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South African Airways IAD-JNB-PLZ (Lots Of Pics!)  
User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hey guys,

This is my first ever trip report so I apologize in advance for the quality of my writing and the length of my report. It's pretty long but I promise it's worth a read! I worked really hard on this to make it as informative and detailed as possible (without TOO much detail). I also included some pictures of my trip along with some pictures of my stay in South Africa. I apologize for the quality of them, I'm not a professional photographer but I hope you like them nonetheless! I also had some take-off and landing videos but I can't figure out how to post them, I tried youtube and it said my videos were greater than 100 megs, so if anyone knows another way please let me know! SA Czech Airlines">OK enough rambling, on to the report.

Thursday June 15, 2006.


About six months prior to this trip, I was at my best friend’s house talking to his father who was in the process of starting up a marine aquaculture company in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I mentioned to him how much I had always wanted to visit Africa since I was a kid, and next thing I knew he was planning my whole summer in South Africa for me! He told me he would pay me to come and work for two months in South Africa (along with my two other friends) so that I could get some experience in the field and make some good money for the two months I would be there. Of course, I didn’t turn down this amazing opportunity to visit one of the most incredible continents on earth.

I did a lot of research to find the cheapest fares on the internet (since my parents were nice enough to pay for it). One of my best options was to go through London and spend the night there to catch the next day flight to Johannesburg. This option was appealing because my brother lives in London so I thought I could maybe leave a few days earlier and spend some time visiting with him before I continued on to SA. Well, as luck would have it the hooligan was not going to be in London on those dates because he had plans to go to the World Cup with some friends to see Paraguay play (my family is originally from Paraguay). My next best choice was the direct flight from Dulles onboard South African Airways. I went to the South African Airways website and found a fare that was $300 cheaper than the ones on Orbitz and Expedia. I booked my seat (54 A) and bought the round trip ticket departing June 15 and returning August 16. I chose this fare mostly because it was most affordable ($1,800) and I was really excited to fly on SAA’s new service from Washington Dulles. My dad offered to give me some of his United miles so that I could upgrade to Business Class, but when I called United the agent told me that I could only use my United miles to upgrade with Lufthansa. Oh well, I was fine with flying cattle class anyway, I’m still young. Six months later, it was June and I was done with finals and moved back home for the summer. For two weeks I went out and bought new clothes and got my immunizations and bought a brand new camera for my trip. I was so excited to be going to Africa for the first time, that it didn’t really hit me that I was going until the night before I left!

On June 14th, the day prior to my departure, I spent basically all day getting things ready and saying goodbye to my friends. I was up until about 2 am packing my things. I went to bed because I knew I had to wake up at 5am so that my mom and sister could take me to the airport. Well my three hours of sleep went by entirely too quickly and before I knew it, my alarm was going off and it was time to get going. I woke up and took a shower and went downstairs to grab a cup of coffee with my dad, who was already awake and getting ready to leave for work that morning. Of course, he always makes sure that I have all my things so he is like my personal checklist, asking me if I had my passport and my travel documents and my medicine, etc. Obviously, I already had everything so I was set to go. We left my house in the DC suburb of North Potomac, MD at 5:45 am for our drive to Dulles, which I was expecting to take about 50 minutes as long as the traffic wasn’t too horrendous. Traffic was light at this hour of the morning, but I could see on the Beltway that it was starting to get heavy. We made it to Dulles a little after 6:30 am for the 9:30 am departure and I made my way to the South African Airways check-in counter.

