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DansDeals Forum => Trip Reports => Topic started by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 06:07:19 AM

Title: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 06:07:19 AM
Planning and Routing
The planning for this trip started back in November 2015 when I decided that I wanted to go to Africa in the summer. Iíd never flown any of the ďBig 3Ē Gulf carriers, so that was the goal on this trip. I ended up booking:

For 100k AS I booked (blue on map)
7/5 LAX-DXB in EK F A380 4:45pm-7:30pm+1
7/7 DXB-JNB in EF F 777 2:20pm-8:50pm

For our domestic flight I bought cheap coach seats on Mango (orange on map):

7/13 JNB-CPT 8:10am-10:20am

For 135k AA I booked (red and brown on map)
7/17 CPT-DOH in QR J 787 1:20pm-11:50pm
7/18 DOH-AUH in QR F A320 8:25am-10:30am
7/19 AUH-JFK in EY F A380 3:35am-9:35am
7/19 JFK-LAX in AA F A321 12:30pm-3:54pm

(http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=color:blue,+lax-dxb-jnb;+color:orange,+jnb-cpt;+color:red,+cpt-doh-auh;+color:brown,+auh-jfk-lax&MS=wls&MR=1200&MX=720x360&PM=*)

For hotels we booked the following:

PH Dubai for 1 night for ~12k UR booked through UR
Black Rhino Game Lodge in Pilanesburg Game Reserve for ~$168 cash (redeemed for A+ credit)
Intercontinental OR Tambo (JNB airport) for 1 night for 30k IHG
Protea Sea Point hotel for 4 nights: 1 night for 15k Marriott, 3 nights for ~$67/night
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi for 1 night for ~$87

We stayed with friends of friends in Joburg for the 3 nights we were there before going to the game reserve.

For food, we brought along some instant oatmeal for breakfast in Dubai, Joburg (before our flight to CPT) and Doha. Joburg and Cape Town both have kosher restaurants, but we needed food for Pilanesburg. We could have ordered from POM, had them ship it to LA, and schlep it around the world with us, but I found another solution. Kosher World in Joburg also has travel meals for a fraction of the price. While I only asked for dairy and pareve items, the price range was from R55-81 for a 500g portion, or about $3.75-$5.50 for just over 1 lb. of food. You canít beat that! Like POM, the meals are frozen in advance and can be heated in the microwave or oven. To contact KosherWorld, you can email them from their website. They responded to me rather quickly and we arranged everything via email.

Now on to the trip itself.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 06:08:16 AM
Tuesday, July 5, LAX-DXB: EK F
After my BIL was kind enough to drive us to the airport (so that he could use our car while we were away) we didnít have the best ground experience upon arriving at the airport. First we had to battle the holiday traffic getting to TBIT. Once we were inside, I figured first class check-in would be a breeze, yet we had to wait 15 minutes for the 1 agent to finish with another customer who was not even traveling in F (the line was for F and Premier; they were premier). Our check-in was quick, but we got bogged down next at security. We were forced to take the security line for wheelchairs and strollers, despite the fact that 1) we had a car seat with wheels, not a stroller 2) we were in F and 3) we asked to go in the regular F lane. 30 minutes later we finally made it past security only 10 minutes before boarding leaving us without enough time to try the new Emirates lounge in LAX. Right before we got on the plane DW was quite stressed out about the whole thing, but that quickly changed once we entered the upper deck of the A380.

After we were directed left at the forward boarding door and shown our seats, DWís mood quickly changed into one of fascination and excitement. While I had also never flown EK F before, Iíd flown other F products with suites so it wasnít as exciting for me. We both changed into our pajamas and got comfortable. We had a bassinet attached to the center divider (we were in seats 2E/F), though it took them a while to get the right bassinet to fit. Because of the positioning of the lamp, only one of the basinets work here.

The flight itself was very good. Our daughter behaved herself rather well for the whole flight. We were each able to get ~5 hours of sleep, shower and eat our rather pathetic KSMLs.

Just a side note about the KSMLs. All the other airlines Iíve flown out of LAX in a premium cabin (SQ F, LH J, AZ J) have all been catered by Emuna from LA. Their food is very good and portion sizes are generous. EK F is catered by KoshAir from NY. Both their lunch, snack and breakfast all featured the same sides: 2 small dips and a roll. Really? One of the FAs said he also ordered the KSML on that flight (he used to work in Israel and just thought heíd try it for fun) and was pretty disappointed as well. He said heíd mention it to EK in hopes theyíd switch to Emuna.

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KSMLs

Our flight path was nearly straight north with a slight curve west, meaning we not only crossed the date line but also had a 15-hour daytime flight. While it means I couldn't daven shachris (Rosh Chodesh) since it never got dark the day before, it also meant we could use the natural light to help adjust our bodies ahead 11 hours. We arrived in DXB slightly tired (on purpose) and passed through immigration and customs quickly.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: benjie1305 on July 18, 2016, 06:17:23 AM
So far, so good.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 06:23:45 AM
Wednesday, July 6, A Night in Dubai
We took a cab (paid with CC) to the PH. I really should have taken Uber since they were having a 20% off 2 rides to/from DXB in celebration of the Eid holiday that started that day, but we wanted to get to the hotel asap and getting a driver would have taken longer than just hopping in a nice Lexus cab. It took us 15 minutes to get to the hotel (the driver took us on a bit of a joy ride and got no tip because of it) but the whole ride only cost ~$15.

We checked in and were upgraded to a deluxe view room, 1418, in the main building.  The room was spacious but not a suite. It overlooked the creek and had a nice view of the Dubai skyline which was visible through the haze.

PH Dubai Room:
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We dropped off our things, freshened up a bit and headed to the Dubai Mall to see the fountain show. We opted for the car service from the hotel for 40 AED since traffic was quite bad around the mall due to Eid, and the rate was fixed.

The fountain area was a zoo. We arrived just as the 10pm show was finishing, so we had to wait for the next show at 10:30pm. It took us a good 15 minutes to walk to a bridge and get to the front for good views of the show, but it was worth it. The show was really quite amazing, quite similar to the Bellagio in Vegas just larger and with different music.

Burj Khalifa and fountain show:
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Fighting our way down from the bridge and into the mall was like trying to get on the NYC subway during a crowded rush hour, but we survived. Once in the mall (which in itself was super crowded) we wanted to see some of the sites. We didnít want to stay too long, but we had time to visit the aquarium, fountain and ice rink.

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Aquarium at the Dubai Mall

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Fountain at the Dubai Mall

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Ice rink at the Dubai Mall

We eventually took an Uber back to the hotel (it came out to 46 AED because the floating bridge by the hotel closes at 10pm so you have to go the long was around), but it beat waiting in the 100+ person line for a taxi.

We got back to our room around midnight and just went to sleep.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 06:34:17 AM
Thursday, July 7, DXB-JNB
We woke up a bit late due to the minor jetlag. Thank God our daughter was able to sleep most of the night and seems to have adjusted well to the new time zone. By the time we got ready and packed it was time to head to the airport. We might have gone back to town to see things by daylight and to visit the Burj Al Arab, Mall of the Emirates, and Burj Khalifa again, but we didnít want to push our luck.

We took Uber to the airport (it only cost ~19 AED/~$5 thanks to the promo) and arrived with boarding passes in hand from LAX. We once again passed though immigration without any line and even made it through security with lots of bottles of water for our daughterís bottles without so much as a secondary screening. They even let the car seat/stroller with the baby in it go through the metal detector without even searching it.

We were departing form the A gates, meaning weíd be fortunate enough to use the First Class lounge that spans the entire terminal with in-lounge boarding gates. After a quick stop so DW could get a massage at the Timeless Spa, we headed to the worldís largest F lounge where were only saw 1 other guest the entire time we were there. We had some sandwiches weíd packed from LA for lunch in one of the empty dining areas along with some fresh vegetables from the buffet.

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Food from the buffet

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Lounge restaurant

While we donít smoke or drink, the lounge was still impressive. DW made it quite clear that anything smaller than this is no longer considered a good lounge in her book. Uh oh for me.
Despite the F cabin being full and us only having 1 seat in it, we were the only ones to board from the lounge.

We boarded 10 minutes before boarding closed after all the economy passengers were already on board which was different. While I did end up in J, the purser was nice enough to ask the person seated directly behind DW to switch seats with me so we were as close as possible to each other. I even had an empty seat next to me so DW could come back and visit whenever she wanted.

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My 2 J seats, EK J 777

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Dubai Skyline through the haze

Our flight overall was a very nice. It was a bit turbulent most of the flight, but it really wasnít too bad. The food was a lot better this time, as it came from Bangkok and not the US.

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KSML out of Dubai

We landed a few minutes early and were the first to deplane. We walked though immigration, which was empty, and proceeded to collect our checked bag before making our way out to the rental car counter.

I rented a car with Hertz though since itís a franchise thereís no earning points on the rental. It took forever for the agent to help me, but at least I didnít have to wait in line like those who showed up just after me. We were given an automatic Corolla Quest, one level up from what we reserved. They were all sold out so I couldnít have upgraded even if Iíd wanted to.

The drive to Glenhazel was quick and easy. We arrived at our hosts house around 10:15pm, settled in and promptly went to sleep.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 06:39:53 AM
Friday, July 8, A Private Soweto tour
I decided to book a private half-day tour of Soweto with MoAfrika Tours for R1,700. I chose MoAfrika because of their good reviews on TA and I chose Private since for only R400 more I wouldnít have to worry about of daughter disturbing the other passengers with non-stop crying (even though in the end she barely made a peep the entire time).

Our guide, Goodwill, was waiting outside at 8:45am, a good 15 minutes early, just in case we were running early. I had davened at 7am and eaten breakfast at our hosts house which was very nice of them. We were ready for the tour and went downstairs at about 9:15am.

The tour itself was very nice and can be broken down into thirds.

The first third was the drive to Soweto and through the different neighborhoods there. Goodwill explained the history of Soweto, the SOuth WEst TOwnship, and pointed out some sights on the way. We then drove through the fancy area of Soweto, the ďBeverly HillsĒ as he called it, with truly expensive and fancy houses. This is the area where rich black people live who grew up in Soweto and donít want to leave despite their fortunes. Then we drove to the middle class area of Soweto where most people lived in matchbox houses (so named because 1) they looked like matchboxes and 2) because since the roofs used to be made of asbestos people painted the inside of their houses with oil based paints to keep out the fumes from the roof, but the oil based paints made the houses super flammable that when ignited they combusted like a matchbox).

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Soweto Tour

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Fancy Soweto

For the second third of the tour we were handed off to a local guide to take us into the informal settlements of Soweto, where the poorest of the poor lived. In this area we were on foot and got to enter a family house there. While there was a refrigerator inside, there wasnít enough electricity to power it, so they just used it for storage. They rely on a water tap down the road, outdoor ditches to carry water through the neighborhood, and illegal electricity tapped from nearby power lines. It was quite a unique experience seeing how those people live.

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Poorest areas of Soweto

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Inside a home

The last third of the tour brought us to the Hector Pieterson museum. We saw the location where the June 16, 1976 revolution began, followed by a free visit to the museum (admission was included with the tour). The museum itself was small, but it was informative and a good 20-minute stop. The tour also included a stop at a famous church, but for obvious reasons we asked our guide to skip that part.

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Nelson Mandelaís House

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Outside the Hector Pieterson museum

After our guide dropped us back at our hosts house at 1:00pm, we headed out to Sosushi for lunch (all the restaurants close at 2pm on Fridays, even in the winter). We ordered the fanciest rolls they had for cheaper than a standard vegetable roll in the US. Our 3 fancy rolls came out to R280 or less than $20. We left there around 2:15pm and spent the rest of the short Friday napping and getting ready for Shabbos (at 5:15pm).

