mission station on 18 February 1864 (Sheffield Independent, 24 July 1876, page 3). In 1863 the route must have been around the Cape of Good Hope. But the Suez Canal was opened in November 1869. How soon after it opened were passenger ships able to use it? And how much shorter would the journey have been once they could?
I'm particularly interested in one Methodist missionary called Thomas Wakefield. His first wife had a baby at Zanzibar in 1870 when the couple were travelling from England to Mombasa. Given that Zanzibar is south of Mombasa, this suggests that they travelled via the southerly route around the Cape, even though the canal was open by then. So I'm presuming there was maybe a big price difference between the two routes and perhaps people who wanted to save money still took the Cape route. But I haven't been able to find any specific source which backs this up. Any help would be most gratefully received.