Booked our flights for Sept 6-18 2019

We booked our trip exactly one year ago...but yesterday we were finally able to book our flights. We booked main cabin extras on the AA flights. We simply could not justify the price difference in upgrading to business class. It says we are allowed one bag and then the second bag is $100...however my husband is gold for life and we have advantage charge cards which also gives us free bags. I am not going to fret over it...we can sort it out when we get there and $100 is not going to break us one way or the other.

We leave STL on AA at 12:40pm Sept 4 to ORD Chicago 1:52pm. Leaving ORD Chicago 5:10pm to LHR London 6:50am.

We will go to the admirals club in London. We checked and showers are available and shampoo, body wash, hair dryers are provided. We will have plenty of time to freshen up since our BA flight does not leave until 7:05pm.

We arrive JNB Johannesburg 7:05am. Leaving at 11:00am and arriving LVI Livingstone 12:45pm. on Sept. 6. It sounds like we can expect an hour to clear immigration and another hour to get to the resort.

We booked an extra night so we will have time to recuperate a bit before our tour begins the next day. I am hoping to plan some kind of excursion for the next morning.

I feel like the trip is now a reality and can seriously begin planning.

«1

Comments

  • edited October 2018
    Do you mean the Premium economy seats or equivalent? We have done several trips to Africa in economy seating, but this class is a nice extra. We have also taken business class which we tend to use a little more often these days. I still think the extra money is better spent on going at least one day early but preferably two or three days to help get over jet lag. Even an expensive hotel night is cheaper than going business. Most important accessory is to wear compression socks and take a baby aspirin if your health record and Dr OKs it for you.
    You will not need that extra bag!! They were strict at weight on a return trip we had from Cape Town one time
  • yes...but on American it is called main cabin extra. It is behind business class but in front of coach. We flew in this section to Amsterdam for our Tauck river cruise in Sept 2017 and it was wonderful. I am very short...so i have plenty of leg room regardless of the seat. As long as we get dinner and movies and drinks...I am good. I have trouble sleeping on a plane regardless of the seat and Steve can sleep in any seat...lol He traveled a lot for work.

    I will need two bags...neither is huge but i cannot imagine not needing two bags for the both of us for a two week trip. Neither bag will weigh more than the alloted 50 pounds. Much better to take two bags than to take one bag that is too heavy. If we have to pay...then we have to pay. This is my dream trip...and I dont intend to let something like bags ruin it for me.

    I am just so excited to be 315 days out!!!

  • edited October 2018
    We arrive JNB Johannesburg 7:05am. Leaving at 11:00am and arriving LVI Livingstone 12:45pm. on Sept. 6. It sounds like we can expect an hour to clear immigration and another hour to get to the resort.

    Unless you are last to get off the plane or things have changed, immigration should not take that long. However, after leaving the airport you travel south by land vehicle to the riverfront then, while your bags are transported separately to the hotel, you voyage to the Royal Livingstone via a leisure boat ride on the Zambezi River and won't arrive until 3:00 - 3:30.
  • oh thanks alan...I thought i had read somewhere that they had cancelled the boat ride. I am happy to hear that it is still going to happen. Honestly...I get more excited by the minute!
  • Re two bags, I think Sealord will tell you he did this tour just using a duffel bag each and nothing else. His wife is petite like you. I’ve taken five trips to Africa, including this one, when we added two days at the beginning. No one took two checked bags on my tours. In fact I’ve seen very few people take more than one checked bag on any of my Tauck tours.
    One of our Africa tours was not with Tauck and all we were allowed to take for the entire tour was a small duffel bag each and we were fine.
  • edited October 2018
    oh thanks alan...I thought i had read somewhere that they had cancelled the boat ride. I am happy to hear that it is still going to happen. Honestly...I get more excited by the minute!

    Again, unless things have changed : )

    Actually, I believe the arrival by boat might be a Royal Livingstone thing or a combination of hotel and Tauck. Below is what it says on the Royal Livingstone website (for a 3 day booking), so who knows? I did some serious digging but did not see it mentioned anywhere else on their site or on the internet.

    "Arrive stress-free and in the epitome of style. Get whisked from the airport along the mighty Zambezi by water taxi . ."