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Sushi from Sosushi

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Sosushi menu
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 06:41:01 AM
Shabbos, July 9, Shabbos in Glenhazel
Friday night we ate at our hosts house. It was nice and quiet and we had a great time. For Shabbos day, we davened at Maharsha. It was about a 15-minute walk, but it wasnít hot and was quite pleasant. After davening there was a nice dairy Kiddush complete with cheesecake, sushi salad, and other confections (it was extra fancy apparently in honor of someone having a new daughter).

For lunch our hosts and we went out to lunch. We stopped by Aish to say hi to some friends on the way. Lunch was also really fun. There were many people there, including the people who sponsored Kiddush. While lunch wasn't long or schleppy, people did hang around to talk for a bit afterwards. The walk back was maybe 30 minutes, and we arrived only 10 minutes before we needed to go back to shul for mincha/maariv.

It was nice meeting our hostís friends at shul and seeing how similar the Jewish community of Glenhazel is to our own neighborhood in terms of the people, davening, and what people did on Shabbos.

On Motzei Shabbos we decided to order in from a brand new restaurant that opened about 1 week ago (around July 1, 2016) called Brioche. Itís a fancy, dairy chalav yisrael restaurant located on Long Ave directly across the street from Kosher World. They have lots of salads, pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, breakfast and desserts. The prices are slightly expensive by South African standards, but our order of 1 pizza, 1 pasta dish and 1 salad came out to R245, or less than $17. The food was really, really good, too. Iíd been warned that the pizza in Joburg is worth skipping especially coming from the US, but I found theirs really good. The crust was thin and it was baked in a wood-burning, brick oven giving it a really good char and taste. Another thing worth noting is the service (for pickup) was very efficient. The restaurant was crowded, but they were extremely organized. We didnít wait longer than 2 minutes for our food and were very impressed.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 07:07:10 AM
Sunday, July 10, Driving to Pilanesburg NP
We started Sunday morning with breakfast at Jozi Blue, and not just because it was literally next door to where we were staying. We ordered 2 omlettes, a hot chocolate, a tea, and a muffinÖ.all for R177, less than $12. The food was very tasty and filling. While the restaurant itself was a bit crowded and it took a few extra minutes to get served, it was worth the wait.

Jozi Blue food:
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We packed up, made some sandwiches for the road, and headed off to Kosher World to pick up our pre-arranged ďPOM styleĒ meals. Iíd arranged everything via email and ordered meals for lunch and dinner that were frozen ahead of time. There really isnít an official menu, but rather I was just given a list of options based on what I said we liked to eat. I also picked up some snacks for the road and our stay just in case we were to get hungry. For breakfast we just had cereal and milk provided by the lodge.

After putting the box full of our meals in the car we were off on the 2h30m drive to the Black Rhino Game Lodge on the north west corner of the park. The drive itself was easy and smooth sailing. While Iíd downloaded the maps in case I lost data service I turned out not to have any data issues all the way to the park gates. I did however have GPS signal issues periodically requiring me to pay close attention to the directions to avoid getting lost in a few areas. BH we arrived safely with only a 10-minute pit-stop (right off the N4 on the R556).

We arrived at 2:20pm and were promptly given a tour by our host and hostess. I spoke to the chef, wrapped our meals in aluminum foil, labeled them by meal and day, and checked out the cereals to make sure they were kosher. As our Shabbos hosts assured us, all the cereals, milk and plain yogurt were kosher. Itís almost easier to find kosher food in the grocery stores in South Africa than it is in the US, mainly because the major dairies like Clover are under hashgacha (albeit not chalav yisrael).

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Black Rhino Lodge, main gate

We were helped to our room where we settled down for a few minutes before getting ready for our first game drive. We arranged for the lodge to provide a babysitter (for R50, $3.25/hour), and she came to our room while we headed out to the lodge for tea. We couldnít eat any of the tea snacks provided, so we just waited a few minutes for people to start making their ways outside. We were introduced to our guide, Philip, and were sharing a tour with 2 other Australian couples, one our age and one older.

Black Rhino Lodge Room pics:
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Main Lodge (dining room) pics:
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The game drive itself was really cool. We were super lucky and spotted cheetahs within the first 30 minutes or so. We say lots of impalas (no, not the car; the animals) and even a group of baboons in the distance. We stopped just before sunset at a small overlook where our guide took out a cooler with drinks and snacks (he even had bags of kosher Lays potato chips for us in really interesting flavors). We got to watch a picture-perfect African sunset before heading back in the vehicles for our drive back to the lodge.

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Cheeta

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Baboons

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Impala

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Sunset

However, as we were driving back Philip heard over the radio about a rare animal sighting. By that time it was pitch black outside, but one of the other vehicles spotted it crossing the road. Itís called a pangolin, which is kind of like an armadillo but with larger scales. Apparently theyíre so rare that it was Philipís 2nd time ever seeing one in his life. Most people never get to see such an animal, and it was the first time for 2 of the other 3 guides as well. Since Iíd never heard of it in the first place I wasnít to impressed, but it was cool seeing an animal rarer than a leopard or lion.

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Pangolin

We arrived back at the lodge and made our way to the dining room for our first heated dinner (in a 220C oven for 45 min from frozen, not written on the packaging) with a pit stop at our room to collect our daughter from the sitter. We ate in the dining room by candlelight using plastic spoons weíd brought, since we forgot to bring forks and knives. While the lodge doesnít have any disposable anything, they were very accommodating by allowing me to kasher some silverware the next day for lunch. We just took the silverware at the end of the meal and reused it for the remaining meals.

Dinner was really good. Iíve never had POM meals, but I believe theyíre just as good. They came out of the oven hot but not burning hot, and nice and moist without being watery.

Dinner:
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Itíd been a busy day traveling, so after dinner we just unpacked, relaxed a bit and hit the sack early. Without in-room wifi thereís not much to do but relax and watch TV or read a book.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 07:33:12 AM
Monday, July 11, Pilanesburg NP
For the day game drives we decided to split up, with me going on Monday and DW going on Tuesday so that we could watch our daughter ourselves. While the sitter was nice, she did cry a lot and we didnít want it to be super traumatic for her.

Everyone meets in the lodge at 6am for tea and coffee and departs at 6:30 or when everyoneís ready. Since misheyakir was at 6:10am and weíd be cutting it close getting back by zman tefila, I davened before going to the lodge, finishing at 6:10 and then saying brachos on talis/tefillin. I dashed over to the lodge in the freezing cold (~37F) where I was the 2nd to last person to arrive. As the last guest joined us we were off by 6:15.

The day drives are a lot longer than the night ones. They go deeper in to the park and a you have an opportunity to see a lot more animals. However, as Iíd been warned, itís FREEZING! The drive is in an open vehicle travelling at 30-40km/h (~19-25mph) and often the windshield is down. They provide a poncho-style jacket to use if youíd like, but other than that you have to bring your own coats, hats and jackets.

Sunrise was at 6:55, so for the first 40 minutes or so it was pretty dark out. We did see quite a few animals along the way, some closer and some farther from us. Like with the night drive, we stopped for a break at around 8am in an enclosure for hot tea, coffe, hot chocolate and kosher cookies. While the drinks were served in metal cups (so I couldnít have any), I did have a cookie to tide me over until breakfast. As we arrived back at the lodge someone was there to meet us with hot, damp towels to wash our faces with. Itís always appreciated when itís so cold outside.

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White Rhinos

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Giraffe

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Warthogs

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Zebras

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Lion foot prints

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Tsetsebe nursing

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8812/27655030484_c494735c35_b.jpg)
Poisonous ďmenorahĒ (candelabra) plant

My wife and daughter were waiting for me in the lodge waiting until I came back to have breakfast (it was just after 10am). They had a great assortment of cereals that we were able to partake of without an issue, even the juices were kosher!

After breakfast we had a relaxing morning. We hung around the lodge a bit and were surprised by a heard of zebras coming to the watering hole for a quick drink. We both took advantage of the wifi there and caught up with the world for a bit before DW went back to the room to nap.

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Zebras at the lodgeís watering hole after breakfast

Since we had such a late breakfast we didnít eat lunch until 2pm. The kitchen was really great about heating up our meals on time. I was going to ask them at 1:00 to put our food in at 1:30, and I was told it was already in the oven and would be kept hot until we wanted to eat. Needless to say the lunch food was just good as the dinner food from the night before.

Lunch:
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(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8861/27654981414_aaf9755586_b.jpg)

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After lunch we hung around in the room a bit, enjoyed the private patio, and got ready for the night drive when another sitter would be coming to watch our daughter.

Well the babysitter came all right, but our daughter refused to stop crying whenever we handed her to the sitter, so in the end my wife decided just to stay back and watch her herself. There was no way of knowing that it would be the best game drive of our entire stay.

On one drive we ended up not only seeing more zebras and rhinos close up, but a ton of elephants (including a baby elephant), a pair of male lions, a brown hyena and even a leopard. We were so busy seeing animals that we didnít go into the private enclosure weíd gone into the night before rather we just stopped in the middle of the reserve, got out and tailgated from the back of the truck.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8634/27654978024_d8e5efd651_b.jpg)
Zebras

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Rhino and baby rhino

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Elephants at the watering hole



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Lions

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7771/27654969194_6970795709_b.jpg)
I forgot the name of this one

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Rhinos crossing the road

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More zebras

While DW was obviously disappointed by the tremendous sights she missed, she did have a morning drive the next day while I stayed behind to watch our daughter. We had dinner together, another great meal, and went to bed early.

Dinner:
(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8871/27654789934_0a0c8c0b3a_b.jpg)

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7147/28270176155_72bb403048_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 08:07:02 AM
Tuesday, July 12, Pilanesburg NP and last day in Joburg
DW got up early to go on the last game drive of our stay. I stayed back and watched our daughter who was very well behaved I might add. When DW game back at only 9am instead of 10am like we had the day before, I was curious as to why. She explained that as they were driving out, a male elephant in musth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musth) (like PMS for guys; google it) was trumpeting loudly and blocking the road. One truck snuck by, but the others were all stopped. He really wasnít interested in letting anyone through. Unfortunately, that meant a shorter drive and not being able to see anything cooler than a male elephant in musth.

After breakfast we finished packing up and left the lodge shortly after the 11am check out to drive back to Joburg. We had the lodge heat up our last meal for lunch before we left so we could eat it on the way back. We stopped at the same gas station as on the way there to eat and still warm meals.

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8887/27655000613_4b709ce04e_b.jpg)
Breakfast buffet

Lunch:
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(https://c5.staticflickr.com/8/7503/27654771324_18f96b7b6f_b.jpg)

We then headed to Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square. While both of these were just on, they were nice malls and did have supermarkets in them which I always like looking at, especially in a country like South Africa with its high concentration of kosher products.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8868/28236134236_bc8c6f08c3_b.jpg)

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7788/28236118806_c47a1b4c42_b.jpg)
Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton

It was just a short drive from Sandton City to Melrose Arch, our next stop. While it was in theory nicer since itís outside and really pretty, it was just more shops that we didnít end up going in since it was after 5pm at this point and a lot of them were already closed.

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7227/28236112986_321a656cd8_b.jpg)

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Melrose Arch

From there it was back to Ohr Someyach for mincha/maariv followed by an amazing dinner at Brioche. Not only was the dinner food we ordered amazing, but the really show-stopper was the gorgeously presented and tasting dessert. This was seriously the prettiest and one of the best desserts Iíve ever eaten at a kosher restaurant. We also picked up some croissants and brioche rolls from their bakery section for breakfast the next day.

Brioche Menu:
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8610/28236104976_5406e368d0_b.jpg)

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Dinner at Brioche:
(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8851/28236111276_f3470da036_b.jpg)

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8842/28236109626_8a0138e2eb_b.jpg)

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By this time it was right around 7:45pm, so I filled up the car and headed back to the airport for our 1 night at the Intercontinental OR Tambo Airport.

I dropped DW and DD off at the hotel and then swung around to drop of the car. I got an invoice stating I returned the car full and wouldnít be charged for fuel. I walked to the hotel and checked in.

