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spilok

REALLY flying to South Africa in October.....

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Perhaps this is the wrong forum (if so, I'll re-post). I'm a regular contributor to this forum and have been doing FS since the beginning. I've traveled all to many parts of the world (Europe / Asia, etc.) in real life, as well as simulation, but I found out today that I'll be going to South Africa in October. I live in Allentown, Pa. so I'll probably use KPHL or KEWR for departure. This will be an awards trip and my wife and I will be going together.WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU EXPERIENCED Pilots give me? Should I stop somewhere for a few days en route....and WHERE? I hear it's a grueling 15 hour flight. What airlines would you choose, and what planes should I try to arrange to fly (777 or 747). I don't look forward to the long flight, and I would like to make it as enjoyable as possible. Please tell me your experience with a flight such as this, and how did you like South Africa? I do know one thing: I will upgrade my ticket OUT OF TOURIST CLASS!THANKS in advance for any advice you can give me.

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HiYou only need to take with you 2 things. One: One bottle of white dry wine preferable Chardonnay for the flight. Two, A digital camera for all the beautiful scenery in South Africa. Where in SA will you be visiting? You must include the Kruger National Park. Stay there for 2 nights. Visit Sun City and if you are going to Cape Town a visit the the Stellenbosch wine estates.Stelios

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That's a good question. I can pick any airline, and that's the reason I'm asking this question. If flying from Philadelphia; which should I pick for a specific stopover (like Rio or someplace else...I'm up for suggestions) or should I just bite the bullet and fly direct?

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Stan, I don't believe you will get there direct. :) I suspect that all major carriers that do fly to SA, such as SA iteself, BA and Lufthansa, all will require either going through Heathrow or Frankfurt. I just completed a trip to Australia, and the outgoing leg was approximately 34 hours from my doorstep to my hotel bed. A total of 22 hours of actual flying time. I suspect that you will find the same going to South Africa. And it doesn't really how you slice or dice it; that is one long trip. My suggestion, if you can do it, is to layover a day or two in either London or Frankfurt. London is VERY expensive for Americans at the moment, so there is a down side to that suggestion.

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Tom,Thanks....my wife and I love London (she loves Harrod's).However, what if I took a flight to Rio dJ, and spent a few days there. Wouldn't that be halfway or so? Then, fly from there to Capetown or Johannesburg? On the way back, do something similar, but somewhere else.

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Stan, yeah that wouuld work, but are there direct flights from Rio to SA? Seems a long way to go, but Rio is worth seeing! :)

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Hi there,actually, there are direct flights from the US to South Africa. It used to be from Miami only but I seem to remember that Atlanta was recently added. Not sure about the carrier either (US based or South African Airways) but your travel agent should be able to help you - or perhaps the Most Realistic AI flightplans ;-)Should you decide to do a stopover somewhere then I'd take the time difference into account. Thus, a stopover in Europe would make more sense on the way back because you're already adjusted to the time zone (South Africa is GMT +1). Should you go through Rio then you'd be less impacted by jetlag on the way to South Africa.I'd be interested to hear what route you decide on because I'm "overdue" for visting family in South Africa & Namibia.Cheers, Holger

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Hi,I'm starting to think SPAIN now. What do you think? I've never been to Spain, and it might be a good idea.

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Hi,You could go via Sao Paulo... there is a flight to Jo'berg. It's a long way around though.Otherwise Europe.... but why bother...my advice is go direct from USA with SAA, then spend more time in southern Africa.... maybe go visit Mozambique or even better...go to Botswana.If you want to get some good insight in to life in Botswana, read the books by Alexander McCall Smith...start with The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency.Cheers,Paul

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You may want to use expedia.com to see of possible routes. I've in the past wondered on possible routes also, and used expedia with good results. Just type in your starting airport and ending airport and it will give you a good idea of all the possible connecting flights, cities, and airlines.Matt

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Hi!I am from South Africa originally. I have now lived in the USA for about 20 years, but travel backwards and forwards quite regularly.I know of direct flights to South Africa from New York and Atlanta on South African Airways. Nobody else flies direct to South Africa from the USA. The flights are direct in the sense that you do not get off the plane, but there is usually a refueling stop at either Isla del Sol (in the Azores) or Dakar (in Senegal). South African Airways (SAA) is a pretty good carrier. Definitely a notch above most US carriers. They used to fly 747's on the USA route and you could vastly improve the comfort of the trip by getting an upper deck seat, but I think they have now entirely switched to Airbus A340's.There are also flights through most major European and South American cities. I have flown through London, Paris (don't do that) and Amsterdam. Most of these flights arrive from the USA in the morning and leave for South Africa in the late afternoon. If you know your way around you can spend a few hours in town, but generally it is a bit too much of a rush. If you stay longer, you are taking away from time you could be spending in South or Southern Africa. I now mostly try to fly direct.South Africa is a wonderful place to visit. Every time I go there I enjoy it more. If you can tell me what sort of things you are interested in and how long you have, I will gladly recommend places to go to or things to do - either via the forum or privately (alanv@worldnet.att.net). There are so many things to do. Apart from the mandatory visit to a game reserve (incidentally the Kruger National Park mentioned in a previous posting is larger than Masschusetts), one thing I would definitely recommend, that does not often feature on people's lists is: fly to Port Elizabeth, hire a car and drive the Garden Route to Cape Town - with an overnight stop at Knysna. Then spend a few days in the Cape Town area and include a drive through the nearby wine route. Cape Town is one of those few truly sensational, world-class cities.regards,Alan.

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Alan,WOW....what a great reply. I'm definately going to Kruger. I saw that on the brochure I recevied earlier. Direct sounds "grueling". 15 hours or so on one plane seems a bit too much. I hear you and maybe I'll do that. On an Airbus 340, what seat would you choose?I am so looking forward to this trip, and I want to make the most out of it. I may never go there again, so it's important to me. Thank you so much, and I will keep checking routes or ideas. Being an FS enthusiast, I think I would LOVE to fly an Airbus 340.

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and another thing Stan don't forget to try "Biltong" there. Biltong is South African dried meat. The word comes from Dutch with BIL meaning buttock and TONG meaning strip. Do not even think of comparing biltong to "beef jerky". Biltong is a delicacy that many South Africans love to eat. If you are in Johannesburg go to "The Butcher Shop" in Santon square (Mandela square now) and try the T-bone or fillet steak!Stelios

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Stelios,I look forward to tasting that Biltong. I'm a lover of Filet Mignon as well. It sounds like I can get a good steak in South Africa. That's all I need to know. The Biltong sounds like it would be good to eat while having a cold beer.Thanks for the info. I'm saving all the responses and printing them. I'll be sure to take them along on that LONG......plane ride.

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