Flight options to B,SA,Z

I was going to wait on this since we are still a little over a week outside the 330 day booking window for all but one carrier, but that one is showing a great price and I usually book at the earliest opportunity for price and best seats so need to make a decision pretty quickly.

So here is the deal, we are on the 25 May 2019 departure of B,SA,Z and plan to arrive in Livingstone two days early on 23 May. We don't live near a major overseas feeder airport, but can drive to Raleigh (RDU) or fly or drive to Dulles (IAD) (no direct flights and routing via Charlotte, flying takes about the same time as driving to IAD!?!?), and can only fly to Atlanta (ATL) or NY, Kennedy (JFK.) We fly business class and value short en-route times, fewest connections, and good lay-flat seats in 1 - 2 - 1 arrangements (when we can get them, so we both have aisle access), over cost, though cost is always a consideration.

So my choices:

Delta is our preferred carrier. We have miles but not enough for this trip. They have a direct flight from ATL to Johannesburg (JNB) – no Heathrow (LHR), Amsterdam (AMS) or other European connections- but it arrives too late to connect to Livingstone (LVI) so we would have to spend the night in JNB before flying British Airways (BA) or South African Airways (SAA) to Livingstone the next morning. The return flight has a layover in AMS. They have good business seats, but in a reverse herringbone with feet pointing towards the aisle. By far, Delta is the most expensive.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) out of IAD. Some of you may remember me talking about ET- we had a great experience flying them to K&T. The flight leaves in the morning so we would need to drive or fly to IAD a day early. ET's fare is also the lowest and enroute time the shortest with only one stop in Addis Ababa (No stops in LHR, AMS, etc.), but only if we take a chance on a 35 min connection in Addis Ababa on the homeward bound leg! I've been in the airport and their published minimum connection time is 40 min. so I know it is possible, but very risky. Their next itinerary with longer connection time adds a stop in JNB, but it pushes the fare up with SAA and more than BA. Their business class seats have a great amount of room but are arranged in a 2 – 3 – 2 so only one of us would have direct aisle access. The other negative is the flight terminates at Victoria Falls Airport (VFA), Zimbabwe not LVI, Zambia, and Tauck won't provide a transfer from VFA to the Royal Livingstone Hotel, probably because it involves a border crossing. ET is less expensive than Delta.

South African Airways from IAD. The flight departs later in the day so we could drive or fly to IAD on the day of departure. The flight is direct, IAD to JNB. Due to arrival time, an overnight in JNB is necessary, but we would be through-ticketed on SAA to LVI. The return flight is Cape Town (CPT) - JNB- IAD. Both outbound and inbound flights have very short, 1 hr fuels stops, in Accra, Ghana, but no deplaning. The long haul segments are on almost new Airbus A330-300's with nice, new, lay-flat seats in a 1 – 2 – 1 arrangement, so both of us would have aisle access. They have nice large, hi-res IFE screens, too : ) SAA is slightly less expensive than ET.

British Airways. I couldn't believe this but BA is the least expensive. Since the BA flight with the good fare and shortest en-route time leaves early in the morning we would need to fly to and spend the night before at JFK. All BA flights connect through the dreaded Heathrow- the flight with the best flight times has a layover there of only 1 hr. 40 min. but all other BAA flights have outrageous layovers in LHR of 7 or more hours. To quote British from an old thread, "Absolute minimum of 2 hours (connection time) is needed at Heathrow." But the real killer is that BA flies relatively old Boeing 747's on this route with the absolute worst business class seats possible!!!! (I know, picky, picky, try coach). The business class seats are lay-flat, but half of them face backwards on both main and upper deck. Direction is a no biggie for me, but unless you raise the privacy divider you will be face-to-face with another passenger, likely a stranger. Also, when aisle passengers are reclined or have lowered their footrests they block access to the aisle for others. The privacy dividers must be lowered for all take-offs and landings and when a flight attendant takes an order or delivers food or drinks. Everything must be passed over top of aisle passengers. Check out this video for a better description:
My wife does not want to fly in this aircraft.

Unless something changes in the next two weeks, we plan to book SAA. Even though we will need to spend a night in JNB it will be at the end of all long flights, no pre-stay at Dulles like needed for the ET flight or at JFK for the BA flight. We will arrive in JNB around 5 pm and our flight to LVI doesn't depart for LVI until 10:50 am, so we should be able to get a good night's sleep at an InterContinental Hotel, just yards from the terminal entrance, and be ready to hit the ground running so to speak upon arrival at the Royal Livingstone.

