Wednesday September 16, 2009
Livingstone, Zambia to Johannesburg
Our flight to Johannesburg departed in the early afternoon, giving my brother and I just enough time to take a quick last photo walk at Victoria Falls that morning. I was lucky enough to catch another rainbow (at left and on Flickr)
Then after our walk around the Falls, we wandered over to the bank to break some larger bills. As we were walking back to the restaurant to meet up with Mum, we found a little stall selling smaller versions of the sculptures scattered around the Zambezi Sun. I could not resist buying a warthog for my son — for only $10 US. The man working at the stall was the artist, so we also were able to congratulate him on his work.
The bus collected us on time for our transfer to Livingstone Airport. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Livingstone is the quintessential colonial airport. A few tips:
- You must reconfirm your outbound flight 24 hours in advance. When you get to the airport, security has a list of departing passengers, and your name better be on it.
- There aren’t many services at the airport. We were lucky to be on British Air, which has an airport lounge available to its club members at no charge or passengers on BA for $12.00 each. It isn’t much, but the cold drinks are free, there’s a bathroom and they let my brother smoke in their backroom.
- You have to go through security for a second time as you board, so don’t bother buying a bottle of water at the airport bar. It will be confiscated. We’d gotten ours at the BA Lounge so it wasn’t a financial loss, just a hydration one.
We got back to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport in the late afternoon and made our way to the Southern Sun at the airport for an overnight and early early departure the next morning for a flight to Polokwane, South Africa followed by a trek north by car to Botswana and the Mashatu Game Reserve.
I’ve mentioned before and in the Recommend section how much we appreciated the hospitality and food at the Southern Sun, but nothing compares to the wonderful ladies from Housekeeping who squeezed in some laundry well past the usual deadline for three travelers running dangerously low on clean clothes. There is a very serious weight limit on your baggage when traveling in/out of South Africa, and even more so on the smaller aircraft that we would be taking later in our journey. We just didn’t have a lot of extra stuff, and they so came through for us.
Next stop: Mashatu.
My brother has set up a website to chronicle our African trip. www.mashatutiger.com Yes, we know there are no tigers in Africa. There’s a story. I’m getting to it.