    No guarantee. Sealord and British arrived by boat in 2016 but I couldn't find any posts with more current info. I'll let you know 25 May next year : )

    Link to a video
  • I am depending on your trip to keep me informed!!!

    I saw the same information on the sight...and I know everything is subject to change...but this would be a fun thing to do to start the trip.
  • edited October 2018
    I am depending on your trip to keep me informed!!!

    I saw the same information on the site...and I know everything is subject to change...but this would be a fun thing to do to start the trip.

    Agree.

    UPDATE: (When in doubt, call Tauck- so I just did : ~ ) ). Unless your flight arrives late in the day, you have the choice of Tauck supplied transfers:

    1. Traveling by car/van/bus from the airport to the river then traveling by boat on the Zambezi to the Royal Livingstone Hotel dock. (while your bags are transported by land to the hotel)

    2. If you choose or arrive late, you'll travel by car/van/bus from the airport to the Royal Livingstone.
  • I recognize that we all get excited about our upcoming trips. I would urge all of you to not to put too many details of upcoming travel on a public website or FB, etc. There are a lot of bad people out there looking to create havoc from this type of information. Enjoy your wonderful travel!!
  • Bags...Carry-on: 21.5 X 14 X 9 inches with my purse inside

    Medium: 25.5 X 16.2 X 11.7 inches

    Large: 29.5 X 18.2 X 12.8 inches

    These are not huge bags...one will carry clothing and the duffle bags sent by tauck...one will carry shoes and cosmetics

    information on the internet....this is the only place i have posted our flight information....and our grandson housesits...so I cannot imagine how the information i have shared would create havoc. If so...then i am not alone...since many have shared similar information. But point taken....and i will promptly shut up.

    safe travels to all...thanks for all of your help

    alan...I will be watching!
  • edited October 2018
    You are over-packing for sure! Shoe(s) plural? Wear one pair on the plane, and the same pair to the welcome & farewell dinners, and dining at the Royal Livingstone and in Capetown; pack the other pair (walking, or hiking tennis/shoes) to wear during the safaris. Why more than that? This is a safari, you'll be living and dining in tents (some are really nice, but they are still tents,) it is not a fashion shoot or the Paris fashion week. : ~ )
  • edited October 2018
    Bags...Carry-on: 21.5 X 14 X 9 inches with my purse inside

    Medium: 25.5 X 16.2 X 11.7 inches

    Large: 29.5 X 18.2 X 12.8 inches

    These are not huge bags...one will carry clothing and the duffle bags sent by tauck...one will carry shoes and cosmetics

    information on the internet....this is the only place i have posted our flight information....and our grandson housesits...so I cannot imagine how the information i have shared would create havoc. If so...then i am not alone...since many have shared similar information. But point taken....and i will promptly shut up.

    safe travels to all...thanks for all of your help

    alan...I will be watching!

    Shoes, I take two pairs for safaris because they get filthy dirty. One nicer comfortable pair for Cape Town, that’s it. Cosmetics, good for you if you have the energy to put on makeup at 5am. My travel cosmetic bag is about 6x 4 inches and I often think I should do smaller than that. Basically I take at least half the amount of baggage as you and yet I take tons of clothing. My carry on is a small backpack, in that I take two changes of clothes including shoes. in case my big bag does not make it, that happened on one Africa trip for a day. In that I have a swimsuit if I think it’s essential for the tour if again I think my bag could be delayed. camera, iPad, book, binoculars, down jacket, medicines, maybe my waterproof jacket or umbrella yep, just about it.
  • Alan,
    I'm glad to see the boat ride to the Royal Livingston is still an option. If possible, I highly recommend doing it that way. It was a perfect way to start the Africa experience. And once you arrive at the Royal Livingston, it only gets better each day. It's a fantastic tour. Enjoy.
  • As I said in the other recent post, I will have some useful info for you in my upcoming B,SA,Z thread.

  • This is a tough one because of shopping habits, but I just answered your PM with some details.

  • First, we did not get any local money, just took a decent amount of dollars In smallish denominations. Most of the shopping for us was in Cape Town, wjer you can pay with credit card. There is an opportunity to haggle with the locals when you get off the train in the middle of the Welcome dinner, but the wooden animals and so on they sell are not as good a quality as you might see elsewhere. You will need small denominations for there. They are very appreciated when you buy from them. We chatted to them about their families and things like that.
    For the tour director tip, we always take that separately and keep it aside to give them at the final meeting with them. I think the usual suggested amount is now $10 per person per day.

