Booked our flight to Mpumalanga, South Africa for November 30th plus required one night hotel stay...

OK, we get it.  Pronouncing Mpumalanga is challenging.  Here's a link to a site that will pronounce it using a computer generated voice. Tom and I practiced using this app several times and I believe we now have it down.

How annoying when travelers are unable (or unwilling to take the time to figure out) as to how to pronounce where they are or where they're intending to go. As we've traveled, we've made an effort to familiarize ourselves with the names of local cities, establishments and basic greetings.

Here in Kenya, "jambo," a Swahili word, is the standard greeting with many meanings as indicated in this link.  Its so easy to go overboard using a certain local word, hoping to endear ourselves to the locals.  From our humble perspective, moderation is the key, as is the case in many aspects of life, not always easy to accomplish.

(At the moment, as I'm writing in our outdoor living room, there is a peculiar sound in the ceiling above my head.  It sounds as if a creature is biting into the wood beams but we're unable to see it.  This has been occurring over the past 30 minutes.  Hummm...).

Today will be a busy day for us.  Soon, our driver Alfred will appear to take us to a local G4S/DHL store to inquire in person as to their willingness to accept a package of supplies we're shipping from our mailing service in Nevada.  

Hans kindly offered to have us ship the box of supplies to his PO Box. But, with the high risk of theft throughout the local postal system, we'd prefer having the package sent to an actual package shipping service, where more security will be in place. 

Once we meet with the staff at the nearby G4S/DHL location, our minds will be at ease.  It will be interesting to see how much we'll be charged for them to hold the box for less than one day. When we're notified by email that it has arrived, we'll immediately contact Alfred to take us to pick it up. 

In order to arrive in Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park, South Africa, the route was tricky.  Here's what we settled on which was the least amount of waiting and flying time at the best possible price.

11/30/2013 - Departure   1 stop
Total travel time: 8 h 55 m
custom air icon
Mombasa
Nairobi
1 h 0 m 
MBA  11:25am
Terminal 1
NBO  12:25pm  
 
Kenya Airways 
Economy/Coach
Layover: 3 h 35 m
custom air icon
Nairobi
Johannesburg
4 h 20 m 
NBO  4:00pm
JNB  7:20pm  
Terminal A
 
South African Airways
Economy/Coach (W) | 
12/01/2013 - Return   Nonstop
Total travel time: 0 h 45 m
custom air icon
Johannesburg
Kruger National Park
0 h 45 m 
JNB  11:10am
Terminal B
MQP  11:55am  
 
South African Airways  Operated by 4Z/SOUTH AFRICAN AIRLINK
Economy/Coach (L)   

With the 7:20 pm arrival in Johannesburg, South Africa at 7:20 pm and the next day departure to Mpumalanga, Kruger National Park, we could either hang around the airport for almost 16 hours or stay overnight in a nearby hotel.   We opted for the hotel, taking the complimentary airport shuttle in the morning. 

The one way fare for both of us on all 3 flights is a total as follows:

Traveler 1: Adult
 
$613.67
Flight
 
$375.00
Taxes & Fees
 
$238.67
Traveler 2: Senior
 
$613.67
Flight
 
$375.00
Taxes & Fees
 
$238.67
Expedia Booking Fee
 
$14.00
Total: $1,241.34


(By the way, I am the above referenced "Senior" being 5 years older than Tom.  Obviously, I wasn't awarded any benefit by disclosing this fact.)

Our seat assignments, not stated here, were established when we were directed to the airline's website.  Luckily, we're able to sit together.  This trip will be considerably shorter then the long flight from Venice, Italy to Mombasa a mere two weeks ago today.  How the time flies (no pun intended)!

The cost for the one night's stay in a highly rated hotel was US $117.66 after a 50% discount provided to us from Expedia.com.  Add another US $125 for meals and tips for a grand total US $1484.00.

Considering the distance is over 2300 miles from Diani Beach, Kenya to our destination, this fare is not unreasonable.  We'd actually budgeted US $1500 for this leg of our journey.

Soon, we'll make further arrangements for a driver to pick us up at the Kruger Park/Mpumalanga airport to be on our way to our new home is Marloth Park, located on the edge of Kruger Park. 

At times, we've been asked, how we can begin planning the next leg or our travels when we recently arrived at a particular location?  It's actually quite easy for several reasons:
1.  It takes our minds off of it, freeing us up to fully enjoy our current location.
2.  It ultimately saves us money, when the lowest fares usually sell out first.
3.  It allows us to sit together.
4.  It enables us to select flights in time frames that are most appealing to us.  Some of the options for these flights required a 5:30 am departure.  With the International requirement for arriving at the airport no less than 2 hours before the flight, choosing such a flight would result in our losing an entire night's sleep.  Also, we consider the check-in time for the upcoming location to avoid waiting for hours to get into the property.

Overall, advance planning translate into "stress reduction."  With the situations that occur for which we have no advance warning, we've avoided creating chaos, of which Tom and I are adamantly opposed.  Chaos avoidance is the crux of making our worldwide travels as seamless and stress free as possible.

And still...regardless of our best efforts and intentions, stuff happens.

Off we go on our stop at the package store after which we'll grocery shop.  We're having Hans and his lovely wife Jeri over for dinner tonight.  Gee...I wish I had some linen napkins!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

So neat that you have your next leg scheduled already. I think you were smart in going to the hotel for the 16 hour layover.
I sure hope the weather conditions are better in South Africa. I know you said you were not miserable, but it makes me miserable reading it. It makes me want to send you a palm leaf fan, ha-ha. I would if I could. No, seriously, I think it is great how you and Tom are really enjoying your travels, even though it means some hardships. When I look back on my life, we did not have air conditioning in our house or car. I was married at the age of 24 and after a few years, we were able to install central air in our first home. What luxury that was, I felt like a millionaire. But our cars still did not have air conditioning. That took quite awhile longer. You probably experienced this also, since we are about the same age. No, I am 4 years older than you.
I hope you had a nice dinner party with Hans and his wife.
Thanks for saying you enjoy my posts. I just hope they encourage you to keep on writing.
Pat

Jessica said...

There's no doubt that living outdoors from 7 or 8 am until 10 or 11 pm each day is not easy. When we go to bed inside our mosquito netting is almost as if we are going inside a tent to sleep, although the mattress is comfortable. Neither of us enjoy camping.

In reality, although the house is functional for bathing, cooking and sleeping, there is no place to be inside during the day. We never thought to ask if there was a living room indoors. Who would?

But, we're making the best of it, planning as much as possible to enjoy our time here, our new friends and our simple, although challenging at times, life.

I can't believe you're 4 years older than me! I thought you were younger when we met on the Epic, several months ago.

Thanks again for writing.
Warmest regards,
Jess & Tom


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