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Johannesburg - limited free time / long layover

Johannesburg - limited free time / long layover

Old Aug 19, 12, 1:01 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Johannesburg - limited free time / long layover

Let me start by saying when I was given a business assignment in Johannesburg - I started mapping out my big safari adventure in Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park (as I considered any less to be inferior). I was going to stay after my meetings to accomplish this. Well, best layed plans, it all fell apart; mostly tried to book at peak times and not enough advance. So I was to go to Jo'Berg for 10 days with a weekend in between. I decided I'd try Lion Park (I so enjoyed my Tiger Temple trip outside Bangkok - which was incredible - but nothing like Lion Park) and I found an interesting tour for Pilanesburg National Park. I did my research on tripadvisor and emailed them of my plans which they agreed to help me accomplish and then some. I am not sure I can post recommendations of companies on this site, so I will just say they were incredible. I'm here mostly to say, don't be a snob. Pilanesburg is incredible. I was picked up in Johannesburg at 9 am. and we drove straight to the park (there are touristy places to shop along the way if that is your thing). We entered Kwamarenane drive in my guide's van (you must be in a high vehicle as a standard car you will miss alot because the grass is high). Within minutes we saw elephant, giraffe, wilderbeast, zebra and more. Half way in we stopped at a outlook (and bathroom) overlooking a waterhole and I couldn't believe my eyes, everything was right there, altogether (except for lions of course). You couldn't do this from an open air safari vehicle. By 2 pm he had us at the Buckubung lodge for a buffet lunch. Then at 3:30 we left on one of their open air safari vehicle for an afternoon/evening game drive. Again, not to disappoint as we added the buffalo and even lions (though they were quite a distance away, even with my bionoculars it was hard to see. But what I'm saying is other than leopard I did attain the Big 5 at this park. I did speak with a couple at my hotel who said they just returned from Kruger and didn't see lions, leopards or buffalo. So there you have it. If you are only in Johannesburg, there are things you can enjoy without the added cost or time to get to Kruger. BTW, Lion park was pretty awesome also.
trekker954 is offline  
Old Sep 10, 12, 11:08 am
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Thanks for your experience.

I would always suggest to prioritize Kruger over other places to see in SA, even in a city anyway interesting as Jo'burg.

Getting back from Kruger haven't seen lions, leopards and buffalos is very difficult however.

Probably in this case a cheetah has been there for a dutiful greeting
Forrest Bump is offline  
Old Sep 11, 12, 6:32 am
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Dublin
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I agree about Pilanesberg; it's hugely under-rated, and a lot of fun. It's slightly canned, but then so are the big money Sabi camps, they just disguise it a bit better

In general, I would say the whole of the North West Province is under-rated...
ThudAndBlunder is offline  
Old Aug 31, 14, 3:48 am
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Bali
Posts: 261
sleep in or see Johannesburg for the day?

Am wrapping up my visit to South Africa tomorrow and will be flying out to my next destination via JNB.

Was wondering whether I should sleep in at my hotel in Cape Town or get up early and catch the first flight to Jozi so I can see more of the country.

I've seen almost all I can see without a car in Cape Town (other than a township), so there's no more sightseeing I can do at CPT. I would like to visit Langa but there isn't enough time tomorrow morning before my current flight.

My flight from JNB leaves at around 7pm and I can get into JNB by around 9am. My current flight gets into JNB at 5pm, so just a short connection.

On this trip, I visited Addo Elephant NP, Jeffrey's Bay, Plettenberg, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert (via the Swartberg Pass), Cape Agulhas, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Simon's Town, Cape Point, and all around Cape Town and the N2 highway.

I will write a review on these places once I get back to a more stable/faster internet connection in a few weeks.

As I write this, I am leaning towards going to Jozi, but I am a bit behind on planning an efficient (and ideally cost effective) itinerary. Just one note, I will have one or two checked bags from CPT. Given the horror stories about pilfered luggage at JNB, I am not sure if I want to risk having my luggage sit at the airport for 10 hours. I will be flying SAA from CPT to JNB. Do they offer free luggage wrapping at CPT?

Thanks in advance for any ideas for 8 hours in Jozi!
mileagerunner is offline  
Old Sep 15, 14, 9:34 am
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Cape Town
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Layover time in Johannesburg


I am landing in Johannesburg from New York at 09h00 and my flight to Cape Town is at 10h10 with SAA. Is this sufficient time to go through passport control, collect baggage and go through customs? The below are my current options

1) Getting on a later flight the next day which means staying in JHB
2) Getting a refund for my booking and book via Emirates which saves money but increases flying time by 10hours
3) Try and make the flight to CT I am already booked on

Suhaifa is offline  
Old Sep 15, 14, 11:10 am
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Is it a single ticket all the way through to Cape Town? If it is and you miss your connection SAA should rebook you onto a later flight. It is possible to make that connection but I think that 70 minutes doesn't leave much room for error to get over to domestic checkin and clear security again.

Alternatively there are a number of other carriers who fly between JNB and CPT some of which are of the low cost type.
Steve_ZA is offline  
Old Sep 15, 14, 11:40 am
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I would agree with Steve - if on one ticket then don't sweat it, SAA will put you on the next flight. If on separate tickets I think you have a slim chance to making the connection, last time I landed at c 9am I was nearly an hour until through immigration.
Stewie Mac is offline  
Old Sep 15, 14, 1:41 pm
Join Date: May 2013
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My friend and I have done the 70-90 minute connection there twice (iad-jnb-cpt and reverse) and it's a mad rush to do so. I didn't have problems on the way there since my flight landed early but my friend almost missed his flight to Cape Town. On the way back when we flew together, we had to rush to make the flight to Washington which was easier to do since no checking luggage and all that. So it is doable but you really will rush if the first flight is on time or running late.
TheFerret is offline  
Old Sep 16, 14, 2:34 am
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Cape Town
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Thanks guys.

It is all under one booking and ticket. I have spoken to SAA and they have informed me that if we miss the flight due to delays on their end, then they would us on the next flight. Unfortunately all the flights are fully booked for the rest of that day.

Hopefully we can make the connection.
Suhaifa is offline  

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