Check- in:

I stood in line with my bags while my mom and sister waited for me to check in. I noticed an African man was unpacking his suitcase and trying to fit his things into another suitcase while his relative stood at the counter arguing with the check-in agent. I was quite a good distance behind them, but I could definitely smell the B.O. and lack of deodorant use coming from those two guys. My mom came up to tell me something and stopped in her tracks when she commented also on how horribly they smelled. There will be more about this guy later on, but for now I’ll digress. Anyway, I got to the counter and was checked-in by a nice fellow that proved to be quite helpful. I asked him if there was any window or aisle seats left on the upper deck (this was back when SAA flew the 747 to Dulles). He told me that the only thing they had left were the middle seats on the upper deck. The reason I wanted the upper deck was because SAA has what can be considered an “economy plus” section up there, with 35 inches of seat pitch compared to the 31 inches on the lower deck. Well, I opted to keep my reserved seat of 54 A. I thanked the agent and went to grab some breakfast with my mom and sister before heading through security.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/dullesterminal.jpg
The famous Dulles Terminal near the South African Airways check-in counter


There was this nice little café that I had never noticed before in the check-in terminal at Dulles, but we grabbed some food there and killed some time before I left. I said goodbye to my mom and sister; my mom was obviously sad since I was leaving for two months even though I always leave to go to college, but she’s a mom so she gets sad.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/meandmommy.jpg
Mom and I saying goodbye!


Security/ Pre-Boarding:

Since it was early in the morning, the security line was pretty big with all the flights leaving for different places. The TACA flight to El Salvador seemed like it would be pretty packed, and there were also passengers traveling to Korea and Tokyo on Korean Air and ANA. United also has flights that leave for Europe early in the morning. Needless to say, Security looked crowded but I made it through in about 20 minutes. The South African flight departs from Dulles’ terminal B, so I used the new underground walkway to get to terminal B, which is a whole lot better than using those annoying “mobile lounges”.

When I got to the gate, I noticed that the flight looked pretty full. Many of those people were from connecting flights around the U.S. and were catching the SAA flight from Dulles. The gate read, “SAA Flt. 208 to Dakar”, and I could hear some people being confused about the flight stopping in Dakar. I knew that the flight would be stopping in Dakar for an hour while they refuel and change crews. Apparently, lots of other people didn’t get that memo. I decided to go and buy one of those neck pillows from a newsstand for $9, it was the best 9 bucks I have ever spent. I took a few more minutes walking around and taking pictures of the massive 747 that would be taking me to South Africa. I couldn’t do too much walking since I had a backpack and a pretty heavy carry-on bag that I was hauling around everywhere (yeah, I’m one of those passengers that people hate for bringing on large carry-on bags, oh well!).

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Picture of my ride to Johannesburg...the mighty 747!

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/747.jpg


http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/dullesBterminal.jpg
The B terminal at Dulles International Airport...very modern and bright.

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The B terminal is where airlines like JetBlue, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic operate out of


South African Airways flight 208
Depart: Washington Dulles (IAD)
Arrive: Johannesburg International (JNB)
Equipment: Boeing 747-400 (Ibhayi)

Boarding
Time went by and before I knew it, they were making the boarding announcement for our flight. I made my way down the jetway, thinking to myself that it was going to be a long 18 hours but at least I could watch some good movies and take some cool pictures. I was greeted by a friendly FA that pointed me towards my seat. I was excited because I hadn’t been on a 747 in 7 years, and I was amazed at how huge the plane is on the inside. I found my seat and the lady sitting in the aisle got up to let me by. The two of us sat there in the row of three, praying that no one would come and sit in the middle between us. One thing I quickly noticed as I squeezed into my seat is how tight the legroom was. Even the lady next to me said that she felt like a sardine. We ended up talking for a bit and it turned out she was going to Dakar for a week as part of the “Christian Children’s Fund” to do some work.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/shittylegroom.jpg
Tight legroom for the next 18 hours!

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/wingviewatdulles.jpg
Sitting at the gate waiting to pushback


The minutes rolled by and then my worst nightmare came true. Yup, the “B.O. guy” that I saw earlier at the check-in desk came down the aisle and stopped at our row. I looked at the lady with a horrified look on my face. And then the guy said, “Oh, I am the row behind you”. We breathed a huge sigh of relief, but little did I know that the smell coming from him was so strong that it would be with me for the whole flight. By this time it was already 9:30, but we were still at the gate. Then 9:45 rolled around and we still sat there. I was reading the “Sawubona” magazine, SAA’s onboard magazine when I noticed that the time said 10 am already. The captain never made any announcement for a delay, he just greeted us and welcomed us onboard. At this point I was wondering what was going on, and then I saw the FA’s walk around handing out “refreshing towelettes” along with a menu, a travel pouch with all the amenities, and juice. I knew that if they were doing that, it would be a while before we got going. The doors closed and I was extremely happy that no one was sitting next to me. At around 10:15 am, we finally pushed back and got the engines started.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/wingpretakeoff.jpg
Engine start-up...note the ailerons are up now.