We would normally have our bags checked through to LVI, but that would mean taking a small carry-on bag with clothes, toiletries, etc. to the hotel AND trusting that our luggage will be safe overnight at the airport (where?)- a BIG CONCERN in view of the history at this airport!!! I hope we can check our bags though to JNB only, and pick them up before heading to the hotel.

So, please feel free to comment on any option. I especially would like comments from anyone who has taken this flight and spent a night in Jo'burg- what did you do about your bags? Thanks.

Comments

  • We have flown to Johannesburg three times, first time South African, the last two times British airways with the long layover. I would not risk a short layoverin Heathrow, it is just too risky plus the business class lounge is very good as is the food and the time passes surprisingly quickly. You can take a shower etc too. And of course you do not have to spend the night in Johannesburg. You really Do need to have your wits about you at that airport too. I just count myself lucky that last year we could fly business class, the year before to the Botswana tour you are doing, even though we booked just a couple of weeks after flights opened, there was no business class seats left. We were extremely fortunate to purchase a teaser rate upgrade at Heathrow for just a couple of hundred pounds each, but no such luck on return flights. We have often found BA the cheapest flights and of course the flight attendants are always way better and courteous compared to American crews, they really are.
  • Alan, As you know we took this trip last month. We decided we didn’t want to stay overnight in JNB and we found the cost of the nonstop/ direct flights from the US to JNB to be too expensive. We surprisingly found the best value to be on BA out of Boston. We spent the night there at the airport Hilton. We took the early morning flight to LHR ( the connection time was longer than the JFK flight), flew LHR to JNB, 2 hour layover and then JNB to LVI. They checked the bags all the way through and the connection in JNB couldn’t have been easier. I know everyone has their views on aircraft and the BA 747 soft goods aren’t great, however, we have always enjoyed the exit rows on the upper deck. We find the cabin to be very quiet and the service excellent. I respect your wife’s opinion, but we enjoyed our flights. We returned on the nonstop CPT-LHR and you can then decide which US gateway to fly back to.
  • edited June 2018
    British wrote:
    We have flown to Johannesburg three times, first time South African, the last two times British airways with the long layover. I would not risk a short layover in Heathrow, it is just too risky plus the business class lounge is very good as is the food and the time passes surprisingly quickly. You can take a shower etc too. And of course you do not have to spend the night in Johannesburg. You really Do need to have your wits about you at that airport too. I just count myself lucky that last year we could fly business class, the year before to the Botswana tour you are doing, even though we booked just a couple of weeks after flights opened, there was no business class seats left. We were extremely fortunate to purchase a teaser rate upgrade at Heathrow for just a couple of hundred pounds each, but no such luck on return flights. We have often found BA the cheapest flights and of course the flight attendants are always way better and courteous compared to American crews, they really are.

    A little more detail-

    While BA fares are good, we absolutely hate the business class seats in the 747-400s that fly to/from Africa (same seats in the A380). For that reason alone, we will forego BA. Maybe when/if BA changes seating or starts getting 787 Dreamliners.

    Because of where we live- we would need to arrive a day early at IAD to catch the morning ET flight or a day early at JFK to catch the morning BA flight (the SAA flight leaves IAD in the afternoon). I refuse to spend more than 3 hours at an airport if I can prevent it in any way! The BA flight with the shortest en-route time (22+50) has a 1+40 layover at LHR- a bit too short. However, the next fastest BA flight has an en-route time of 31+45!!! and a layover at LHR of 8+00!!! That is unacceptable to me! It is too long to hang around an airport yet too short to seek out a hotel.

    Frankly, it is a waste to seek a hotel room for a layover less than a 12 hours. So, if we must spend an extra day in transit somewhere, rather than wasting a night on the front end (can't save up sleep), or at some point mid-trip (e.g. LHR or AMS) before a long second leg, we will spend a night in Jo'burg, almost at the end of the voyage. We will arrive and depart during daylight.