Unfortunately, this is where things went from great to really bad. First the hotel didnít have a deluxe room with 2 beds which I specifically requested. They thought that when I requested a crib and two beds that I just wanted a bed for the baby, so since they gave me a crib I wouldnít need 2 beds, despite saying there were two adults on the reservation. The only thing they had available was a standard room. OK, fine, not the biggest deal. Then they offered a welcome amenity for being a Platinum member. All options were food and not kosher, but when I asked for any non-food options they said there werenít any. OK, again not a huge deal, so I settled for a bottle for sparkling water.

The manager felt bad treating a platinum guest this way and offered a whole-fruit platter which I also accepted. The room itself was nice, but had a few things wrong with it. The light fixture above the chair flickered and the bathroom door didnít slide in properly. I was going to call maintenance, but right then I got another email confirmation from Hertz saying they were charging me for fuel after all.

At this point all the small things added up to me getting quite upset at the whole situation. I marched back to the Hertz counter, explained that it was impossible to fill up and avoid fuel surcharges if they donít have a gas station right where you drop off the car. (Iíve seen airports that require a receipt from within 10 miles of the airport, but never a location still charge for fuel if you did fill up). I was told the manager had just left for the night but I could email her if I wanted to. I emailed her saying itís wrong to give me an invoice and then add fuel surcharges onto it after saying they wonít be charged. She was very nice when she responded the next day and said she wonít charge me for the fuel. She then did point out that there is a gas station in the airport, and if I used that one I wouldnít be charged. Thatís news to me.

Anyway, the hotel itself was super comfortable, and we all slept quite well.

Intercontinental OR Tambo Room Pics:
(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8637/27654463814_b7bab7bb73_b.jpg)

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Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 08:29:21 AM
Wednesday, July 13, JNB-CPT and Table Mountain
The best thing about staying across from the terminal is our commute to the airport for our 8am flight took 30 seconds from the hotel door to the terminal door. We arrived at 7:00am (bag drop closed at 7:10am), dropped off all 3 of our suitcases free of charge (Mango allows 20kg/person free, but only 7kg for carry-ons). We got through security again without removing liquids from our bags (but to be fair no one warned us and there were no signs either about liquid rules). Since I know DW hates being ďschleppedĒ to lounges when we donít have enough time to visit, I dropped her off at our gate which was probably the worst gate Iíve seen in a commercial airport. It was a windowless, metal corridor with a couple seats. No shops, restaurants, nothing. Now it was a short walk from the lounges and the nicer parts of the terminal, but even after seeing that DW still decided to stay there.

I went off in search of the 2 Priority Pass lounges. One was upstairs with lovely views of the check-in area and security and the other was in a basement with no views whatsoever.  They did have lots of kosher food included some kosher camembert and blue cheeses. I snagged some of those to help complement our breakfast and went back to the gate to going DW. We had our croissants and brioche rolls with cheese finished everything before boarding was called.

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8876/28255605846_a09ab09738_b.jpg)
Kosher cheese in the lounge

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View of security from the lounge

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Gate area

I asked the gate agent if people traveling with small children can board first and was told they could. People had started queueing up, but the agent said sheíd make an announcement for us to skip the line. No such announcement came, so we just boarded with everyone else. There was no empty seat between us like Iíd hoped (there was only an exit row seat left), and when we asked the FA if the person between us can sit in the exit row so we could put our Doona on a seat, the purser said we couldnít put it on the seat even if it were empty because we didnít purchase a seat for our daughter and it was also too big.

All righty then. We gate checked the Doona and had short flight to CPT that got us in on time despite the 20-minute delay in our departure for unknown reasons.

This time when I rented with Hertz I told them what just happened with Hertz in JNB and they warned me that I must fill up at the BP by the airport in order to avoid the fuel surcharges. At least gas prices are set by the government so airport locations canít charge more.

We first drove to our hotel, the Protea Sea Point, to drop off our bags. Since it was only around noon by this point and our room wasnít yet ready, they held our luggage for us while we went off to Coffee Time for lunch.

It was really nice driving over the mountain to the Gardens area where Coffee Time is located. It kind of reminded me of the canyons we have in LA, specifically Laurel Canyon since it had 2 lanes on one side of the mountain just like Laurel.

Lunch was amazing. Sure enough they are still doing their Wednesday lunch buffet for R99.99 and boy was it a spread. I tasted a little bit of everything and had a bit extra of some of the things I liked best. We also got a huge chocolate mocha muffin for dessert that wasnít included. I should point out that when we arrived we were lucky to get a table. With schools being on winter break the week we were in Cape Town all the tables were booked with us getting the last one available. If you decide to go for the buffet (which I highly recommend), make a reservation first.

Lunch at Coffee Time:
(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8756/28210823651_f9bfa604d6_b.jpg)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8735/28185603392_62cda47d85_b.jpg)

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After lunch we headed up to the cable car to the top of Table Mountain.  The weather was really cooperating at that point. It was 75 degrees and sunny, not bad for a cold and rainy Cape Town winter day.

There are two lines for the cable car: one for purchasing tickets and one for pre-purchased tickets, with the pre-purchased line being significantly shorter. Not a big deal: as we waited I just went online on my phone and purchased 2 tickets and got the bar codes right away. We changed lines and saved ourselves about 30 minutes. Beats me why no one else was doing it. I canít imagine not one person had data or only had cash to pay with.

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8613/28210821131_38b57796dc_b.jpg)
View of Cape Town from the lower station

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Cable car

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View from the cable car

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View from the top

It was super windy on top, but we still took the 30-minute loop around the top. We had great clear views of Cape Town, Camps Bay and Sea Point. There were a few high clouds but nothing disrupting the view. Since the weather was so nice the place was also packed. We finally left after waiting for a bit in line to go down. I say a bit because if you have crying kids or need to get down asap you have a good chance at getting moved to the head of the line.

We drove back to the hotel, checked into our room and once settled I went off to mincha at Morasha just down the road.

Protea Sea Point Room pics:
(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8850/28007507420_26e2bdf82a_b.jpg)

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For dinner I walked to Checkers (a supermarket) about a 7-minute walk from the hotel. They have a huge kosher section of prepared foods from a fully kosher bakery to meat and pareve foods. They also have prepared meals (dairy and meat) that can be heated in a microwave or oven. I got two dairy meals for dinner as well as some eggplant salad from the pareve area. I also got some more croissants, scones, a muffin, juice and yougurt for breakfast as well as some cheese and rolls for lunch the next day. The grand total for 3 meals with high quality food: R259.17, or ~$18.

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Breakfast from Checkers

The hotel was kind enough to let me double wrap the meals and heat them it their microwave. We ate in our room, relaxed a bit and went to bed.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: @Yehuda on July 18, 2016, 08:50:00 AM
Umm are you kidding me!? You wrote so much of it already!? Will begin reading now. Sheeeeeesh
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: TimT on July 18, 2016, 09:48:37 AM
Umm are you kidding me!? You wrote so much of it already!? Will begin reading now. Sheeeeeesh
Every time I'm about to comment there's another post to read through. :)
Great write up Yehoshua! Thanks
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 09:50:26 AM
Umm are you kidding me!? You wrote so much of it already!? Will begin reading now. Sheeeeeesh
It's actually written up to now, but I took a break choosing pics. It's really tiring after 4 hours.
Every time I'm about to comment there's another post to read through. :)
Great write up Yehoshua! Thanks
Thanks!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 09:52:37 AM
Umm are you kidding me!? You wrote so much of it already!? Will begin reading now. Sheeeeeesh
It's actually written up to now, but I took a break choosing pics. It's really tiring after 4 hours.
Every time I'm about to comment there's another post to read through. :)
Great write up Yehoshua! Thanks
Thanks!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: @Yehuda on July 18, 2016, 09:54:00 AM
It's actually written up to now, but I took a break choosing pics. It's really tiring after 4 hours.
I find it interesting that you write first and then add pics. I use the pics as the outline for the trip and to jog my memory and then I place words and paragraphs around them.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: mgarfin on July 18, 2016, 09:54:04 AM
Wow Wow

Don't read this on a phone you'll be missing out.

A game reserve is something I really want to do, DW not so. Maybe when kids grow up I'll get there.

When was this trip?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: TimT on July 18, 2016, 09:55:49 AM
It's really tiring after 4 hours.
Wow! What you did in 4 hours takes others several months to do.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 09:58:04 AM
I find it interesting that you write first and then add pics. I use the pics as the outline for the trip and to jog my memory and then I place words and paragraphs around them.
I usually write up the day at the end of that day or the next day, so things are still fresh in my mind. For old trips like my Australia TR I did use the pics to remind me.
Wow Wow

Don't read this on a phone you'll be missing out.

A game reserve is something I really want to do, DW not so. Maybe when kids grow up I'll get there.

When was this trip?
Thanks! It's just happened. I'm actually in Abu Dhabi still. Look at the wiki for an outline of the  rest.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 09:59:38 AM
Wow! What you did in 4 hours takes others several months to do.
I like to get it done quick just so my family can read it. And to be clear it's just the picture part that took four hours so far. The writing took a lot longer.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 18, 2016, 11:35:40 AM
wow! wonderful details and great hotels. how old is the daughter?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 18, 2016, 11:37:28 AM
id love to see your ek f seat. also, i was under the impression that safari vacations are prohibitively expensive. this doesnt seem so. is it the game drives that drive up the price?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: 12HRS on July 18, 2016, 11:41:56 AM
my wife also hates going to lounges to close to departure. I'm gonna start sending her to the gate without me. thanks for that idea
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: cholent on July 18, 2016, 11:49:38 AM
Incredible, thanks for writing up and posting this quickly! I'm really enjoying!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 11:57:09 AM
wow! wonderful details and great hotels. how old is the daughter?
She's 4 months old.
id love to see your ek f seat. also, i was under the impression that safari vacations are prohibitively expensive. this doesnt seem so. is it the game drives that drive up the price?
Sorry, all the pics I took have us in them,  but Google should have a few. Pilanesberg is cheaper than Kruger and the game drives are included at least where I stayed. Most places were a lot more expensive  but this one was cheaper for some reason.
my wife also hates going to lounges to close to departure. I'm gonna start sending her to the gate without me. thanks for that idea
I walk with her to the gate then back to the lounge myself, just to clarify.
Incredible, thanks for writing up and posting this quickly! I'm really enjoying!
You're welcome. I'm glad you're enjoying.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 18, 2016, 12:00:55 PM
Sorry, all the pics I took have us in them,  but Google should have a few.
i meant with the attached bassinett but will search
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on July 18, 2016, 12:26:03 PM
wow wow wow
the animal you didn't remember looks like a female Kudu (distinctive lines)
Looks like you had an amazing time
I'm amazed how much milky stuff you managed to eat.....
We usually rave about the meat scene
If Kosher World is just giving you Feigels stuff couldn;t one just order directly from feigels?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: stbaum on July 18, 2016, 02:06:43 PM
thanks for the TR! looks awesome!!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: mgoldhammer18 on July 18, 2016, 02:58:24 PM
WOW! Keep it coming
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 03:13:34 PM
wow wow wow
the animal you didn't remember looks like a female Kudu (distinctive lines)
Looks like you had an amazing time
I'm amazed how much milky stuff you managed to eat.....
We usually rave about the meat scene
If Kosher World is just giving you Feigels stuff couldn;t one just order directly from feigels?
That could be. I tried to write down all the animal names I didn't know, but I missed that one. I think ordering from Kosher World was cheaper. Some of the meals had price tags on them and they were all more than I paid. They probably have some sort of deal worked out.

thanks for the TR! looks awesome!!
Thanks!