We taxied to the runway and I spotted the Ethiopian 767 as well as the TACA A320 to El Salvador.

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Ethiopian 767 to Rome and Accra

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/taxiingatdulles.jpg
Some traffic at Dulles...the TACA A320 departing to San Salvador

I also saw the usual British Airways and the entire United fleet that dominates Dulles, as well as a bunch of JetBlue planes. We made it onto the runway pretty quickly and started our take-off role, and let me tell you that it was one of the greatest take-offs I have ever experienced. I forgot how powerful the 747 feels thundering down the runway and taking off with loads of fuel and passengers. It was a great feeling.


Prepare for take-off.
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUsair320 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 991 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I think your report got cut off or somthing. good so far looking foward to the resst.

User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Trip Report Continues...

In Flight
The take-off was a bit bumpy, but we reached our cruising altitude and started to cross the Atlantic on our way to Dakar. The flight attendants started the beverage service and then continued with the Breakfast service. For breakfast, we had a choice of scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives, a chicken-apple sausage and grilled tomatoes, or the Waffle with grilled Canadian bacon and maple syrup accompanied by a croissant. I chose the waffle, and it was pretty good but a little small. I meant to take a picture of it, but unfortunately by the time I remembered I had already devoured my waffle. Oh well, I'll get 'em next time.

On the Menu it also said that they would serve “light refreshments” approximately 2 hours before landing in Dakar. It turned out that the light refreshment was a Tomato and Mozzarella appetizer with a selection of hot snacks. I don’t remember if it was good or not, but I’m pretty sure I ate it. One thing I really do remember is that the smell coming from “B.O. guy” sitting behind me was making me nauseous. I was praying he would get off in Dakar, but eventually he didn’t. I couldn’t stand it anymore, I wanted to switch seats so badly but the flight was completely full. On another more pleasant note, the AVOD system on board SAA is really great, and there was a huge variety of movies, music, TV shows, and documentaries to choose from.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/myPTV.jpg
My PTV in economy

The seat was pretty comfortable, but not the best seat in the world. I got out my brand new “noise-cancelling” Bose headphones which made it really easy for me to sleep later on. The flight to Dakar was estimated to be 7 hours and 53 minutes. I stayed awake for that whole flight and watched movies. The flight was pretty smooth and uneventful with friendly service and spectacular sunsets.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/wingflight2.jpg
Reaching our cruising altitude enroute to Dakar

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/sunsetwingviewtodakar.jpg
Beautiful sunset with the South African Wingtip

Later on into the flight, I did notice that a good number of people sitting around me were older. I got up to go to the bathroom and I saw an older woman sitting on the FA jump seat with an oxygen tank. I felt like I was in a flying nursing home. The woman sat there with the oxygen tank for most of the flight, while her fellow “golden girls” paid her a couple of visits. We made our approach into Dakar and made a really rough landing at around 9pm local time. We parked right next to an Air France 777 getting ready to depart for Paris as well as an Iberia A320 and some other African airlines (including Air Senegal International, of course).