    I track the 330 day window regularly, daily as we get closer, and once it opens for our dates will book immediately. The main problem is for a r/t or open jaw flight the full return flight must be in the window. People with shorter itineraries could theoretically snag all the business class seats before I can even book our flights

    I just need to do further research about what to do with our luggage- leave it checked (will it be secure or guaranteed to be rifled?) or only have it checked only as far as JNB instead of LVI or take it to the hotel and re-check it in the morning. Hopefully, someone here will have some insight. I plan to give SAA a call also, to find out where it is kept overnight or to make sure there is no problem getting it at JNB and rechecking the next morning if we go that route. The flight to LVI doesn't leave until 10:40 am so we should have plenty of time to re-check it.

    taxare- Thanks. I ran a number of variants, including this one from BOS:

    07:30-22 May - 19:05-22 May Logan International (MA) - Heathrow (London)
    21:25-22 May - 09:15-23 May Heathrow (London) - Johannesburg
    11:00-23 May - 12:45-23 May Johannesburg - Livingstone

    Yes, slightly longer layover in LHR. They all came out a few hundred dollars or more than BA's (current) suggested routing. But as I said, price is just one factor in the mix. If there isn't a large (but undefined) difference, we will always pick the option with most direct and shortest route and aircraft having the best seats/seat arrangement. I was a Naval Flight Officer and love to fly, my wife is the opposite ; )
  • Alan, since it looks like you will be stay over at Johannesburg airport, I recommend you stay at the Protea hotel that is attached to the airport. It does involve a very short shuttle ride to get there and you have to go somewhere towards the back of the airport to find the bus area, it is not well signposted. Last year we stayed there for our non Tauck tour before it began. If you decide this, be careful, there are two Protea and someone on our tour booked the wrong one. I would definitely take your luggage with you. You really have to look as if you know where you are going at this airport,we did this but were getting lost and a guy tried to help us, we refused but then he insisted he show us where to get the bus, I was nervous having read and had several warnings from the British travel alert website about the security and robberies at the airport. Anyway, Mr B being more trusting than me followed and he got us to the right place but wanted a tip which we quickly gave.
    Give yourself plenty of time the next day, security can be slow.
  • The Jo-burg airport is loaded with people who want to “help” and most have ulterior motives. Be acutely aware of this and you will be OK. We cleared Customs and Immigration there and connected to a flight to Cape Town. So many offered to help with luggage, help us get to our gate, etc. We just kept walking like we knew what we were doing.
  • edited June 2018
    AshvEd wrote:
    The Jo-burg airport is loaded with people who want to “help” and most have ulterior motives. Be acutely aware of this and you will be OK. We cleared Customs and Immigration there and connected to a flight to Cape Town. So many offered to help with luggage, help us get to our gate, etc. We just kept walking like we knew what we were doing.

    Thanks, I've read some of those reports- one by a single female traveler who missed her flight and was headed to an off-site hotel late at night. Nothing happened, but having also read the stories, she was terrified.
    British wrote:
    Alan, since it looks like you will be stay over at Johannesburg airport, I recommend you stay at the Protea hotel that is attached to the airport. It does involve a very short shuttle ride to get there and you have to go somewhere towards the back of the airport to find the bus area, it is not well signposted. Last year we stayed there for our non Tauck tour before it began. If you decide this, be careful, there are two Protea and someone on our tour booked the wrong one. I would definitely take your luggage with you. You really have to look as if you know where you are going at this airport,we did this but were getting lost and a guy tried to help us, we refused but then he insisted he show us where to get the bus, I was nervous having read and had several warnings from the British travel alert website about the security and robberies at the airport. Anyway, Mr B being more trusting than me followed and he got us to the right place but wanted a tip which we quickly gave.
    Give yourself plenty of time the next day, security can be slow.

    Thanks. But now, I'm confused- from what I read and understood, the airport Protea is actually on the air side and intended for transfer passengers only, you don't pick up bags or go through immigration. Could it be that you stayed at the other Protea or decided to pick up your bags and go through immigration before checking in because your outbound flight to Namibia was on a different carrier? I just checked and here is what it says on the (Marriott) Protea Hotel Transit O R Tambo Airport website:

    "Turn a long layover into a refreshing experience at the convenient Protea Hotel O R Tambo Airport Transit where day use and overnight rooms offer an ideal reprieve between flights for weary international travelers. Enjoy the convenience of not having to collect your luggage upon arrival, check in and relax while in transit at Protea Hotel O R Tambo Airport Transit. Please note that the Hotel is not suitable for domestic passengers or GUESTS, as it is situated inside the International terminal at the O R Tambo International Airport. GUESTS must not clear customs or immigrations, and should follow the signs towards International Transfers. Guests will need their boarding pass or e-ticket upon check in. A visa is not required and may only bring in hand luggage. 12-24 hour stays are bookable online. For quick stopovers that are less than 12hrs can be booked directly through the hotel."