WOW! Keep it coming
As soon as I have more time to chose the rest of the pics....Hopefully soon.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Denverite on July 18, 2016, 05:43:15 PM
Amazing TR!  You weren't nervous to rent a car with all the crime there (in case you got lost or had an accident, etc)?  I have family and friends form SA and never had a desire to go because of the poverty and horror stories but your making me consider a second look...the animal pics are amazing.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 05:53:28 PM
Amazing TR!  You weren't nervous to rent a car with all the crime there (in case you got lost or had an accident, etc)?  I have family and friends form SA and never had a desire to go because of the poverty and horror stories but your making me consider a second look...the animal pics are amazing.
Thanks! Like I'd been told before we went, of you avoid the bad neighborhoods in Joburg you're fine. I didn't feel uncomfortable renting a car there, and it's also hard to find the bad areas if you're staying in the Jewish area. In Cape Town it's a lot more relaxed and safer, at least it feels that way.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: shauly on July 18, 2016, 07:43:40 PM
Great report! Makes me want to go to South Africa even more. Seems like you really got to see a decent amount of wildlife.

Thanks for the write up.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 07:45:03 PM
Great report! Makes me want to go to South Africa even more. Seems like you really got to see a decent amount of wildlife.

Thanks for the write up.
You're welcome. The rest is still to come.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yaalili on July 18, 2016, 08:04:24 PM
Awesome report, such great memories of one of my most memorable trips. Though mine was in the back of the bus at the Etihad glitch.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 18, 2016, 08:06:00 PM
Awesome report, such great memories of one of my most memorable trips. Though mine was in the back of the bus at the Etihad glitch.
That's still good.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: rileywiles23 on July 18, 2016, 11:09:53 PM
Great job Yehoshua. Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: ual902 on July 19, 2016, 12:47:59 AM
Very nice report, what camera did you  use?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: mgarfin on July 19, 2016, 10:54:46 AM
Amazing TR!  You weren't nervous to rent a car with all the crime there (in case you got lost or had an accident, etc)?  I have family and friends form SA and never had a desire to go because of the poverty and horror stories but your making me consider a second look...the animal pics are amazing.

Is it any different as far as crime then GRU or RIO.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 19, 2016, 11:13:36 AM
Great job Yehoshua. Much appreciated.
Thanks!
Very nice report, what camera did you  use?
Thanks. A dumb point and shoot. Canon sx480hs.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on July 19, 2016, 11:17:37 AM
Is it any different as far as crime then GRU or RIO.
expats love telling horror stories, it validates why they left
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: MeirS on July 19, 2016, 02:04:32 PM
Awesome report!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Proisrael on July 19, 2016, 02:44:34 PM
Top 5 TR on DDF!!!! Fantastic details that can help everyone make a trip!!

Thank you very much for taking the time!!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: lubaby on July 19, 2016, 02:49:36 PM
Very nice report, what camera did you  use?
Thanks! Thanks. A dumb point and shoot. Canon sx480hs.
Cameras don't take pictures, photographers do. Cameras are just another artist's tool.

kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm (http://kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm)

Great pics  :)
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: shmebeble on July 19, 2016, 02:58:17 PM
(https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7771/27654969194_6970795709_b.jpg)
I forgot the name of this one
Kudu
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Maximus on July 19, 2016, 03:48:19 PM
Great TR, I've done tons of research on this trip for a future date and this has been crazy helpful.
curious did you take malaria pills? What about your kid?
was it at all scary to drive/ walk around?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yitz on July 19, 2016, 03:51:26 PM
Great TR, I've done tons of research on this trip for a future date and this has been crazy helpful.
curious did you take malaria pills? What about your kid?
was it at all scary to drive/ walk around?
FYI make sure your ok to take the Malaria Pill. I had a cousin that took it and he had a very serious reaction.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehuda57 on July 19, 2016, 04:16:46 PM
Pilansberg is not in a malaria area. Kruger National Park, a much, much larger safari park, is in a malaria area.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on July 19, 2016, 04:43:34 PM
FYI make sure your ok to take the Malaria Pill. I had a cousin that took it and he had a very serious reaction.
probably wasn;t Malarone which almost never has side effects
see https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/drugs.html for choices
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 19, 2016, 04:47:50 PM
Awesome report!
Thanks
Top 5 TR on DDF!!!! Fantastic details that can help everyone make a trip!!

Thank you very much for taking the time!!
You're welcome

Cameras don't take pictures, photographers do. Cameras are just another artist's tool.

kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm (http://kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm)

Great pics  :)
True, but good tools help. Thanks though.
Kudu
Yeah, I think someone mentioned that above. Thanks though.
Great TR, I've done tons of research on this trip for a future date and this has been crazy helpful.
curious did you take malaria pills? What about your kid?
was it at all scary to drive/ walk around?
As Yehuda57 said, it's not in the maleria zone. That's why we chose these over Kruger.
Pilansberg is not in a malaria area. Kruger National Park, a much, much larger safari park, is in a malaria area.
Exactly.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 20, 2016, 10:01:02 AM
Thursday, July 14, Cape Point and the Boulders Beach
While the temperatures on Thursday werenít as warm as Wednesday, it was still clear, sunny and pretty much windless. We decided to take advantage and drive down to Cape Point, the Cape of Good Hope and nearby Boulder beach to see the penguins.

We left the hotel at around 10am after a breakfast of croissants, cheese, scones, and yogurt from Checkers (all great and cheap). We brought some rolls, more cheese and some baby carrots for lunch on the go. The drive to Cape Point took the expected 1.5 hours and was traffic-free.

Our first stop was the lighthouse. We paid the entrance fee to get into the park and drove down to the southern tip to where the funicular is. While itís not expensive to take it up or down (itís R58 for round trip or R48 for one way) we opted to walk up along the nicely paved path. The views were gorgeous and after 15 minutes we were at the top.

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8704/27694558663_0bb81e77ef_b.jpg)
Lower funicular stop, Cape Point

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8859/28231550601_df2850ff2f_b.jpg)
Pathway up to the lighthouse

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/8/7785/28205947612_7c02b9f396_b.jpg)
The funicular

Since the walk up to the lighthouse itself from the top landing where the funicular stops is all stairs, we were advised to leave our stroller in the gift shop office and just carry our daughter up. We took in the views from the base of the lighthouse, though we didnít get to see the point where the two oceans (Atlantic and Indian) meet, as itís not always visible from Cape Point.

Views from the top:
(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8733/27693901154_d4efb4767a_b.jpg)

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/8/7301/27693176733_99b61443e2_b.jpg)

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8782/28275861996_2df5004ab0_b.jpg)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7704/28274795296_2e49db52c4_b.jpg)

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8701/28205962622_67ed3478d5_b.jpg)   

As we were walking down from the lighthouse we heard an Israeli tour group. They said hello to us and we were chatting a bit in Hebrew before we went our ways. By this time it was around 1pm and we decided to stop on a bench overlooking the Cape of Good Hope and eat our picnic lunch.

After our walk down the hill, we got back in the car and drove to the Cape of Good Hope 10 minutes away. There is a hike that a lot of people seem to do, but it wasnít doable with a stroller and we forgot to bring the baby carrier with us that day. We just took pictures by the sign and were off to Boulders Beach. However, as we were driving out of the park we saw some ostriches enjoying a nice stroll by the beach.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8607/27693392964_6ebf29ff66_b.jpg)
Cape of Good Hope

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7316/28309875955_fc6a556776_b.jpg)

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8633/28230936011_596dec946d_b.jpg)
Ostriches

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8664/28230914781_2d9430a8ed_b.jpg)
Random ocean shot on the drive out of the park

Boulders Beach is a really cool place to see penguins. Thereís a free parking lot on either end, though we parked in the further one to be able to walk along the path to see the many penguins hiding in the bushes. As we were getting ready to enter the beach and viewing zone (it costs R65/person) we bumped into the Israeli tour group again. This time we were warned of the Israeli saying that if you bump into someone three times, the person who realizes it first has to buy the other one ice cream. Weíd never heard about it before, but itís a cool thing.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8585/27693285924_80e6374ff8_b.jpg)

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8775/28309115175_18844cc5f4_b.jpg)

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8688/27693224554_0d27323e2c_b.jpg)

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8713/28309100295_e8c6fe66d8_b.jpg)
Penguins

We walked on the boardwalk to the penguin colony and got lots of pictures. It wasnít super crowded besides for the Israeli tour group which was nice. We didnít spend too long there as I was really trying to make it back in time for mincha at 5:30pm.

For our drive back to Sea Point we took the M6 the whole way, along Chapman Peak Drive, a toll road (R42 for a car). While I was initially upset with choosing the one option that had a toll, the drive itself was gorgeous. Youíre driving up and down mountains while hugging the coast the whole way. Itís kind of like PCH but in the mountains instead of at their base. The drive took us through Hout Bay and Camp Bay before arriving back in Sea Point just before mincha.

After mincha we decided to go to Avrons Place for dinner despite the fact that itís a meat place. We first picked up some more breakfast food at Checkers (itís 2 blocks away) and then headed to dinner.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8745/28027417020_a8f5054349_b.jpg)

Itís not like we had many choices of places to eat, but we were both quite disappointed with Avrons. The fries were excellent and the rice was ok, but the burgers (meat for DW and veggie for me) were quite lackluster. The veggie burger was from Checkers (the waiter mentioned that) and tasted like and had the texture of a large tofu hot dog, not what most Americans would consider a veggie burger. Both burgers were served on a sesame bun which was good but untoasted with lettuce and tomato.  While the portions were filling (at least for us), it wasnít a really good meal.

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8725/27694793773_1109f5fc9e_b.jpg)
Beef burger

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7729/28276342426_89b5131607_b.jpg)
Veggie burger

We walked back to the hotel, relaxed some and went to bed early.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: stbaum on July 20, 2016, 12:27:30 PM
OOC are you vegetarian? (loving the TR btw)
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: @Yehuda on July 20, 2016, 01:07:26 PM
WOW, what a report! Great pictures, great storytelling, great details, great writing style, great trip-to-report speed. Looks like an awesome trip! Can't wait to keep reading. When I read it for the second time, I'll put together all my specific comments. :P
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on July 20, 2016, 01:12:49 PM
OOC are you vegetarian? (loving the TR btw)
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=3986.msg1470418#msg1470418
Thanks. Next is figuring out what KosherWorld or another store has in terms of travel (POM-like) meals.
Thanks for the tip.  ;)
I know you do, but as a vegetarian it doesn't really do me much good, now does it?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 20, 2016, 03:13:57 PM
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=3986.msg1470418#msg1470418
Thanks Dawie  :)
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on July 20, 2016, 04:45:46 PM
Thanks Dawie  :)
anytime, glad to see the Cape weather held up for you
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yaalili on July 20, 2016, 10:18:34 PM
Avrons I remember being quite solid, though that was for a double beef burger and rib steak, didn't go for any veggie options.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Proisrael on July 21, 2016, 12:07:04 PM
Seems like you got real close to the penguins. Are you allowed to touch them?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 21, 2016, 12:27:15 PM
Seems like you got real close to the penguins. Are you allowed to touch them?
Not only are you not allowed to touch them, you're not allowed to interact with them (like talking to them directly). They don't want them to become too accustomed to humans despite the fact that people look at them all day long.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: yochiek93 on July 21, 2016, 12:29:24 PM
Not only are you not allowed to touch them, you're not allowed to interact with them (like talking to them directly). They don't want them to become too accustomed to humans despite the fact that people look at them all day long.
Why?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehuda57 on July 21, 2016, 12:30:30 PM
Why?

It's not a petting zoo, they are penguins living in the wild.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Proisrael on July 21, 2016, 12:58:16 PM
Not only are you not allowed to touch them, you're not allowed to interact with them (like talking to them directly). They don't want them to become too accustomed to humans despite the fact that people look at them all day long.