Dakar to Johannesburg

I said goodbye to my seatmate and she wished me luck in South Africa. The crew from Washington left the aircraft and I stood up to stretch my legs as the new crew came onboard. There was also a big ground crew team that came onboard to clean the plane and load the catering trolleys. We were on the ground for just over an hour and again, I sat down and prayed that no one would sit next to me. A younger looking woman came and took the seat of my former Christian seatmate, but she didn’t seem too eager to strike up a conversation so I just sat back and popped two Ambien pills to help me sleep. We took off and the FA’s started the dinner service on our way to Johannesburg. I started to feel really sleepy, but I wanted to grab something to eat so I waited to fall asleep until after dinner. Dinner consisted of a chef’s salad and a choice of a Turkey Casserole with whole-grain mustard sauce, vegetable rice, buttered sweet corn, and broccoli (in case you are wondering I stole the menu). The other choice was Pan-fried grouper served with a seafood crème sauce, spinach tortellini, and buttered carrots. I chose the Turkey and it ended up tasting pretty good.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/mealinflight.jpg
This time I was prepared! But I was so out of it that I ate part of my meal before remembering I hadn't taken the picture yet. Nonetheless, here's whats left of the turkey thing they fed me.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/nightshotofcabin.jpg
Bad night shot of the cabin

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Friendly FA

Soon after that, I fell asleep and woke up with about an hour and a half left. The FA's were serving breakfast which was a choice between an Herb and Cheese omelette or French Crepe with a croissant. I chose the Omelette which I believe was pretty good. After they cleared away our trays, I filled out my immigration forms and listened to some music while we started our descent towards Johannesburg. We made a couple of turns before starting our final approach and this time made a smooth landing slightly behind schedule at Johannesburg International.

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Approach towards Johannesburg International

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/landingwingview3.jpg
Closer to the runway and our arrival!

We taxied to our remote stand and offloaded the plane via airstairs. I was actually very pleased with how quickly the deplaning process went, mostly due to the fact that people deplaned from the front and the back.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/afterlandinginjoburg.jpg
After arriving in Johannesburg on a chilly morning

We then got bussed to the terminal where I waited to go through immigration. The line was not too long and I passed through rather quickly. I arrived at the baggage claim area and it looked like something out of the 70’s…dark, dull, and depressing. Unfortunately, my camera was in my carry-on and I was too lazy to get it out, but who wants to see pictures of an ugly terminal anyway, right? Thankfully, my bags made it out pretty quickly and I went through customs and made my way outside of the international terminal heading towards the domestic terminal.

Domestic flight Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth

South African Airways flight #411
Depart: Johannesburg 10:15 AM
Arrive: Port Elizabeth 12:00 PM
Equipment: Boeing 737-800 with winglets!

After the long walk to the domestic terminal hauling my two big suitcases and my carry-on, I finally made it. The domestic terminal seemed very nice and modern. I approached the counter only to find a massive line awaiting me. I got nervous because my flight to Port Elizabeth was scheduled to depart at 10:15 am, and it was already 9:40am! Thankfully the line moved quickly and I got my boarding pass from the friendly check-in agent and made my way towards security. The security line was also long, but it went by rather quickly thanks to the efficiency of the man telling people where to go. One thing I noticed that seemed strange was that when you go through security, they just check your boarding pass but don’t ask for any form of ID. I assumed that to get on the plane they would ask for my ID or Passport, but it never happened. So much for security…

I made my way to gate D8, where my flight was waiting for me. Boarding had already commenced so I stood in line and handed the agent my boarding pass.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/joburgdomesticterminal.jpg Blurry picture of the domestic terminal...sorry, I was in a hurry!

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/planetoPE.jpg
My ride to Port Elizabeth

I walked down the jetway and was greeted by the friendly crew that took my ticket and directed me towards my seat. I was seated in 24 C, so I couldn’t take many pictures or video of my flight to Port Elizabeth. There wasn’t too much to write home about on this flight, but it was my first domestic flight on SAA so I decided to include it in the report.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/wingviewinjoburg.jpg
Our 737 waiting to depart for PE...check out that winglet!

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/legroom2.jpg
My legroom on the 737. For some reason I thought it was roomier than the 747 I came on, but it was probably all just in my head...

We left on time and taxied to our departure runway, taking off behind a Nationwide Airlines 737-200. The seatbelt sign was turned off and I got up to use the Lav so, of course, as soon as I make it to the bathroom the plane starts moving pretty violently and threw me against the walls. Thankfully I wasn’t peeing yet otherwise it would have gotten pretty ugly in there!

