Flying to South Africa

Getting to South Africa isn’t cheap from the United States but it’s worth putting the country on your list. If you live close enough to drive to one of the departing cities such as New Jersey, Washington D.C or Atlanta you can get there a lot cheaper. We flew from Denver to Dulles so that added on to our tickets.

You can get to Joburg several ways from the United States. We chose Dulles International Airport since my husband had already taken that flight several times for business.
We flew South African Airways because they had a great reputation and are a United Airlines Alliance Member and we wanted to rack up our miles. We flew Denver to Dulles and then Dulles to Joburg and finally to Cape Town. The total flight time including 2 layovers was a little over 26 hours. Keep in mind you’re jumping about 8 time zones so keep that in mind.

I don’t have many complaints about flying South African Airways except for the fact they lost our luggage. So we were without our clothing for about 3 days. (Thanks goodness for Woolworth) More on that later. We had scheduled our layover to be about 2 hours in Dulles but that still wasn’t long enough for our suitcases. Lucky, since I was traveling with my 3-year-old son at the time we were well equipped with diapers, Pj’s toys and extra clothing for him.

The airplane we were on was very nice and fairly new it seemed. Each seat in coach has its own direct TV, decent space for being coach and each purchased seat has a blanket neatly folded, a pillow and a mini case with a toothbrush, toothpaste and socks for the flight. For the kids they had crayons, and other activities. My husband travels business class when we works in Joburg and those seats are classy, roomy and you’re treated like a king. In hindsight I wish we would have traded in some miles but at the time it was the holiday season and Business class was booked solid.

On the way out our flight crew was spectacular, they were courteous, friendly and always eager to please the weary traveler. We enjoyed flying with South African Airlines and would recommend them for your trip across the pond.

Here are my 10 tips for taking the trans Atlantic flight to South Africa

1) Skip the heavy  DVD. Instead load up your I-POD or I-Phone with movies for the kids. The in flight entertainment is plentiful as well.

2) Do buy some odds and ends such as small play-dough, a small note-book, extra crayons. Don’t show your new goodies to the kids.

In Cape Town

We're in Cape Town

3) Do make sure to order the kids meals ahead of time.

4) Do bring some extra snacks for the kids to munch on.

5) Do follow their schedule such as nap times and bed times.

6) Bring extra clothing for the kids in case your luggage gets lost.

7) Do get up to walk around with them.

8) Make sure they are drinking plenty of water.

9) Bring their favorite bed time books.

10) Do talk about the flight weeks ahead. It will help the younger kids understand how long the flight is and will keep them calm.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Valentina Garcia-Gerdes
    Apr 07, 2010 @ 10:20:51

    Thank you! We actually already traveled there. I recommend Cape Town and areas around there such as Port Elizabeth for places to go with the kids. Much safer than Joburg..


  2. brandy0408
    Apr 07, 2010 @ 05:22:31

    I still haven’t experience bringing my kids out for on a trip and I’ve wanted to bring them to outside the country. Enjoy your tour in Africa.


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