So the Israelis were actually quiet?!?!  :P :P

Sounds like the seals in San Diego....
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 21, 2016, 01:11:15 PM
Why?
They'd prefer to leave the penguins alone as much as possible so they don't become like zoo animals.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: TimT on July 21, 2016, 01:34:05 PM
They'd prefer to leave the penguins alone as much as possible so they don't become like zoo animals.
Good idea. Too many stories of animals becoming very stressed & even dying because of stupid & cruel tourists.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 21, 2016, 02:50:12 PM
Good idea. Too many stories of animals becoming very stressed & even dying because of stupid & cruel tourists.
lol  ;D
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 12:49:48 AM
Friday, July 15, South Africa Jewish Museum and the V & A Waterfront
Since it was Friday we had an early start and were on our way to the Jewish museum by 9:30am. We parked in the paid lot next to the museum (for R20 for the 3.5 hours we were there) and walked over. It had been raining quite heavily on our drive to the museum, but it thankfully stopped by the time we got out of the car.

After going through security to get into the complex that not only houses the museum but also the Gardens Shul, the Holocaust Museum and Cafť Riteve, we walked into the museum to find none other than our Israeli tour group friends.  Unfortunately it was them that spotted us first, and we were promptly reminded that we now owed them some ice cream.

We paid the R50/person to get into the museum and walked around. It isnít a really big museum, basically just 2 small floors, but the exhibits they do have are very well done. We also looked at the special exhibits they had down stairs including one about the hand gestures people taking taxis (mainly in Gauteng Province) use to let drivers know where they want to go. It was quite interesting!

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8821/28220622112_692a69418b_b.jpg)
Museum exterior

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8567/28245869691_339ccd35b6_b.jpg)
Stained glass in the shul/entrance to the museum

After about an hour there we walked across the courtyard to the holocaust museum (free). While I was a little unsure at first about seeing another holocaust exhibit, I actually learned a few things at this one that Iíd ever herd before at the bigger museums in DC and Yerushalayim.

Despite its smaller size, we sent about 45 minutes there before heading down to the cafť for lunch. The menu here is decent sized and we ordered easily. I tried a local African dish while DW stuck with the tried and true pasta dish. Both were really good, as was the beet and feta salad that we ordered to split.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8856/28220628172_82dc20e283_b.jpg)
Cafť Riteve interior

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8835/28245865871_9638095fa5_b.jpg)
The African dish

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8780/28245864821_1ec191f498_b.jpg)
The pasta dish

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8682/28245863641_f8df74cc5c_b.jpg)
The salad

When we finished lunch we headed out to the waterfront to look around. The sun had come out by this point, but it was still quite chilly out, so after parking we headed to the shopping mall there.

We spent some time there walking around and looking at the shops. We also walked around a bit outside and listened to some street musicians playing African music. By 2 hours to Shabbos (around 3:30pm) we decided to go back to the hotel to get ready for Shabbos.


Please excuse the vertical format, but I was trying to film it with another camera too and it was just easier to hold my phone that way.

For dinner we went to the parents of the woman we stayed at in Joburg the previous week. After an extremely long davening (1.5 hours with a speech) we met in shul and walked to their house for a wonderful meal.

They walked us back to the hotel after the meal and we immediately went to bed.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 12:50:11 AM
Shabbos, July 16, Shabbos in Cape Town
We had been forewarned about davening at shuls in Cape Town in advance, though until shul started I had completely forgot about it. We davened at Morasha (not only because it was down the block from the Protea, but also because our hosts were davening there), and from what Iíve been told, theyíre the quicker ones. Davening wasnít too bad, it took only 2.5 hours. However, there was a baby naming, a siyum, and a speech after davening before Kiddush which added another 45 minutes onto the morning. The Kiddush itself was very nice partially because it was sponsored, and once again like in Joburg, it was dairy. After Kiddush our hosts for lunch stayed for the shiur, meaning we didnít get to their house until around 1:00pm.

By the time the meal started it was almost 2pm, around the time Iím always done with lunch, especially in the winter. Lunch was very nice and went until 10 minutes to mincha at 5:00pm. We walked back to shul, had seuda shlishis after mincha (it was a challenge to eat yet again), and heard havdala after maariv before walking back to the hotel.

We didnít have any plans for motzei Shabbos despite the early hour, so we just hung out in the room until we went to bed.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 12:50:39 AM
Sunday, July 17, CPT-DOH
After shachris at 8:00am, I walked back to Checkers to get some food for breakfast, as well as for 3 meals on Monday while weíd be in the Middle East. All the food I got (mainly bread, rolls, muffins, carrots and cheese) came out to ~$18 for 2 people for 4 meals.

Since I showed up just as the store was opening, most of the bakery items were still hot, including our favorite purchase, the garlic snail. Picture a cinnamon bun style roll, but instead of sweat itís filled with pieces or roasted garlic and spinach. It was warm, tasty and super enjoyable.

Since we had a few minutes to kill after packing up after breakfast we decided to take a walk along the boardwalk/promenade. It was a super sunny day and it was really nice and relaxing for our last hurrah it Cape Town.

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8101/28305772671_d3f9af4412_b.jpg)
Interesting rocks along the shore

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/8/7655/27768648463_4e542fc596_b.jpg)
The promenade

We headed to the airport at 10:20am and filled up at the BP station at the airport to avoid more fuel surcharges at Hertz. We dropped off the car and made it to check-in by 11:00am for our 1:20pm flight. Itís a good thing we arrived early, since it took 40 minutes for us to check in. No, there wasnít a line when we arrived, but it took them a while to get my daughterís ticket sorted out. They were able to see the ticket, but it still needed to be attached to my ticket, and despite my calling to verify that it was, it wasnít. I had to run to the ticket sales counter to have them attach it before running back to check in again.

Fortunately, they were able to sort it out and didnít make me wait in line to check in once I got back to the check-in counter. We got our one checked bag checked all the way to LAX (via DOH, AUH and JFK) since it our tickets were each only one ticket number all the way CPT-LAX.

Security was a joke (like the agent made us empty our 500ml water bottle with water for our babyís bottles in to the bottles themselves before letting us go) and we even spent some time in the Bidvest lounge for a few minutes. We stocked up on some more kosher cheese, relaxed a bit and fed the baby before heading to our gate.

We boarded early, pushed back early, and even took off a good 20 minutes early. We were not offered any pajamas on the flight (since it was a daytime flight), though we were offered some small amenity kits.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8708/27768146084_21b4276722_b.jpg)
Our ride

The kosher meals on the flight were catered out of France. While the food was good, it wasnít very plentiful and left a bit to be desired. Iíd rank in between the food offered out of LAX on EK and the food offered out of DXB.

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8708/27768127554_2b88a3d5ac_b.jpg)
KSML

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8725/27768620873_b1cab4c778_b.jpg)
KSS (Kosher Snack)

The flight attendants on this flight were very attentive, coming around every 30 minutes or so to refill my water and see if we needed anything.

We landed in Doha a bit early and were the first ones off the plane. I really like the fact that in Doha you just exit straight into the terminal for transfers without having to go through security and/or customs first. Within 10 minutes we were on the lift up to the famed Al Safwa First Class Lounge.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 12:52:53 AM
Monday, July 18, Al Safwa Lounge, DOH-AUH
We were really hoping to use a quiet room for the night in the lounge. Itís basically a hotel room with a private shower and toilet all for free. At the lounge check-in we were informed that all the rooms were in use until 1:30am (we arrived around 11:45pm). At that point our daughter started crying, so they rushed us off to the family area as to not disturb guests while they looked into the quiet rooms again.

No more than 2 minutes after dropping us off in the family room we were informed that they did actually have a room available and we could go in immediately. What a relief!

The quiet room attendant took our boarding passes (as collateral for the room key) and showed us the room and offered a wakeup call at 7am in anticipation of our 7:40am boarding. After a quick shower we both fell right asleep.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8811/27768239744_0513fdd3a0_b.jpg)
Our room in the Al Safwa lounge

In-Room Bathroom:
(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8660/28305880891_64590df6c9_b.jpg)

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8500/28102199790_32d9a7e044_b.jpg)

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8870/28351394436_4473cb08ee_b.jpg)

I woke up a bit earlier than 7am so I could daven before the flight. FWIW the wakeup call didnít come until 7:15am, so itís a good thing we woke ourselves up and didnít rely on the call.

By 7:35am we were out of the room, collected our boarding passes and were informed we could board from the lounge at 7:45am. I wasn't aware that this lounge offered boarding from the lounge itself. Turns out we were at a remote stand and were just taking a bus from the lounge.

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8218/28305904951_f3b2fd679b_b.jpg)
Lounge sign as we were leaving

After fighting with the gate agents for 10 minutes convincing them we could in fact take our Doona on the plane (an A320) and put it in an empty F seat, and no we couldnít check the stroller all the way through to LAX, they let us go. They sent a gate agent with us though just in case we were wrong and they needed to take the stroller after all. Sure enough only 5 of 12 F seats were taken, so it was not problem putting the Doona in an extra seat.

The plane itself was an Al Maha plane as opposed to a Qatar Airways branded one. The main difference is the color scheme, which is green for Al Maha and maroon for Qatar. The leather seats were very comfortable and clean, and the whole plane seemed very new on the inside.

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8780/27768767523_289b4e7ddd_b.jpg)
First Class seats on Al Maha A320 (notice the green stiching)

Over the course of the short 37-minute flight they served breakfast (though we brought our own from Cape Town) and a few rounds of drinks. We used fast track cards on arrival in Abu Dhabi, though no one checked we actually had them or collected them. Within a few minutes we were outside waiting for our Uber driver.

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8317/28280549182_c2ff25f292_b.jpg)
Abu Dhabi Welcome sign

Turns out after 10 minutes of waiting outside in 105į F heat our Uber driver cancelled the trip claiming he couldnít wait longer. This is despite the fact that I texted him a few times telling him where we were and asking if it was ok, to which he responded it was. We were charged AED 10 as a cancellation fee which Uber gave back as a credit, since we didnít cancel the trip.

We took a taxi that accepted credit cards to the Hyatt Capital Gate where we spent the day The taxi came to AED 62.50 (~$17) which was a bit more than the Uber quote, but we didn't have to wait longer. Iíve found that while hotel pickups for Uber are extremely hassle-free, airport pickups can get quite complicated depending on the airport and its policy regarding Uber pickups. It was 18 minutes from the airport, had decent views of the area, and was most importantly super cheap at around $71/night including all taxes.

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/8/7537/27768759463_f1615ea59c_b.jpg)
Hyatt Capital Gate atrium as seen from the 31st floor (2nd from top floor)

Hyatt Capital Gate Room Pics:
(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8853/28280546652_e4190db840_b.jpg)

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8803/28351383076_0e7b3d10f0_b.jpg)

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8110/28351373396_a8489cbace_b.jpg)

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8742/27768217954_3e91b385a2_b.jpg)

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8561/27768735083_603c31a16c_b.jpg)

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8325/28351381486_971b2a41bd_b.jpg)

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8235/28384708235_c16e6712ec_b.jpg)

In terms of what we did during our stay in Abu Dhabi, it really wasnít much. For most of the day I worked on this TR while DW and DD slept. At around 4:30pm I went out to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. DW really wasnít interested in going, so I just went alone. Uber cost ~AED 15 each way and took around 5 minutes.

I took UberX both ways, and I think itís worth noting that it took the cars around 10 minutes to come each time. There donít seem to be nearly that many Uber drivers in Abu Dhabi so itís something to keep in mind if you need to get somewhere asap and are planning on taking Uber.