When I got back to my seat the FA’s had started the drink and snack service so I asked for a “Coke Light” and they gave me the can along with a chicken mayonnaise sandwich. It wasn’t the best sandwich in the world but it wasn’t horrible either. The flight went by pretty quickly and we began our descent towards Port Elizabeth.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/cabinshottoPE-1.jpg
Cabin shot enroute to PE

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/boardingtoPE.jpg
View from my seat

The weather was beautiful, without a cloud in the sky. We flew our approach over the Indian Ocean and came in for a pretty rough landing at Port Elizabeth Airport. For some reason the pilots use the brakes pretty heavily each time I landed there, I guess it’s a pretty short runway. We deplaned via airstairs and I made my way to the baggage claim area. PE airport is small enough that we can just walk from the plane to the terminal without buses, which is great (I'll include some pictures of the PE airport in my return trip report part 2). My bags came out pretty quickly and I couldn’t believe I was finally in Africa! I made my way outside and saw my friends there waiting for me. Two months of work and play in South Africa, few things could be better than that!

Here are a few pictures of my stay in that great country. I have to say I have been all over the world by myself and with family, and South Africa is one of my of top favorite destinations.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/outsideroomview.jpg
My home for two months...the Villa Tuscana

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All of us at the Pumba lodge for our day trip game drive

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My best friend and I at the Pumba Lodge

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/distantzebras.jpg
Beautiful Zebras in the distance

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/giraffestaringatme.jpg
A giraffe...what an amazing animal

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Amazingly rare white Lions


http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/CIMG1261.jpg
A small town we stopped at on our way to Kruger in northern South Africa near Mozambique

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Me with some of the local women

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Gin and Tonics at sunset on our real Kruger safari...I highly recommend drunken game watching at night

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Our Gin and Tonic stop

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Beautiful Sunsets in the bush

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Some Hippos in the distance


A giraffe eating from a thorn tree

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Our walking safari

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A family of baboons

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Some big rhinos

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My personal lookout deck in my lodge

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My friend at "God's Window"...on clear days you can see Mozambique...a spectacular view

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Taken from a restaurant in Port Elizabeth

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Springboks vs Scotland Rugby game!


http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m309/adm1910/CIMG1232.jpg
More Port Elizabeth


I’m glad I could share my amazing experience with all of you, it was really a dream come true for me. I hope you enjoyed my report, and please feel free to write some comments or criticisms, I'm a big boy my feelings won't get hurt! The return part of my trip will be posted soon too with more pictures, so keep an eye out!

[Edited 2006-09-11 02:09:54]


Prepare for take-off.
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1937 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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Amazing report and great pictures! I used to see the South African 747-400 at JFK before the airline started flying the A343 there. I really would like to go to South Africa, and to fly on South African Airways!

Looking forward to the return flight

767747


User currently offlineMack8994 From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome TR. I was supposed to travel to CPT this past June, but had a change of plans. Hoping I can make it to ZA next year. Krueger lools amazing!

Cheers,

Mack8994  wave 



Courage is the power to let go of the familiar!
User currently offlineGte439u From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 361 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome report!

I am glad that you included some photos of Kruger and Port Elizabeth.


User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for the feedback guys. Yeah Krueger is definately worth a visit. An interesting fact is that the whole park is the size of the state of Connecticut; it basically has it's own eco system. The most amazing thing that you realize when you visit Krueger is that YOU are the visitor, not the animals. You are in their territory and they can do what they please, especially if they see you as prey. Hence the guns on the walking safari. Althought they don't shoot the animals, they fire the gun into the air in order to scare them off if it becomes necessary. I HIGHLY recommend a trip to Krueger if you are ever in South Africa.

Cheers,
Andres



Prepare for take-off.
User currently offlineThereAndBack From Turkey, joined Aug 2005, 699 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I liked your report it was really good. South African looks good. I want to fly on them soon. I have always been interested in South Africa it looks beautiful and I want to see it.
I have one question...What languages do they do the announcements in on board?


