Anyone ever Redeem a AAward to Africa?

 
Old Jul 29, 01, 2:30 am
  #1  
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Anyone ever Redeem a AAward to Africa?

I would like to take my wife on a Safari and I'll have the miles by the end of September. From what I've read here on the boards BA would be the one to fly to Kenya. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this. And how much advance notice is needed on a trip like this?
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Old Jul 29, 01, 7:50 am
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I suppose for Kenya, oneworld's most logical partner is BA, but the awards are expensive. Two F tickets to Kenya are 400K miles. An alternative is CX to JNB, where two F tickets are "only" 280K.

Of course the side benefit to that is you "get" to fly four long haul flights in CX's spectacular First class cabins. Mrs. Bollar Is still talking about our CX flights we took to Africa earlier this year. We booked the flights five months in advance and it was not a problem. We got the dates we wanted without any changes at all.

If I may add a comment -- having done safari in Eastern & Southern Africa, I much prefer Southern Africa. It's much less crowded and certain types of game are more plentiful. Of course, safari in either place will be spectacular & unforgettable....

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Old Jul 29, 01, 11:15 am
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If you can choose the off season (rainy season), award availability is wide open.
BTW, keep in mind CX's Fall Award Sale: it is only 55K from North America to Joburg for a coach planAAhead award. Can use until Dec. 15 but must book by Oct. 31.
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Old Jul 30, 01, 3:46 pm
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Slightly off topic, but I too would recommend South Africa for a safari over East Africa.

My $.02
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Old Jul 31, 01, 3:19 pm
  #5  
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ErthCrclr or tomindc:

I'd be interested in hearing more about South African safaris.

If possible, could you email me? Thanks

Dudemon: I see the CX routing is 30+ hours but the mileage award level is nice. Did you find anything better with AA/BA?

Thanks
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Old Jul 31, 01, 3:31 pm
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FWIW, the time to JNB is about the same if you leave from Vancouver. BA is 26 hours, CX 30. From Seattle, you'd have to add in the drive to YVR, of course.

But, if the destination stays Nairobi, BA is still 26 hours & CX becomes probably 37 hours or so.

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Old Jul 31, 01, 3:51 pm
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If you decide to go to South Africa, spend as little time in Johannesburg as possible. The safaris around Kruger National Park are wonderful but Johannesburg is the pits.
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Old Jul 31, 01, 10:02 pm
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I would definately choose South Africa over Kenya. I've been on safari in both several times and think RSA is a better tourist destination.

Kruger National Park has lots of small private parks along the edge. Ngala is my favorite but carries a high price tag. Sabi Sabi was less expensive but we still saw lots of game. For the budget minded, I've also stayed in roundavels inside Kruger that were fine.

The main benefit of South Africa over Kenya is Cape Town. While Joburg is truly the toilet bowl of Africa, Cape Town is a sparkling jewel at the end of the continent. It's well worth a week.

Airline wise, I too vote for CX. Stop off in HKG for a day each way to break up the trip. You can't beat the AAwards price of only 140K for FC. BA is using the new BC flat seats on some LHR-JNB flight which might be a good alternative though if you don't have a lot of time or miles!

Whatever you do, enjoy Africa. I always say once you get Africa in your blood, it never leaves. And I'm not talking malaria.
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Old Aug 1, 01, 11:28 am
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An alternative is to pay for the RT to/from London, and use your award for travel from London to Africa. That's what I did when I went to South Africa, and, particularly with the low fares now to London and if you have any elite status, it can be well worth your while.
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Old Aug 3, 01, 6:23 pm
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I'm also on the bandwagon for the Kruger Park in South Africa. It was very well controled and managed in 1997 when I last went. South Africa is deteriorating along with the rest of Africa but from a much higher base.

Try to swing through Cape Town as well. South Africa is on my B list of safe countries, Kenya is a C where:

A - As safe as it gets (U.S, most of Europe, etc..)
B - Mostly safe (Thailand, South Africa...)
C - Safe enough for smart travelers (Kenya, Vietnam...)
D - Not so safe (Tanzania, Egypt, Indonesia)
F - You're asking for trouble (Columbia, Congo...)

When is Disney going to buy up a few African countries and make going to game parks a mainstream vacation?
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