I didnít take any official tour of the mosque, rather I just walked around for about 30 minutes by myself. I went into the main prayer hall and walked around the grounds a bit (the prayer hall is air conditioned, outside it was still 100į F.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Pics:
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8307/28285789992_c46fb60b82_b.jpg)

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7509/28311355371_d76460437e_b.jpg)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8849/28390089585_b3bb39b0ea_b.jpg)

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8174/27774209823_116e4f901f_b.jpg)

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8268/28390082485_3254fd6293_b.jpg)

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8841/27773466834_b87f2b6687_b.jpg)

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7726/28107495210_e681ac3803_b.jpg)

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8197/28285768042_d3a44ff4bf_b.jpg)

Once I got back to the hotel it was time to nap. We ate dinner, showered and got ready for a nap. We slept for 7:00-11:00pm, got up and by 11:45 were on our way to the airport once again (with Uber).
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 01:06:10 AM
Tuesday, July 19, AUH-JFK in EY F & JFK-LAX in AA F

Check-in once again took longer than usual because of the babyís ticket. Iím not sure exactly what the issue was, but the agent said it had something to do with the fact that we were booked in different fare classes since we were using miles and the infant was a cash booking.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8806/28389883996_33f7c7a189_b.jpg)
Etihad First Class Check-in

After 20 minutes it was sorted out and we got our boarding passes all the way to LA. Right after immigration and security (where they made us dump out all water unlike in Dubai) we went to the recently-opened Etihad First Class Lounge. Itís literally right in front of you after security.

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8677/28317817722_b752eeef8d_b.jpg)
First Class Lounge

Both DW and I booked our free massages (there were both male and female practitioners available this time) and went to relax and eat in a private room in the restaurant area. We had some food that weíd brought with us from South Africa as well as some fresh fruit and vegetables from the lounge. The chef was nice enough to cut up some tomatoes, cucumbers and red peppers to make a sudo Israeli salad without any dressing.

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8318/28343809231_e77caf4941_b.jpg)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8627/27805778384_d47dc5c4ce_b.jpg)[
Chef-prepared fruit and salad

After our massages at around 2:10am we left the lounge for US Preclearance.  We had to go through security again where they were stricter than TSA is in the US. They took away our carrots (expected) and looked at every food item we had scrupulously.  We then went to use Global Entry at the only working kiosk (the other one was broken).

As expected, DW and I had no issue but DD got the ďno biometrics on fileĒ error and we were escorted to the front of the line. Unfortunately, the agent we got was not familiar with GE at all. We handed him the slips for us which he promptly glanced at and set aside. He then started processing all our passports as if we didnít use GE at all, asking us all the questions and even stamping our passports.

When I asked him why we couldnít just give him our papers and be on our way like in the US (and heíd process DD manually) he said he wasnít sure. He even asked the agent next to him who seemed equally unfamiliar with the GE process. So much for time saving (in all fairness it did help us cut the queue, but the US citizens queue wasnít long anyway).

We found ourselves pre-cleared and in the Preclearance lounge by 2:45am. Our flight was originally supposed to leave at 3:35am, but the monitors showed they were planning on leaving early at 3:20am. We started boarding at 3:10am; no way we were leaving at 3:35pm, because even the quickest boarding processes in the world canít board a full A380 in 10 minutes.

Turns out we were delayed way longer. Apparently a cargo container was suck in the cargo door, and it couldnít move forward or backwards. It took the engineers 2 hours to fix the problem, and by the time we finally pushed back at 5:25am it was already light outside.

Etihad First Class Apartments Pics:
(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8001/28422628185_d8939ec06a_b.jpg)

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7657/27805850954_45290c2fbb_b.jpg)

(https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8697/27806445973_e727e47edf_b.jpg)

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8874/28139668210_3f459b30f1_b.jpg)

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8601/28317715382_d4a7168e54_b.jpg)

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8032/28389811186_fb855f9a68_b.jpg)
AUH Air Traffic Control building

Since we were delayed so long, we took the opportunity to have our beds made up and eat a quick meal. The kosher food on the flight was catered by Stogel, though I found it quite interesting. Each of us were given 1 breakfast meal, 1 dinner meal and 1 snack. Both the breakfast and dinner meal were identical and features chicken as the hot entrťe. The snack featured a turkey sandwich.

As a vegetarian, I rely on the fact that at least one meal will be pareve so DW and I can switch: I have both pareve meals and she has both fleighig meals. Oh well. It almost didnít make a difference that they only loaded 1 set of KSMLs initially, though they did go back and get a second set.

After takeoff we both went to sleep and slept for about 7 hours. While we didnít have a bassinet on the plane for DD, the small area in between the two beds we padded and just the right size for our daughter.

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8743/27805811124_21873bc39e_b.jpg)
Area between the two beds

When I woke up I showered, ate some oatmeal I brought and some fresh fruit provided by the on board chef and relaxed a bit. DW ate the chicken meal and relaxed as well. We all chilled for the rest of the flight and finally landed in JFK at 11:08am, a few hours behind schedule.

Once we landed in JFK it was a mad dash to our flight to LAX. Etihad lands in terminal 4 while American leaves from terminal 8, and thereís no airside connections available. Etihad was nice enough to have someone meet us at the gate, though the person who met us didn't help. All she did was help wheel our suitcases all the way to the AirTrain where she left us.

We took the AirTrain 3 stops to terminal 8 where we faced the mess that is security. We found the First Class security line where we were told that Pre-Check had just closed, and we were forced to wait in the regular line. After waiting for 10 minutes in line someone decided to re-open the Pre-Check lane. We (and half of the line) ran over to Pre-Check where we had to wait again, but at least we didnít have to strip and empty our carry-ons of all electronics.

We quickly walked to the gate, C40, where we arrived just as boarding was starting. Just as we were about to board we were told we had too many carry-ons. We each had a roll aboard and the Emirates F bag. I also had a backpack and DW had the diaper bag. We travelled on all flights (after EK) with all this as carry-ons except on Mango since we were in coach.

We were told only 2 items per person, and even though the EK bags were smaller than some peoples Hudson News bags they wanted to check our suitcases. I pointed out that in F we had ample room to put the bags up, though the gate agent said we could only put 1 piece up. We then proceeded to stuff the contents of our EK bags into the diaper bag and backpack. The gate agent didnít like this and said those bags wouldnít fit under the seat in front of us, even though we were in First.

At this point he walked on board with me where I proceeded to put the backpack under the seat. The gate agent said I couldn't keep it there because I was in First, but I also couldn't put it up because I could only put up one bag. Clearly he was on some kind of power trip, though his attitude always remained calm and non-confrontational to his credit.

To settle matters, I suggested we ask the purser, who not only said I could keep my backpack there, but I could put it up if I wanted also. The gate agent was upset he didnít get his way, but again he remained calm, professional, and not the least bit sassy or rude. It was quite weird.

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8808/28422591835_f2c23ec715_b.jpg)
AA First Class seat, A321T

We left JFK on time and had a pretty choppy ride most of the way to the Rockies. The KSML was catered by Bornsteinís though I do say the parts I ate were quite good (I didnít have the hot entrťe of beef and potatoes).

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8737/28317744582_9c9ded7c04_b.jpg)
Bornstein First Class KSML first course

We landed in LAX a bit early (around 3:10pm) and quickly taxied to a gate. Despite being one of the first ones off we had to wait 10 minutes for our Doona. We then went to baggage claim where low and behold our bag was nowhere to be found. Turns out it wasnít on our flight, but rather placed on another flight to LA that landed at 8:10pm (I tracked it on the AA app). AA agreed to deliver the bag the next day.

It really was a great trip and we had an amazing time. We met some really nice new people, experienced some incredible first class products and saw some animals as well.

Thanks for reading!

End
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: yochiek93 on July 22, 2016, 04:57:25 AM
Nice read
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Myccrabbi on July 22, 2016, 05:19:44 AM
Nice TR!
Very detailed and amazing wiki.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yaalili on July 22, 2016, 07:32:32 AM
Excellent and thorough TR.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 08:59:53 AM
Nice read

Nice TR!
Very detailed and amazing wiki.

Excellent and thorough TR.
Thanks guys!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: ponash123 on July 22, 2016, 09:59:09 AM
AMAZING!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on July 22, 2016, 10:30:00 AM

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8835/28245865871_9638095fa5_b.jpg)
The African dish

Babotie? (vegetarian of course)

although first guess would be some kind of quiche
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: @Yehuda on July 22, 2016, 10:32:36 AM
Super, awesome, amazing, and a million other adjectives! Thanks so much for taking the time, will iy"h be very helpful one day.

That lounge has essentially free hotel rooms!? That's awesome!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 22, 2016, 11:21:38 AM
That lounge has essentially free hotel rooms!? That's awesome!
+1!
the entire tr is professionally done and definitely bucket list worthy. and to think you did it all with a baby makes it even more inspirational
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Luvtotravel on July 22, 2016, 11:24:40 AM
the reason for the four leg return was availability issues or u wanted to check out these airports?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 12:00:54 PM
AMAZING!
Thank you for all your help. You're TR was a big help in figuring out where to stay in Pilanesburg.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: ponash123 on July 22, 2016, 01:22:17 PM
Thank you for all your help. You're TR was a big help in figuring out where to stay in Pilanesburg.

Glad to be of help. This is making me pine to go back!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 02:55:44 PM
Babotie? (vegetarian of course)

although first guess would be some kind of quiche
You got it. I didn't write the name since most people wouldn't know what it was.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 02:56:28 PM
Super, awesome, amazing, and a million other adjectives! Thanks so much for taking the time, will iy"h be very helpful one day.

That lounge has essentially free hotel rooms!? That's awesome!
Thanks! Yup, the lounge is basically a free hotel room, and nicer than the terminal hotel that costs $250 at least according to Lucky.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 22, 2016, 02:57:36 PM
+1!
the entire tr is professionally done and definitely bucket list worthy. and to think you did it all with a baby makes it even more inspirational
You're welcome!

the reason for the four leg return was availability issues or u wanted to check out these airports?
So we could check out EY Apt which had great availability for a limited time right when we needed it.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: ash on July 25, 2016, 03:08:06 PM
did you wear a yarmulka out and about in the middle east countries ?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 25, 2016, 03:10:08 PM
did you wear a yarmulka out and about in the middle east countries ?
No. I wore a hat.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: tageed-lee on July 25, 2016, 06:27:10 PM
Amazing TR!! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 25, 2016, 06:42:32 PM
Amazing TR!! Thanks for sharing!
YW
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: jlj on July 25, 2016, 10:43:58 PM
Fabulous! I am so inspired... On my bucket list this goes
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on July 25, 2016, 10:52:07 PM
Fabulous! I am so inspired... On my bucket list this goes
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: MosheD on August 01, 2016, 12:00:13 AM
First and foremost, VEGETARIAN?!?!?!  :o :o

But seriously, fantastic TR! SA is high on my bucket list (my dad is South African) and im sure this TR will come in handy when i finally find the time to go.
Thanks for all the effort in writing this and sounds like you had an awesome trip.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on August 01, 2016, 12:27:57 AM
First and foremost, VEGETARIAN?!?!?!  :o :o

But seriously, fantastic TR! SA is high on my bucket list (my dad is South African) and im sure this TR will come in handy when i finally find the time to go.
Thanks for all the effort in writing this and sounds like you had an awesome trip.
You learn something new every day!

Glad you enjoyed, though if your dad is South African why haven't you been yet?!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: MosheD on August 01, 2016, 12:30:05 AM
You learn something new every day!

Glad you enjoyed, though if your dad is South African why haven't you been yet?!
Taka a good Shaila.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: philbenjoe on August 04, 2016, 05:32:08 PM
Wow. GREAT TR! I'm glad you went! Why didn't your child join for the game drives?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on August 04, 2016, 05:34:32 PM
Wow. GREAT TR! I'm glad you went! Why didn't your child join for the game drives?
Thanks. So am I. We couldn't bring our daughter on the game drives because the lodge doesn't allow kids under 6 on the drives (though we saw other lodges that did).
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: philbenjoe on August 04, 2016, 05:36:45 PM
Did you go to Ohr Sameach in CPT? Also SPAR? It's like Checkers.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on August 04, 2016, 05:50:19 PM
Did you go to Ohr Sameach in CPT? Also SPAR? It's like Checkers.
I only went to Morasha in CPT. I didn't go to Spar or Shoprite despite Shoprite being across the street because the selection at Checkers was amazing and was told it was the best. What advantage does Spar have over Checkers?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Joe4007 on August 04, 2016, 08:19:33 PM
Great, great TR! Loved it!