User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting ThereAndBack (Reply 7):
What languages do they do the announcements in on board?

On my flight from Washington to Dakar, all announcements were done in English, French, and Afrikaans. From Dakar to Johannesburg, most announcements were done in English and Afrikaans but I only heard a few done in French. On the domestic sectors that I flew it was almost always primarily English, but some FA's (particularly the white ones) decided to make announcements in Afrikaans as well.



Prepare for take-off.
User currently offlineBEYBOS From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I love the report, the wild life is greatttt , however i'm surprised of the tight legroom on the 747, how did u manage it in such a long trip.
Thanks again for the amazing report.
Elia



Fly with me today & forget me tomorrow
User currently offlineAirlinebrat From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

That was an excellent trip report. Your pictures were outstanding and they gave us a good feel for what the region is like. Some day I will make it to that part of the world.


I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
User currently offline9VSPO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report and pics. How tall are you? Because the legroom on that SA747 looks frighteningly small!  scared 

User currently offlineSalvation From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

thanks for sharing! aren't those Bose headsets amazing? Since buying mine a few years ago, I can't board a plane without it. Take my laptop and toiletries, but please don't take my ipod and bose noise cancelling headsets.

 Smile


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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WOW what a great experience you had and thanks for sharing.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting 9VSPO (Reply 11):
How tall are you? Because the legroom on that SA747 looks frighteningly small!

I'm about 5'11, so I guess that's an average height but yeah the legroom was definately tight on the longhaul. Thankfully no one sat next to me in the middle seat, so that definately helped a lot because otherwise I don't know what I would have done!



Prepare for take-off.
User currently offlineUmhlanga From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 128 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Good report! Too bad about B.O. guy, but there's at least one on every flight.

User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4042 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report and great pictures. PE is my 2nd home. I learnt to fly there with Algoa Flying club based at the airport. I'm usually down there twice a year.

Quoting SkyHigh777 (Thread starter):
One thing I noticed that seemed strange was that when you go through security, they just check your boarding pass but don’t ask for any form of ID. I assumed that to get on the plane they would ask for my ID or Passport, but it never happened. So much for security…

Remember that not everywhere in the world is as paranoid as the US. It was also a Domestic flight, so no need for ID in SA.

Also you can still ride jumpseat in SA on some airlines too (although not on SAA). Shock horror !!!.

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 16):
Remember that not everywhere in the world is as paranoid as the US. It was also a Domestic flight, so no need for ID in SA.

Also you can still ride jumpseat in SA on some airlines too (although not on SAA). Shock horror !!!.

Yeah I know the U.S. is paranoid, but with reason. Although I see your point, it was just a bit weird to me because every other country I have been in, including Vietnam and all over South America, they have always checked ID's whether the flights were domestic or not. One thing I noticed though is that on every SAA flight, particularly domestic ones, the FA's would make an announcement stating, "please also note that due to new security measures visits to the cockpit are no longer permitted."



Prepare for take-off.
User currently offlineSA707 From South Africa, joined Jul 2006, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Skyhigh 777,
Awesome trip report - SA is a pleasnt airline to fly on. I enjoy their non-fussed service.

My wife & I have just returned from the Kruger National private concessions (Hippo Hollow, Shisongeni, Lion Sands & Leopord Hills for a week). Man- are those lodges amazing or what? Fung-shei in the bush!!! and well worth it. Ulusaba (Sir Richard Bransons private game reserve) is next to Leopard Hills + u can be quaranteed to see lion & leopard.

Saw both a leopard + cheetah kill, leopard with its 2x 1yr old cubs!!!. Saw the most fantastic wildlife up close- yep- the human being is the visitor here, not the other way around.

Most amazing experience was our Jeep being amongst a pack of 7 lions (5 males) when they gave their " African drum-roll " (a territorial blood curdling sh*t in ur pants roar) at sunset, for +/-2 minutes. Lions roar to warn other lions to keep off their territory. We were parked +/- 5 metres AMONGST these beautifully deadly animals & I must say, it almost makes u crap.