    Like you said, there appears to be another off-site Protea not far (< 2 km away?). The reviews of the Protea are mixed, however, somewhere between a fleabag and the Ritz : ), and I'm not convinced all were for this specific location. You have to take some (many?) reviews with a grain of salt, at both ends of the spectrum. Many negative reviews were about the staff ("Staff are unfriendly, rude and unhelpful"). I suspect the issue was as much a result of extremely tired and grumpy travelers. Also, a number of people faulted the hotel for lack of food. There are places to eat in the terminal (did they read about this hotel before hand??).

    The better ("Superior") rooms have a separate bathroom, with shower and tub, but the shower (and commode?) in a standard room is in the bedroom right next to the bed! There was one review that really concerns me: " . . . the only problem I suffered whole night is the unclean bed sheets. My bed sheets and cover all smell bad and turn yellow." How was your room?

    On a positive note, the rate is almost a third of the cost of a room at the InterContinental, more convenient, and hopefully there is less exposure to the local touts. But again, the issue is bags, I'm not sure I want to leave the bags checked (somewhere?) over night.
  • Oh gosh, sorry about the confusion, we did not stay at the transit one, but the one very near. We stayed two nights as is our preference before a tour. The bathroom was in the bedroom but we found it absolutely fine, big shower and plenty of hot water. It was clean. The evening dinner was good, breakfast was fine. A lunch was very slowly served. Breakfast was fine.
  • edited June 2018
    British wrote:
    Oh gosh, sorry about the confusion, we did not stay at the transit one, but the one very near. We stayed two nights as is our preference before a tour. The bathroom was in the bedroom but we found it absolutely fine, big shower and plenty of hot water. It was clean. The evening dinner was good, breakfast was fine. A lunch was very slowly served. Breakfast was fine.

    Ah, thanks! We were going stay at the InterContinental just a few yards outside the terminal entrance but may give the Protea a shot, but in a Premier room. Even so, the price is quite a bit cheaper than the InterContinental and is only for sleeping one night. It will just make things quicker and easier the next morning- we will already have boarding passes and on the flight side so no customs or immigration and minimal security. I'm still concerned about leaving our bags checked. As you do, we always have spare clothes in our small carry-on so won't need our main luggage except for maybe a few items that we will put in our carry-on just for this trip.
  • If you were considering an overnight at JFK, the SAA flight via JNB to LVI is optimal. I looked at all of the options regarding where to spend the overnight (since one seems to be unavoidable). The SAA routing is the shortest time in the air and delivers travelers to LVI at 12:20 PM.
  • KathrynH wrote:
    If you were considering an overnight at JFK, the SAA flight via JNB to LVI is optimal. I looked at all of the options regarding where to spend the overnight (since one seems to be unavoidable). The SAA routing is the shortest time in the air and delivers travelers to LVI at 12:20 PM.

    Thanks. Early on I had looked at that routing, but it was a non-starter. There are a number of issues for us- we live in E.NC so it is cheaper and easier to make connections to and fly SAA from Dulles (IAD). The SAA business class tickets from IAD are $400 cheaper than ones from JFK, and for some reason the savings is greater for the domestic flights (we are limited to just AA!) from our local airport to IAD- much, much, cheaper (unbelievably so!) than to JFK. As you noted we would need an overnight in both cases- departing from JFK or JNB. The flight times to JNB from IAD are just slightly longer but we would be ticketed through as well and arrive at the same time. The real kicker is SAA is flying new A330-300 (instead of the older A340-600) aircraft with much better business class seats on flights on the IAD - JNB route. So, with only about a week to go before the booking window opens for flights for our tour, it looks like SAA from IAD. I just need to decide on a place to overnight in JNB- Marriot Protea or InterContinental "at" the airport or Marriott Protea Transit "in" the terminal (air side). In addition to price (BIG difference between Protea and InterContinental), I need to decide what to do about bags- only check them through to JNB and pick them up before heading to the "at" airport hotels or check them through to LVI, and leave them checked and carry spare clothes, toiletries, etc. in our small carry bags to the "in" airport Protea. I guess it should be ok to leave them checked if there is nothing worthwhile in them to steal. I've spent several hours reading numerous reports and blogs about bag thefts at JNB. The reports of bags being rifled are not as common now.
  • Sorry, I didn't read through all of the routing (making my head spin!!)... but we booked the following from Buffalo:

    Buf to JFK to Dubai To Lusaka to Livingstone - Thurs 7:45 am departure, arrive Livingstone Fri at 5:20 pm - through Emirates.