I've been eyeing SA for the longest. One of these days we'll have to make it down there.

I love how AA managed to stand out of all carriers on their one and only leg of the trip  ::)
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on August 04, 2016, 08:58:54 PM
Great, great TR! Loved it!

I've been eyeing SA for the longest. One of these days we'll have to make it down there.

I love how AA managed to stand out of all carriers on their one and only leg of the trip  ::)
Yeah, in the worst way possible. If you're going to go to SA, consider going from Brazil, since it's illegal to charge YQ on flights departing Brazil and SAA flies GRU-JNB. Glad you enjoyed BTW.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Joe4007 on August 04, 2016, 09:57:07 PM
Yeah, in the worst way possible. If you're going to go to SA, consider going from Brazil, since it's illegal to charge YQ on flights departing Brazil and SAA flies GRU-JNB. Glad you enjoyed BTW.
They're pretty good at it nowadays.

I doubt I'll be going to SA from SA (not a typo...) since I already use my vacation days going there.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: EJB on August 19, 2016, 05:10:44 AM
I know this comes a bit late, but why didn't you use the AA flagship checkin at JFK? It brings you to the front of the security line...
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on August 19, 2016, 09:01:57 AM
I know this comes a bit late, but why didn't you use the AA flagship checkin at JFK? It brings you to the front of the security line...
I was looking for it, asked specifically for it, and was told this was it. Didn't have time to run around the terminal looking with a baby and wife who don't run. Just out of curiosity, where is it when coming up the escalator from the air train?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yaalili on August 19, 2016, 05:12:18 PM
I was looking for it, asked specifically for it, and was told this was it. Didn't have time to run around the terminal looking with a baby and wife who don't run. Just out of curiosity, where is it when coming up the escalator from the air train?

You would make a right, and it's all the way at the end. Narrow corridor to the Flagship check in, than there was this lady who pushed us to the front of the line.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Issac Karahod on August 25, 2016, 07:22:28 PM
 Awesome TR, as usual. And thanks for all your advice a few months ago. You've inspired me and made me realize such trips are indeed possible.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: @Yehuda on September 02, 2016, 02:40:48 PM
I said I would eventually read through this again and have real comments, so here we go!

- We had KoshAir on our return from Iceland and actually really liked it! It was basically cholent meat, but it tasted very good. We had the same brownie you did, and I thought it was good.
- Sorry you guys were split for J/F on DXB-JNB. Frustrating that a second F seat never opened up. Dubai looks like a nice short stop.
- Looks like Shabbos in JNB is a nice experience. Really clutch how much Kosher food there is and how cheap it is!
- The room at the Rhino Game Lodge looks really nice! I was expecting something like a tent, did not realize these reserves have such nice lodges. The first sunset looks beautiful, like from a movie. I also can't believe it's under $200 a night. Did that price include the game drives?
- I have to say your curry or whatever weird food you ate looked less than appetizing. :-X :P You're wife's food looked much better! :)
- A safari drive really seems like an incredible experience! Looking back now, do you guys regret splitting up/not going on the drives together/not just making the babysitter deal with a crying baby? Seems a shame to go all that way and not spend as much time as possible on drives. Which leads to my next point...
- Does it get boring at all going for 4-5 game drives in 2 days? Obviously seeing the animals is insanely cool, but can it get to be a bit repetitive as you sit in the jeep and watch? I picture one good 4 hour trip to be worthwhile, but I know usually most people go for a few days. What did you think?
- Mmmm dessert at Brioche looked great!
- Sorry for all the hassles at the IC and Hertz. I can totally hear your voice and see you stomping back to Hertz. ;D
- lol @ your wife not liking to go to lounges. My DW feels the same way. :)
Quote
Picture a cinnamon bun style roll, but instead of sweat itís filled with pieces or roasted garlic and spinach.
Instead of "sweat"?? LOL
- I think it's interesting how nice most of the hotels room were you stayed in despite them not being suites.
- Finally, as I mentioned before - super cool that the lounge in AUH has hotel rooms!

One final comment/question: the safari sounds like an awesome trip, something I would love to do one day. But, Cape Town seems just like a "nice" side thing to do - a hike or two, a gondola ride, some penguins, and Kosher food. Is it crazy to go just to a safari and skip CT? I know people talk about it so much, but it just doesn't seem like such a WOW place.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to write up the TR. Really an aspirational trip!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on September 02, 2016, 04:23:43 PM
- The room at the Rhino Game Lodge looks really nice! I was expecting something like a tent, did not realize these reserves have such nice lodges. The first sunset looks beautiful, like from a movie. I also can't believe it's under $200 a night. Did that price include the game drives?
Yes, all meals and 2 game drives/day were included.
- A safari drive really seems like an incredible experience! Looking back now, do you guys regret splitting up/not going on the drives together/not just making the babysitter deal with a crying baby? Seems a shame to go all that way and not spend as much time as possible on drives. Which leads to my next point...
I don't regret it much since I went on 3/4 drives. DW doesn't regret it because she felt horrible after she found out that DD was crying the whole time. She said she would have been thinking and worrying about it the whole time that it would have ruined the experience for her anyway. I didn't have the same concerns, but DW wouldn't have gone alone on the last drive if I hadn't stayed back. Also I didn't feel too bad in the end knowing that the last drive she did didn't see all that much unfortunately.
- Does it get boring at all going for 4-5 game drives in 2 days? Obviously seeing the animals is insanely cool, but can it get to be a bit repetitive as you sit in the jeep and watch?
Not. At. All.
I picture one good 4 hour trip to be worthwhile, but I know usually most people go for a few days. What did you think?
At least for me the drives were addicting. Each time they went by super quickly and the variety of animals seen changes so much that it's hardly a repeat. Each drive is 2-4 hours and on each one we saw new animals or more of them. Two of the ladies on my 3rd drive were from JNB and come 4-5 times a year. They haven't tired of it either, though I can hear going that frequently could get tiring. Even so they saw some animals they'd never seen before even after 30+ visits.
- Sorry for all the hassles at the IC and Hertz. I can totally hear your voice and see you stomping back to Hertz. ;D
Lol
- lol @ your wife not liking to go to lounges. My DW feels the same way. :)Instead of "sweat"?? LOL
::) Typo of the TR. Sweet, meaning sugar and cinnamon, but you already knew that.  ;)
- Finally, as I mentioned before - super cool that the lounge in AUH has hotel rooms!
Through from what I hear now they limit your time to 6 hours or so as of a few weeks ago.
One final comment/question: the safari sounds like an awesome trip, something I would love to do one day. But, Cape Town seems just like a "nice" side thing to do - a hike or two, a gondola ride, some penguins, and Kosher food. Is it crazy to go just to a safari and skip CT? I know people talk about it so much, but it just doesn't seem like such a WOW place.
Thing is CPT is gorgeous, we were just there in the wrong season. I could have spent a few more days there and not been bored. There's a whole wine-country area we didn't see, including kosher wineries where you can picnic and enjoy wine tastings (even though you know that's not really our thing). There are a lot of small towns to explore and see that we just drove through, plus islands to explore if you were so inclined. It's not on the same level of adventure as a safari, but it's one of the prettiest cities in the world (IMO) and has one of the nicest coastal drives as well. I don't think a visit to SA is complete without at least spending a few days in CPT.
Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to write up the TR. Really an aspirational trip!
Glad you enjoyed! Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on September 05, 2016, 12:13:38 PM
.Thing is CPT is gorgeous, we were just there in the wrong season. I could have spent a few more days there and not been bored. There's a whole wine-country area we didn't see, including kosher wineries where you can picnic and enjoy wine tastings (even though you know that's not really our thing). There are a lot of small towns to explore and see that we just drove through, plus islands to explore if you were so inclined. It's not on the same level of adventure as a safari, but it's one of the prettiest cities in the world (IMO) and has one of the nicest coastal drives as well. I don't think a visit to SA is complete without at least spending a few days in CPT.
One final comment/question: the safari sounds like an awesome trip, something I would love to do one day. But, Cape Town seems just like a "nice" side thing to do - a hike or two, a gondola ride, some penguins, and Kosher food. Is it crazy to go just to a safari and skip CT? I know people talk about it so much, but it just doesn't seem like such a WOW place.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to write up the TR. Really an aspirational trip!
if i may ... CPT is a WOW place... end. of. story.
If you skipped a safari to stay in CPT i'd understand  (not that i'd do it)
now if you were only in SA for a day or two... Mileage Run? maybe you would skip CPT for a Safari
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: thaber on September 05, 2016, 12:18:26 PM
I was looking for it, asked specifically for it, and was told this was it. Didn't have time to run around the terminal looking with a baby and wife who don't run. Just out of curiosity, where is it when coming up the escalator from the air train?
Very difficult to find,  especially if you're not coming from outside.  Don't feel bad
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on September 05, 2016, 12:25:05 PM
Very difficult to find,  especially if you're not coming from outside.  Don't feel bad
Thanks. At least I don't feel like a complete idiot.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: jomaster28 on October 10, 2016, 03:59:51 PM
I am going to South Africa in December and have a question regarding the airport. If I land in JNB at 8:30AM and then leave to CPT at 10:10 does that give me enough time to get my luggage and go through security again?

both flights are on SAA however I booked the tickets totally separate. so to my knowledge I need to get my luggage and then check it in again.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on October 10, 2016, 04:16:56 PM
I am going to South Africa in December and have a question regarding the airport. If I land in JNB at 8:30AM and then leave to CPT at 10:10 does that give me enough time to get my luggage and go through security again?

both flights are on SAA however I booked the tickets totally separate. so to my knowledge I need to get my luggage and then check it in again.
You need to get your luggage and recheck even if it's on the same ticket unfortunately. They may be able to tag your bag at your origin all the way to CPT, but you'd still need to pick it up, go back upstairs and drop it off before going through security. It will be tight.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: jomaster28 on October 10, 2016, 04:25:50 PM
You need to get your luggage and recheck even if it's on the same ticket unfortunately. They may be able to tag your bag at your origin all the way to CPT, but you'd still need to pick it up, go back upstairs and drop it off before going through security. It will be tight.

Does TSA Precheck or Global Entry help out in JNB?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on October 10, 2016, 04:26:18 PM
Does TSA Precheck or Global Entry help out in JNB?
No
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: shmebeble on October 10, 2016, 08:30:20 PM
I am going to South Africa in December and have a question regarding the airport. If I land in JNB at 8:30AM and then leave to CPT at 10:10 does that give me enough time to get my luggage and go through security again?

both flights are on SAA however I booked the tickets totally separate. so to my knowledge I need to get my luggage and then check it in again.
I made it through with a similar connection. The security will not be the problem. Customs can be slow at times. Having flown through the airport a few times
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: nirc on November 15, 2016, 09:40:02 PM
@Yehoshua
 
did u have a special promo when booking Black Rhino Game Lodge in Pilanesburg Game Reserve for ~$168 cash??? current price is near $450/ night.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on November 15, 2016, 09:51:24 PM
@Yehoshua
 
did u have a special promo when booking Black Rhino Game Lodge in Pilanesburg Game Reserve for ~$168 cash??? current price is near $450/ night.
No, though I booked via getaroom.com and was there in July.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 16, 2016, 01:31:45 PM
@Yehoshua
 
did u have a special promo when booking Black Rhino Game Lodge in Pilanesburg Game Reserve for ~$168 cash??? current price is near $450/ night.
Huuuuuuuuge difference between July and December
December is summer holiday and July is off-season
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 16, 2016, 02:13:55 PM
Huuuuuuuuge difference between July and December
December is summer holiday and July is off-season

What's the weather like in March/ April?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on November 16, 2016, 02:22:29 PM
What's the weather like in March/ April?
That's a better question for Google or the South Africa thread, but it's the beginning of autumn.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 16, 2016, 02:25:27 PM
That's a better question for Google or the South Africa thread, but it's the beginning of autumn.