One thing for sure, South African lodges & game are plentiful in comparison to the rest of Africa. Appreciated the fact that only 2 vehicles maximum are aloud at a sighting and the knowledge that the game rangers & trackers have is phenomemal.

Many honeymoon couples at the lodges, & wow- the food, the views, sightings etc, truly a life long experience.Totally agree a G+T or single-malt scotch is the way to view big game.

By the way- the village you stopped at on the way to Kruger was Pilgrims Rest- an early gold mining town establiseh in the late 1800`s.

If u + ur friends head down to Cape Town during ur stay, pls feel free to comms with me . We have numerous chopper & business jet activity in our hangar at CIA.


User currently offlineAirnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2542 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (7 years 12 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Fantastic report...

South Africa is one of my favourite destinations on our route network. Its a hard flight to work, but the rewards at the end of the 14hour flight arefantastic!!!!

Ive done nearly alot of safaris in South Africa, and if you nevre have you MUST do it before the end of your life! WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!!


User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting SA707 (Reply 18):
If u + ur friends head down to Cape Town during ur stay, pls feel free to comms with me . We have numerous chopper & business jet activity in our hangar at CIA.

Thanks so much for your offer! Unfortunately I'm already back home and at school but I will be going back to SA next summer so please contact me, I would love to take a look at CPT's hangar.

Quoting Airnewzealand (Reply 19):
South Africa is one of my favourite destinations on our route network. Its a hard flight to work, but the rewards at the end of the 14hour flight arefantastic!!!!

Ive done nearly alot of safaris in South Africa, and if you nevre have you MUST do it before the end of your life! WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!!

I couldn't agree more...going on Safari is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had!

By the way, I will be posting my return trip hopefully this coming weekend (I've been extraordinarily busy with school), and I found out how to post my videos so I'll be able to share those with you guys!



Prepare for take-off.
User currently offlineCO7e7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 2849 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent report man.. thanks a lot for sharing...

Zaki


User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1730 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Don't be so appologetic. That was a fantastic trip report! What an amazing opportunity. South Africa (and the airline) looks amazing. I go college and am from DC, can I have a job? Just kidding. Looking forward to the return part!

User currently onlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7106 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow, a very nice report with some great pics.

User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 941 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Fantastic report; good balance of writing and pictures, facts and opinions. Look forward to your next one. And thanks for including some shots of your destination; it is always nice when trip reports include a little bit more than just the planes and airports!


Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
25 SkyHigh777 : Okay I'm currently writing part 2 of my return trip back to the U.S. (Yes almost a year later....I've been pretty busy) so stay tuned!
26 DALelite : Outstanding TR of yours!!! Lovely pictures from PE and Kruger safari. It had happen to me several times that i was seated next to smelling guys. I the
27 KLM685 : Hey man! What an absolutely great trip report! The pictures are amazing! Looks like you're having fun! Cheers
28 SkyHigh777 : Hahaha that's hilarious! I don't think I would ever be able to do that, but maybe if it was bad enough I would have to because it's pretty nauseating
29 OA260 : Hey there for your 1st report its fantastic!!! Love the photos and pics of SAA. Thanks for sharing OA260
30 Post contains images BMIFlyer : Excellent report sir Now that SAA is is Star Alliance, I hope I can fly them soon I love the pics, especially of the wildlife Lee
31 EXAAUADL : I had a similar experience with an obese woman from SYD-LAX. She smelled of urine. Each time she moved, the stench got worse SAA's fodo is good but p
32 DALelite : well, just do it.... don't keep up with the bad smell!!! yes , you can, i didn't tolerated too!!! cheers: DALelite
33 Post contains images Tbear815 : Andres, Wonderful TR! And the pictures are terrific, as well. You wrote an incredible report. Very few are as good as yours. The pictures while on saf
34 SkyHigh777 : Thanks Rod! I would love to work as a travel reporter or editor, it would be my ideal job. Hmmm....maybe I should look into that!
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