Overnight layover in Johannesburg



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    edited April 15

    April 14
    Alan and rwilso15 - do you recall how long before the Airlink flight you arrived at the airport for the flight to Livingstone? And how long the security and check-in process took? We will also be staying at the Intercontinental the night prior to our flight and will have had claimed our luggage on arrival.

    I don't remember the exact times except our flight from JNB was supposed to leave at 1040 but it was a bit late. Overall it was similar to what rwilso15 experienced- check in and bag drop was quick and easy. We had plenty of time to eat and relax in the SAA lounge (We flew from JNB to LVI on SAA which was still in business in 2019. The other option back then was Comair which was a partner with BA)

    There is no guarantee your flight path will be the same, but get a window seat on the left side. We could see the Magadikgadi Pan, the Zambezi, Victoria falls, the Royal Livingstone, and the gorge. Actually our flight was less than full in Business class so I was able to hop back and forth and take photos from both sides of the aircraft! :):):)

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    Thank you, Alan. Great pictures.

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    Great pictures of the falls.

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    Our overnight at the Intercontinental worked out very well. We flew United from Chicago to Newark to Joburg. Our bags were checked through to Livingstone and successfully spent the night at the airport. The Intercontinental is close, quiet, clean and comfortable. We had a very good and reasonably priced breakfast and took the SAA Airlink 11:00 a.m. flight to Livingstone.

    I was a little bit nervous about the overnight for the bags, but there was nothing enticing in them.

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    I fly solo often prior to joining friends or a tour group and the Intercontinental hotel is fantastic but not cheap. Hard to put a price on safety though. The rooms are really nice. You will have to collect luggage as JNB is your point of entry to SA. Just ignore the "helpers"-head up, shoulders back and if you know a few words in a foreign language like French, Spanish or Italian that mean "leave me alone" that helps. Otherwise just keep on walking up the short ramp from arrivals and head across the street as it is really that close to the hotel! Avoiding eye contact is also good or pretend to be deaf? My last time there was preCovid but then there was a nice top floor indoor pool that sort of overlooks the runway and an inexpensive spa but you may arrive too late for the spa or the pool. When you return to check in for your next day flight the helpers will try to pretend they are employees to help you find your check in airline desk, insist on a tip so hold on tight to your bags and again, just ignore them, no eye contact. There is decent security so if they continue to pester you go up to an officer. I did not feel unsafe in the airport, it was just annoying to be approached.

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    One more thing- JNB is famous for luggage pilfering so my advice is to get your checked bag wrapped before you leave the US. You can determine if a bag wrap service is available at your first departure airport and if not, you can likely go to Kinkos or FedEx and get the bag wrapped there. TSA does allow it. I would also lock your checked bag too.

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    Jill - fyi, we were not required to claim and recheck our luggage in Joburg. The bags were checked through to Livingstone. As I indicated, they were kept at the airport overnight. Not ideal, but it worked out.

    Also, perhaps they have cracked down on people soliciting at the airport. We were not bothered. A few politely made overtures. We said we did not need assistance, and they did not persist.

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    edited May 31

    Emirates keeps all transfer bags in a special room away from other public ones- mine will go direct to Windhoek.
    Sea- DXB-JNB-WDH and back I'm flying on Turkish airways from JNB to IST-SEA.
    I will wrap them @ the Istanbul airport, but it is a direct flight so it should be fine too. :)

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