Contributors to this thread:
Direct to Joburg
Flying from Dulles! Does anyone have best information on flights directly to Johannesburg without stopping in Dakar! That place is a bit scary and it takes some time! Thank you.! Flights is at the end of May!
Personally I would check into direct flight out of Atlanta.
If go out of JFK you can go direct and get there early morning, so you don't have to spend the night in Joberg
Delta Flt 200- ATL to JNB Nonstop- depart around 8:00 PM and arrive around 5:30 PM following afternoon.
Delta Flt 201- JNB to ATL nonstop- depart around 8:00 PM and arrive around 6:00 AM following morning
Just booked my wife and myself from Chicago O’hare to Atlanta to JNB/return the same way. The only thing about JFK to JNB is that flight leaves at 11:30am and if you don’t live locally, you probably have to go to New York the day before. Sorry, don’t have any info on flights out of Dulles.
I read that the Dakar stop requires disembarking the plane as they fumigate the inside. After reboarding some people have difficulties with the air quality the rest of the trip. If it’s true that to me would be good reason not to go that route .
10 years ago I flew direct from Dulles to Joberg. At the time, that was the longest regularly scheduled flight in the world (18 hours). Coming back they stopped in Dakar at night for fuel but we did not deplane and nobody joined us. Seems like we were only on the ground for about 45 min to get fuel.
It has been 10 years since I flew through Dakar as well. As per the above, we did not deplane, and they fumigated the plane as they were taking off (but only on the way to Africa, not on the way back to the U.S. for some odd reason). While we were stopped for under an hour, they had each person stand and they searched their seat and overhead compartments, one by one.
The direct flights from the US to South Africa are more expensive than those that go through Europe/Middle East. Something to consider. I am flying to Namibia this July for a hunt so I have been doing a lot of homework checking out potential flight routes and prices.
Interesting responses. I have learned in traveling that it is sometimes better to pay a little more for a comvenient non- stop flights than to put up will the hassle of out of the way routes, time involved, flying regulations, etc. Time is money !
Also every transfer of luggage increases the odds that luggage gets loss in transit. Arriving with no luggage and late arrival luggage does not add to the "fun" of a trip. I often think about the acronym K.I.S.S. is very meaningful.
I'm flying delta direct in July. The extra cost is worth it to me to avoid connections. I always avoid connections when possible on a hunting trip.
The best advice I can give is to take two sets of everything. I put one bow in a Terra glide and the other in a Tuff Pak bow case. I am able to pack enough gear in each case so that if one case gets there I am hunting.
I have had lost or delayed bags twice in the 15 +/- times I have been there. It can take 2-3 days for your bags to get there. Once they got delayed once in Atlanta as I allowed a lot of time for my layover just in case. If your connection is more than 3 hours, they move your bags to a new area and then the were forgotten. Too much time is also a problem.
Another tip, is to sign up for a Delta Skymiles account and download the app. Make sure you sign up for text and email confirmations. You will get a message that shows when your bag has been loaded. If not, you can connect to Delta GOGO and start the process of looking for your bag while you are in the air. It can save you another day.
I travel extensively and usually use frequent flyer miles for these trips. I usually route through Europe on the way there and direct through Atlanta on the way home.
Using Virgin Atlanta Upper Class only requires 230,000 miles instead of 750,000 on Delta. You can use your Delta Skymiles as they are a Delta partner.
The disadvantage is you have a 12 hour layover on the way there. However, you arrive early in the morning. An example, would be leave Wednesday evening from Boston to London, arrive Thursday morning, fly out Thursday evening, and arrive Friday morning at 8 am or so. The other route would be fly Boston to Atlanta, Atlanta to Johannesburg and arrive about 5 pm or so on Thursday afternoon. It is usually too late to connect to another airport and so you end up spending the night in JNB. I would prefer to spend the night on the airplane.
Just my two cents...
In any event, have fun.
I am already booked for this year and next year.
You guys make a good argument for choosing a direct flight when possible. I don't disagree with anything that you have said. Also, well worth the extra money to get a comfort seat.
That Jo'burg flight was coach...and I mean regular coach for 18 hours. If you are served 3 meals (not snacks) while flying the same coach flight you know you've put some mileage in. That was rough. However it was the best hunt of my life to go to Zim and take an elephant. 10 years ago was too long. I'm ready to go back...even on coach!
Great comments all! Appreciated! Gary
Last trip was in 2016 with SA Air flew straight through on the way over but stopped at Dakar to refuel. I like leaving/arriving in the morning because we start hunting that afternoon and no over night in Joberg. Do not ever remember not stopping for fuel on the return from Africa.
Been a while since flying on SA Air back from JNB, but we did stop in Dakar and they did fumigate the plane after all passengers were boarded. I was not too happy with the experience. ATL- JNB Delta for me from then on.