  • No, nothing to buy from them, it’s just a walk with them in the bush and they show you fire making skills and how they dig for scorpions and things like that. Fascinating lifestyle.

  • I can't remember if this is covered elsewhere, when you get on the ferry from Zambia to Botswana there will be a ton of vendors selling small wood carved animals. The prices will go down when you get on the boat. They then call it the "bye-bye" price. :D They all take small denomination US dollars there. They aren't real good quality but small souvenirs.

  • edited July 17

    British, 3:45PM. No, nothing to buy from them, it’s just a walk with them in the bush and they show you fire making skills and how they dig for scorpions and things like that. Fascinating lifestyle.

    At the end of their bush walk, fire-making and game demonstrations, this past June, the dozen or San Bushmen (and women with infants, neither of which appeared to be pleased to be out in the very cool (cold?) evening air) opened for business. They had a very small amount of fairly primitive and unremarkable trinkets and, leather and bead-work to sell. When spread out, it was maybe enough for a small beach towel. Cash, USD. We did not exchange currency in any of countries on this tour.

  • No, too far away, it’s West Africa. Tauck will monitor very carefully and cancel you or maybe modify the tour if it becomes more of a threat. Rwanda, where we go in December, is much nearer. I hope it has been contained by then or a lot of people will have to die.

  • Tip Cathy. We think they take up less room if stored in the little bag they come in and put in the suitcase that way.
    The style of duffel and fabric has changed several times since we experienced our first duffel, the one we still think was the best.....one end zipped off and could be used as a small backpack, it was awesome. We used it for several non Tauck vacations as carry on, no checked suitcase, before liquids were restricted.

  • No Cathy, it’s a modern city. But you may need clothing for rain. We love Cape Town.

  • Wear what you want, whenever you want- it is totally up to you- regular clothes on safari and safari clothes in Cape Town. It is YOUR trip and there are no fashion police, so do as you like! :)

  • You aren’t going in the rainy season for the Safari, but you never know these days. Cape Town you never can tell. The second time we went there was a November, it was rainy, misty and cold one day, the next was clear and sunshine.
    We are watching the situation in Hong Kong very carefully, two months before we go

  • If You like gardens, I recommend Kirstenbosch Gardens. Wonderful view of the city too. When we went there it was from the Cape Grace here the that provided free BMW transport there and back. Also has a very nice gift shop.
    If you are flying at 7-30pm, the driver is likely to pick you up at 4pm.

  • If The Falls have a lot of spray, Tauck will likely provide ponchos. We have been there twice, second time the Falls were low, no spray, you could see all the exposed rocks, awesome.

  • edited August 12

    cathyandsteve, 11:40AM. I figured we will need the rain capes at Victoria falls....and possibly in cape town.

    Rain ponchos with hoods and crocks for your feet are provided at the falls during the Tauck guided walk.

    Tauck Druids ( :o ) on the path to the Knife Edge footbridge

    However, as British says, weather in Cape Town can be unpredictable. The weather during our first full day was beautiful- deep blue skies, sunny, and warm. However, during the second day, during the drive to the Cape and boat trip to seal island, things were quite different.

    Table Mountain gondola:

    Table Mountain as viewed from Company's Garden:

    Bus trip to Cape Point:

    Cape Point Lighthouse

    Free time on fly-home day- if you haven't done so, visit the aquarium next door to the One & Only, more shopping at V&A waterfront, book a helo flight over Cape Peninsula (or shorter flight of town/Table Bay. We did all three since our flight left even later than yours.

    A "real" clown fish and his smaller buddies! :D

  • cathyandsteve, 2:14PM. I am assuming we can leave our luggage at the hotel until time to go to the airport.

    No day rooms were provided, though I suppose we could have paid for one, but in addition to keeping our luggage, the hotel let us use the spa showers and changing rooms.

  • I can tell by the visible rocks that the Zambezi was not at full flood. When it is at full flood the ‘outer wear’ is not important. We had two layers and still got soaked to the skin. Many of the locals simply wore bathing suits.

Sign In or Register to comment.