African Safari: Part 1 – Getting there

A year ago New Year’s (2017) we decided to take the family on a Safari to South Africa for Christmas/New Year’s 2017/2018.  We had spoken with good friends who also wanted to go and we decided to go as a group, 13 of us in total. The planning took almost the full year.  We got in touch with Leslie from Red Sun Safaris (who came highly recommend from another friend) to start the planning process.  After months of planning we are finally packing for this trip,  we are limited as to what we can take, we can take a duffle bag, which is easier to transport on Safari’s, with a limit to 44 lbs /bag. I packed the following as I can do laundry as needed:

-2 pairs of shorts
-2 long pants ( I brought 3, one of which are zip offs)
-7 pairs of underwear
-3 bras and a strapless
-3 dresses ( we are at a hotel for New Years in Cape Town)
-1 romper
-3 long sleeve tops
-3-4 tank tops
-swimsuit/wrap
-hat ( bought a Tilley)
-scort
-had my sweatshirt, spring jacket, hat and gloves from our flight from Canada
-sunscreen
-bug spray
-toiletrries

We flew British Airways with a stop in London, before we continued to Johannesburg.  When we were checking in at the airport we found out that we were upgraded to first class… a great surprise and the kids were upgraded to business class.  In first class, we were greeted with a glass of champagne and a menu for our in-flight meals.   I settled into my sleeper seat and we were on our way.  I feel so spoiled up in first class, the meals are served on glass dishes, wine is served in little glass wine glasses, wow I could really get used to this.  After 6.5 hours we landed at London’s Heathrow Airport.
We landed in London, and were able to leave the airport as we had an 8 hour stopover,   we had rented a private coach ( there were 13 of us) to take us to Windsor Castle. The area around the Castle was decorated for Christmas! There weren’t any crowds as it was Christmas Eve, so we got through the Castle quite quickly. Such a spectacular place, photo were not permitted inside the Castle, sadly I can’t share the beauty of the rooms. I didn’t realize  that the Castle is used by the British Royal family quite regularly for state dinners. The state apartments are furnished with some of the finest works of art from the royal collection. Queen Mary’s Dollhouse is a replica in miniature of an aristocratic home designed for queen Mary in 1923. The doll house is fully equipped with working plumbing and lighting. St. George’s Chapel was closed so we could not see inside. We found a pizza place , as we were short for time and had a quick bite. Then we headed back to the bus to get back to the airport.

Our 2nd leg of the flight , 10 hours and 35 min, is on a double decker plane. We are on the upper deck and the kids are on the lower deck . We are in executive class, not as nice as first but still fantastic wider seats and a menu for dinner, champagne 🥂 upon arrival. Upon arrival in Johannesburg our guide Leslie and his son, Yoav meet us st the airport. After an hour or more in the airport we are off again to Kasane, Botswana 🇧🇼. We land at the airport and then got into two vehicles to get us to our first lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge.   We are greeted with a refreshing drink, we changed, showered and got ready for our river cruise.  It is 50 degrees celsius, which is much warmer than home

More to come, had to break it up,  I have so much too share that its too much in one post.

xoxox

M

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