    Layovers - 2h16m at JFK, 1h35m at Dubai, 1h35m at Lusaka.

    On the way home we are spending a few days in Dubai with no change to our ticketed price. On the way home we have 4 1/2 hrs in New York.

    Not sure if this is an option for you or not.

    On our previous Tauck tour, we flew out of Johannesburg and back, and home from there. Our Tauck Director recommended getting your bags wrapped to avoid the thefts. Not sure if that is an option before you leave in the US though?

    I would do anything we could to avoid Johannesburg in the future...and our Tauck Director gave us shortcuts and tips to get through it all!

    Just my two cents worth!

    Dawn
  • DawnC28 wrote:
    Sorry, I didn't read through all of the routing (making my head spin!!)... but we booked the following from Buffalo:

    Buf to JFK to Dubai To Lusaka to Livingstone - Thurs 7:45 am departure, arrive Livingstone Fri at 5:20 pm - through Emirates.

    Layovers - 2h16m at JFK, 1h35m at Dubai, 1h35m at Lusaka.

    On the way home we are spending a few days in Dubai with no change to our ticketed price. On the way home we have 4 1/2 hrs in New York.

    Not sure if this is an option for you or not.

    On our previous Tauck tour, we flew out of Johannesburg and back, and home from there. Our Tauck Director recommended getting your bags wrapped to avoid the thefts. Not sure if that is an option before you leave in the US though?

    I would do anything we could to avoid Johannesburg in the future...and our Tauck Director gave us shortcuts and tips to get through it all!

    Just my two cents worth!

    Dawn

    Re Dawn’s comment about avoiding Johannesburg airport. Alan, please understand that if comparing this airport to the horrible Nairobi airport, Johannesburg is a modern international airport with all facilities and plenty of shopping, so it is just the more dangerous aspect of it that one has to be aware of. Bags, this is where you definitely do not put anything that looks like electronics, cameras or even binoculars in your checked bag. Anything of saleable value. And if your checked bag looks old and battered, the better it looks as if your bag might not be worth checking out for theft. The Bots,Zambia and SA tour is one of those where you really do need to take just safari gear with just maybe a better pair of pants and a long sleeve shirt or t shirt with a collar for the One and Only hotel if you want. The BBQ dinner at the host home in CapeTown is very casual. I think this is one of the tours where we didn’t even wear our wedding rings and took cheap watches.
    Try to look old but agile and strut through that airport when you arrive, which is what we did, yet we still fell foul of bad signposting last time, but thankfully the guy who helped us was helpful and got his tip and than left us. Of course our last tour via Johannesburg was not with Tauck so we were on our own on arrival once we collected our bags and did not meet any company representative until much later.
  • edited July 2018
    DawnC28 wrote:
    Sorry, I didn't read through all of the routing (making my head spin!!)... but we booked the following from Buffalo:

    Buf to JFK to Dubai To Lusaka to Livingstone - Thurs 7:45 am departure, arrive Livingstone Fri at 5:20 pm - through Emirates.

    Layovers - 2h16m at JFK, 1h35m at Dubai, 1h35m at Lusaka.

    On the way home we are spending a few days in Dubai with no change to our ticketed price. On the way home we have 4 1/2 hrs in New York.

    Not sure if this is an option for you or not.

    On our previous Tauck tour, we flew out of Johannesburg and back, and home from there. Our Tauck Director recommended getting your bags wrapped to avoid the thefts. Not sure if that is an option before you leave in the US though?

    I would do anything we could to avoid Johannesburg in the future...and our Tauck Director gave us shortcuts and tips to get through it all!

    Just my two cents worth!

    Dawn

    Emirates sure has nice aircraft and service, though my wife is not a fan of the A380- too big? Did you take Proflight from LUN to LVI. That was one potential ET routing since they serve LUN, but we would need to take Proflight to LVI. If we were to fly ET, it is more direct and shorter if we are willing to land at VFA instead of LVI. For us, flying out of JFK requires we fly from a local feeder to Charlotte then to JFK. A pain and added expense.