Got it thx!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 16, 2016, 02:33:50 PM

Got it thx!

Sounds like the weather is too unpredictable then. Any places that have good safaris that time of the year?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 17, 2016, 02:19:05 PM
Sounds like the weather is too unpredictable then. Any places that have good safaris that time of the year?
The weather is beautiful in March and April
The later in april the closer to "dry season" when the game viewing is better
If you go with an organized safari you are more likely to see stuff at any time
The really is no bad time to go
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 17, 2016, 03:35:06 PM
The weather is beautiful in March and April
The later in april the closer to "dry season" when the game viewing is better
If you go with an organized safari you are more likely to see stuff at any time
The really is no bad time to go

The timing would be end of March beginning of April.

1) there's a solid possibility of rain

2) it's harder to see due to the heavy vegetation...at least according to reports.

So idk if I would risk it..
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 17, 2016, 04:28:19 PM
The timing would be end of March beginning of April.

1) there's a solid possibility of rain

2) it's harder to see due to the heavy vegetation...at least according to reports.

So idk if I would risk it..
1-there is always a possibility of rain, except there is drought now (not counting the floods in JNB) there could be a thunderstorm every afternoon
2- not if there's a drought
3 - if you're looking for a "10" experience and only gonna get an "8"  and that would make it not worth it , i hear. Its not like you;re gonna get a "4"
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 18, 2016, 03:57:47 AM
1-there is always a possibility of rain, except there is drought now (not counting the floods in JNB) there could be a thunderstorm every afternoon
2- not if there's a drought
3 - if you're looking for a "10" experience and only gonna get an "8"  and that would make it not worth it , i hear. Its not like you;re gonna get a "4"


1 possibility for rain in June- august much  less.

2 if there's a drought that would be great... Just hard to plan that.

3 always aim for a 10, but if it's an 8 that's much better then I thought.

How many days would you want to go to the safari?

Is the weather at Victoria Falls also good?

Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yaalili on November 18, 2016, 06:11:31 AM
Is the weather at Victoria Falls also good?

Been to VFA in mid march, weather was great, no rain. Though due to it coming right after rain season, the devils pool is usually closed, too much water.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 18, 2016, 07:53:54 AM
Been to VFA in mid march, weather was great, no rain. Though due to it coming right after rain season, the devils pool is usually closed, too much water.


That's good to know!

Doubt I can convince my wife to do that anyways...

And Capetown the weather looks amazing.

To do all 3 how much time would you recommend to do it comfortably?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yaalili on November 18, 2016, 08:53:04 AM

That's good to know!

Doubt I can convince my wife to do that anyways...

And Capetown the weather looks amazing.

To do all 3 how much time would you recommend to do it comfortably?

We didn't have time for safari on short trip to do properly. 24 hours is perfect for VFA/LVI with a few hours on each side. Capetown I would say 3-4 days minimum. And we did joburg for a few days including shabbos.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on November 18, 2016, 09:00:26 AM
We didn't have time for safari on short trip to do properly. 24 hours is perfect for VFA/LVI with a few hours on each side. Capetown I would say 3-4 days minimum. And we did joburg for a few days including shabbos.
The time we spent in CPT was good buy could have used another day possibly to explore wine country. Other than that our timing was good. Also keep in mind peak season in CPT is summer.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 18, 2016, 11:55:08 AM

That's good to know!

Doubt I can convince my wife to do that anyways...

And Capetown the weather looks amazing.

To do all 3 how much time would you recommend to do it comfortably?
if you;re talking about doing this all Pesach time
VFA is amazing anytime, it's just a different experience in different seasons, dry season you get low flow but devils pool and better visibility of the bottom of the gorge
March you'll get a likely heavier flow and get to see the absolute majesty and power of the different falls
All said you dont really need more then 24-48 hours for VFA unless you want to do lots of activities. I did it once in 24 hrs. Arrive, check in to hotel, transfer to park, (or walk if you're in a close hotel like the kingdom) Sunset cruise you could even get in a zipline before. then the next morning do a Helicopter or Raft or what ever "floats your boat" and back at the airport for a 2pm flight out

Safari anywhere doesn;t need more then 2-3 days , unless you turn the Kruger Park into doing the Panorama Route too (recommended BTW)
Cape Town need 3-4 and maybe an extra day for the Winelands
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 22, 2016, 08:43:34 AM
if you;re talking about doing this all Pesach time
VFA is amazing anytime, it's just a different experience in different seasons, dry season you get low flow but devils pool and better visibility of the bottom of the gorge
March you'll get a likely heavier flow and get to see the absolute majesty and power of the different falls
All said you dont really need more then 24-48 hours for VFA unless you want to do lots of activities. I did it once in 24 hrs. Arrive, check in to hotel, transfer to park, (or walk if you're in a close hotel like the kingdom) Sunset cruise you could even get in a zipline before. then the next morning do a Helicopter or Raft or what ever "floats your boat" and back at the airport for a 2pm flight out

Safari anywhere doesn;t need more then 2-3 days , unless you turn the Kruger Park into doing the Panorama Route too (recommended BTW)
Cape Town need 3-4 and maybe an extra day for the Winelands


Ya looking Into before pesach.

Any safaris around vfa?
Would prob do it for like 2 days.
Kruger 3 days.
Cpt 3-4 days.

Where would recommend to stay at vfa and or kruger?
Would you do cpt last?
Best option for shabbos jnb or cpt?
Best way to book from tlv on biz?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on November 22, 2016, 09:28:18 AM



Ya looking Into before pesach.

Any safaris around vfa?
Would prob do it for like 2 days.
Kruger 3 days.
Cpt 3-4 days.

Where would recommend to stay at vfa and or kruger?
Would you do cpt last?
Best option for shabbos jnb or cpt?
Best way to book from tlv on biz?

JNB has more options for shabbos but few hotels in Glenhazel. Cape Town was a lot prettier.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 22, 2016, 10:07:50 AM

Ya looking Into before pesach.

Any safaris around vfa?
Would prob do it for like 2 days.
Kruger 3 days.
Cpt 3-4 days.

Where would recommend to stay at vfa and or kruger?
Would you do cpt last?
Best option for shabbos jnb or cpt?
Best way to book from tlv on biz?
VFA, i like the kingdom, but haven;t been in 10 years
Kruger, depends on your budget and how many people you;re travelling with https://www.safarinow.com/destinations/kruger-national-park/hub.aspx
to give you an idea
doesn;t matter when you do CPT it's always awesome

Plenty of Safari options near VFA, Hwange among others, all decent hotels will arrange for transfers
Shabbos.. hmmm Yehoshua is right but the experience is different, i would do what would be most convenient travel wise
Best way to book, i asked that question on the best way to book forum this is what i got look at ual's answer http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=46609.msg1523575#msg1523575
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 22, 2016, 01:19:50 PM

JNB has more options for shabbos but few hotels in Glenhazel. Cape Town was a lot prettier.

Doesn't sound like much in jnb
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 22, 2016, 01:21:33 PM
VFA, i like the kingdom, but haven;t been in 10 years
Kruger, depends on your budget and how many people you;re travelling with https://www.safarinow.com/destinations/kruger-national-park/hub.aspx
to give you an idea
doesn;t matter when you do CPT it's always awesome

Plenty of Safari options near VFA, Hwange among others, all decent hotels will arrange for transfers
Shabbos.. hmmm Yehoshua is right but the experience is different, i would do what would be most convenient travel wise
Best way to book, i asked that question on the best way to book forum this is what i got look at ual's answer http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=46609.msg1523575#msg1523575

Is there anything special at kruger or the safaris by vfa are just as good?

Cpt sounds like a more relaxing part of the trip so I'd want to do that last.

Any idea on yq for ana?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on November 22, 2016, 01:22:47 PM
Doesn't sound like much in jnb
There's way more restaurants and a lot more diverse community. CPT is quite modern. Like Dawie said, each has different benefits. If you can only chose 1, chose the one that works the best for your schedule.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 22, 2016, 01:24:36 PM
There's way more restaurants and a lot more diverse community. CPT is quite modern. Like Dawie said, each has different benefits. If you can only chose 1, chose the one that works the best for your schedule.


Right got that. Thx!
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 22, 2016, 01:29:40 PM
Is there anything special at kruger or the safaris by vfa are just as good? Hwange is similar to the Kruger, smaller but thats like saying Delaware is smaller then NJ probably more rustic and Zim is not a civilized as RSA

Cpt sounds like a more relaxing part of the trip so I'd want to do that last. depends whats you;re doing in CPT, you could (should?)be running around the whole time

Any idea on yq for ana? :( no
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: davidmal on November 22, 2016, 01:42:24 PM
Great TR! and some amazing photos.
Wiki was a nice touch as well..
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on November 22, 2016, 01:47:52 PM
Great TR! and some amazing photos.
Wiki was a nice touch as well..
YW. Glad you enjoyed.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 22, 2016, 01:57:49 PM


So your saying to do kruger.

True well be doing things in cpt but it seems like it would be more relaxing and like a seaside beach town.

How would I find out taxes on ana or Sq?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on November 22, 2016, 02:11:59 PM
So your saying to do kruger.

True well be doing things in cpt but it seems like it would be more relaxing and like a seaside beach town.

How would I find out taxes on ana or Sq?
Ita matrix.
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 22, 2016, 02:16:17 PM
So your saying to do kruger. no, i'm saying do what you are more comfortable doing and what is better for your schedule

True well be doing things in cpt but it seems like it would be more relaxing and like a seaside beach town. true dat

How would I find out taxes on ana or Sq? putpac?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 22, 2016, 02:28:10 PM
Ita matrix.

Thx
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 22, 2016, 03:15:24 PM
Ita matrix.
YQ includes YR?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 22, 2016, 03:29:41 PM
Thx
PS the only carrier with direct flights from TLV to JNB is LY
Star Alliance you'd have to use ET, TK or go thru europe
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 23, 2016, 01:41:25 AM
PS the only carrier with direct flights from TLV to JNB is LY
Star Alliance you'd have to use ET, TK or go thru europe

Ya a lot of flying out of the way unless I take Et. Is it  even worth flying in j? Is it safe there?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 23, 2016, 11:00:20 AM
Ya a lot of flying out of the way unless I take Et. Is it  even worth flying in j? Is it safe there?
The native SA'ens all fly ET, and Kenyan, they have new planes and do the job
You dont leave the airport in ADD and they have some OK lounges
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehuda57 on November 23, 2016, 11:36:38 AM
Ya a lot of flying out of the way unless I take Et. Is it  even worth flying in j? Is it safe there?

What Dawie said, plus here's a TR with ET J included:
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=54067.msg1216827#msg1216827

Know lots of people who have flown through ADD
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: LoLo on November 23, 2016, 03:23:50 PM
So this TR has become the south Africa master thread?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Yehoshua on November 23, 2016, 03:35:36 PM
Looks like it. Maybe get a mod to move?
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: Dawie on November 23, 2016, 06:08:47 PM
Looks like it. Maybe get a mod to move?
same thing
anyway tickets now 600 direct on see DDMS
who's up for a redo
Title: Re: Yehoshua's South Africa TR
Post by: moisheyb on November 25, 2016, 07:53:33 AM
What Dawie said, plus here's a TR with ET J included:
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=54067.msg1216827#msg1216827

Know lots of people who have flown through ADD

The native SA'ens all fly ET, and Kenyan, they have new planes and do the job
You dont leave the airport in ADD and they have some OK lounges


Ok look like a normal airline and from the Kenya tr. Nice seats and such.

Anyone have a travel agent to contact to put together an itinerary??

PS totally off topic I have a flight from tlv-lhr-nyc in j, actually a paid flight. Can I switch it to jnb-lhr? Or what would be a change fee for the flight?