    There are just too many options, and all with one or more disadvantage for us.
  • British wrote:
    Re Dawn’s comment about avoiding Johannesburg airport. Alan, please understand that if comparing this airport to the horrible Nairobi airport, Johannesburg is a modern international airport with all facilities and plenty of shopping, so it is just the more dangerous aspect of it that one has to be aware of. Bags, this is where you definitely do not put anything that looks like electronics, cameras or even binoculars in your checked bag. Anything of saleable value. And if your checked bag looks old and battered, the better it looks as if your bag might not be worth checking out for theft. The Bots,Zambia and SA tour is one of those where you really do need to take just safari gear with just maybe a better pair of pants and a long sleeve shirt or t shirt with a collar for the One and Only hotel if you want. The BBQ dinner at the host home in CapeTown is very casual. I think this is one of the tours where we didn’t even wear our wedding rings and took cheap watches.
    Try to look old but agile and strut through that airport when you arrive, which is what we did, yet we still fell foul of bad signposting last time, but thankfully the guy who helped us was helpful and got his tip and than left us. Of course our last tour via Johannesburg was not with Tauck so we were on our own on arrival once we collected our bags and did not meet any company representative until much later.

    Perhaps flying for 38 years helps, but we had no problems with our two visits to the Johannesburg airport. Everything went quite smoothly and we had no theft issues.
  • By next week this time, this should all be over- all airline itineraries will be in the booking window and I'll have made my selection. Tonight I decided to give BA another look. Their fare is very, very tempting, the lowest by quite a bit, of my various options. But I just can't see flying the entire way there and back in those terrible business class seats (or doing the NC to JFK thing.) As the expression goes, "What were they thinking?" Maybe that is why the business fares are so reasonable. The Delta fares keep going up and down for my constructive dates. I'll give them a quick look when their window opens, but I have little hope I'll see the lower fare (it was over $2k lower just two days ago!!!!). So, it is looking more and more like South African Airways for us.
  • AlanS wrote:
    Emirates sure has nice aircraft and service, though my wife is not a fan of the A380- too big? Did you take Proflight from LUN to LVI. That was one potential ET routing since they serve LUN, but we would need to take Proflight to LVI. If we were to fly ET, it is more direct and shorter if we are willing to land at VFA instead of LVI. For us, flying out of JFK requires we fly from a local feeder to Charlotte then to JFK. A pain and added expense.

    There are just too many options, and all with one or more disadvantage for us.

    The Lusaka airport is in Zambia, we fly in late August, so will try to post our experiences when we return. we booked this flight for the shortest amount of total flight time, it was the best option for us, and only a $200 USD more than other longer, and more hassle flights.

    Not sure where the Nairobi airport comment comes in, in another thread, or if it was related to my comment at all.

    I'm sure that whatever route I chose, it will be worth it in the end!
  • edited July 2018
    DawnC28 wrote:
    The Lusaka airport is in Zambia, we fly in late August, so will try to post our experiences when we return. we booked this flight for the shortest amount of total flight time, it was the best option for us, and only a $200 USD more than other longer, and more hassle flights.

    Not sure where the Nairobi airport comment comes in, in another thread, or if it was related to my comment at all.

    I'm sure that whatever route I chose, it will be worth it in the end!

    Thanks. It will be interesting to hear about your journey.

    Yes, I know Lusaka (LUN) is the capital of Zambia, but you must be flying Proflight, which has a flight that arrives at 5:20 pm in Livingstone (LVI), since the other carriers (Kenyan and SAA) all fly from Lusaka to Livingstone via Johannesburg.

    I think British was just trying to make a comparison between the airports in Nairobi (been there, not that great just a few years ago) and Johannesburg which she claims is much nicer.

    We still have another few days before all the booking windows open, but we've weighed all the factors and I think have come up with the best mix for us. That includes an overnight at the airport in Jo'burg. I know some folks in the past spent an overnight or long layover at Heathrow, Amsterdam, etc. on the way to Aftica, but this will be the first time for us. Rather than sandwiching a long layover in one of those, mid-transit, we will do it almost at the end before the short flight to Livinstone (our routing: IAD - JNB - LVI). When we flew to K&T (IAD - ADD - JRO) we had only one fairly short layover. We did fine and though we were really tired when we got to Arusha it was too late to do anything anyway. As we age, long enroute times are harder and harder on us. Our desired routing this time will get us to Livingstone just past noon so we will have time and hopefully be re-energized enough to enjoy the river trip to the hotel and investigating the hotel property, etc. since we'll hopefully get a full night's sleep at a hotel in Jo'burg the previous night (though I can usually sleep on long flights, my wife not so much).
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