Wednesday 5th of November 2014 and I left Thai Airways lounge just after midnight. Not eating anything at all in the lounge. We will get food on board, and as I have previous experience form Thai Airways I know that the food will be better on board Thai Airways flight TG 991 to Johannesburg than they serve in the lounge. But I have a new idea and I will not eat on board as I have planned to have an empty stomach and my sleeping pill will kick right in and I will hopefully sleep all the way to South Africa.
But it will not be the first plan I have had that have went down the drain. I had my alarm to go off 6 o'clock in the morning for me to be tired. I “snoozed” before turning off my alarm and I
woke up at 10 o'clock, darn!
THE RA-IKANE 5-STAR LUXURY SUNSET CRUISES
The Ra-Ikane, the only one of its kind in Victoria Falls, is a small luxury cruise boat that is out-fitted to suggest, in exquisite detail, an ambiance of a bygone era. The vessel was built to replicate the “Ma-Robert” – Dr David Livingstone’s boat. This cruise boat is exclusive and personalised and designed to complement your stay with us. Period decor, historic memorabilia, fine cuisine and refreshments characterise a level of comfort and grace unsurpassed on the Zambezi.
Well, I did my boxing exercise, the last until I'm back home, so this will help me sleep a wee bit, I hope. Well, anyway, it would be nice to get some sleep as I have a full day ahead of me. 5 nights at Victoria Falls and my days are fully booked in order to see as much as possible. And at arrival to Victoria Falls
Hotel, a quick shower and I will be of for a Sunset Cruise on Zambezi River to get to know the area.
They say it is a luxury cruise, I checked the pictures on the internet. There is a bar and the boat looks nice, but luxury cruise?
Well, it is like all the luxury condominiums in Bangkok, all condos are luxury. Plain Swedish standard, but of course, luxury comparing to some of the hovels that used to be around. Well, anyway, I'm ready to be surprised!
My flight, TG 991 is departing at 01:15 and I left my apartment almost 4 hours before departure time. My driver asked me when the flight was leaving and I told him that it was leaving at 1 o'clock in the morning.
- Good, we have time, very much traffic. Heavy rain!
- Why is it that Thai people start driving their cars as soon as it starts to rain? I asked
It is like everyone have to run off to their cars as soon as there is a black cloud on the sky. Well, anyway, I thought he was joking. But after an hour and we were still on Sukhumvit Road. I told him that it must be an accident otherwise there would not be traffic like this, well, on a Friday maybe.
And I think I was right, we reached the intersection at Sukhumvit Soi 3 and 4 and as soon as we had passed the red light it was open roads.
Well, almost. We were hauling arse and we skidded in to the kerbside at gate one at Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 10 o'clock. Good, still more than 3 hours to departure and I will not miss my safari.
Yeah, would have been a foocking dream come through sitting in the traffic on Sukhumvit when my flight was departing for Johannesburg, South Africa.
So I was relieved when we reached Suvarnabhumi and I looked around. Seems like I'm the only one in safari uniform around here. You always see some stupid looking people at an airport so I'm not sure I'm the most stupid looking one, but I'm for sure up there at the top of the list.
But looking stupid and being stupid is two different things, well, at least it can be. But I had a girl coming up to me, in a fancy uniform and she asked if I was going to London.
- Are you stu***? Would I wear a safari uniform going to London?
Well, maybe I'm the stupid one. Maybe she was only trying to exchange pleasantries and contact details. For sure not every day they have a dashing adventurer on Suvarnabhumi airport. And here we have our hero fighting them off.
Not much people in the check-in and I had checked-in in a jiff and I was soon on my way to the security and immigration.
I had 2 cans of diet drinks in Thai Airways lounge and I can't say that I enjoyed them as they don't have any Diet MAX in the lounge.
But I had time to update my web page. And that is very good as I suspect that there won't be much time for this in Africa.
I can also feel that I have a sore throat coming up so I passed Boots to buy something for my throat. It started this very morning and it disappeared during the afternoon, maybe because of the boxing excitements and I had a Japanese dinner with my friend. But as soon as I was back home I started to feel it again.
There is always the option to wait until we're in Africa, maybe they have some stronger remedies in that part of the world.
I bought some Stepsils and some spray with anti- inflammatory effect. You spray the throat with the pipe sticking out from the can. I never seen something like this before, but it look fancy and I will hopefully feel like a million tomorrow. Or there is always the Witch Doctor option, for sure, I don't want to run around Victoria Falls with sore throat
At Thai Airways lounge - Suvarnabhumi International Airport
Boots - Suvarnabhumi International Airport
Suvarnabhumi International Airport
I was at Gate B5 ten minutes before scheduled boarding time. The staff explained to me that the boarding time printed on the boarding pass was just the time for being prepared at the gate. Well, what a difference form the Japanese style of doing it. They made an announcement that boarding would ne late last time in Tokyo, and I was disappointed. Turned out boarding was 2 minutes late.
2 minutes, that’s the same as nothing, but the ground staff in Tokyo was so sorry for this.
Boarding time 00:35 and we started boarding about 10 minutes after that so it was OK. I got my seat 15B and I asked the crew if the business class was full on this flight.
- It is not full
- Then maybe I will have these 2 seats by my self
- I will have a look
She disappeared up front in the aircraft and she came back and told me that I was alone in these two seats. Very good, I always ask for aisle seat, but now I took the window seat and the escape route to the aisle was empty.
Take off and I told them that I didn't want anything to eat, just a bottle of water. I popped a sleeping pill and I was asleep around 9 thirty South African time. 5 hours difference between Johannesburg and Bangkok. I woke up at 4 o'clock, way more sleep than expected and I was in a good mood. Especially since my sore throat was much better. Just a small annoyance remaining. So it looks like there is no need to go see any Doctor at arrival.
The Stewardess found 2 of the bigger size tea cups for me and I was enjoying my tea while we were flying over South Africa approaching Johannesburg.
I was sitting alone, and the guy on the row behind me was alone, the remaining seats were full and I guess it was a Thai Airways “Family and friends” day. I'm not sure, but when we had boarded in Bangkok there were suddenly a lot of people joining us in the business class. Looked like about 20% of the business class was family and friends.
Well, never mind for me. I don't know how many people they are up front in the Cockpit, I hope at least three because there were two of them in the business class section. Yes yes, it is not the first time I'm flying and on the long haul we can see the pilots (one by one) coming down the aisle to stretch their legs.
But now we had two of them entertaining the female passengers. Most likely girlfriends and they walked by tousle their hairs (affectionately). Captain bringing fruits for them etc. As I mentioned before, I don't care, knock your self out. But main thing is to get us safe to Johannesburg in South Africa.
I had enjoyed my flight, well, I don't know if enjoyed are the word we're looking for. But it had been OK, except for the pilots entertaining the passengers. I suppose there is a reason for them to have the cockpit. And I was not very happy when they brought their family/ friends in to the cockpit. We have all read about Russian and Chinese airlines crashing after family members being in the cockpit trying to fly the airplane.
I was relieved when we landed in Johannesburg and I went to get my boarding pass for South African Airways flight SA 40 to Victoria Falls. I passed the security and this is the second security, Bangkok and Johannes burg. I only have a carry on bag and it is full of mosquito repellent and juice for my e-cigarette. And of course, a “forbiden” size toothpaste tube. No worries and I was happy to have both my juice for the e-cig and mosquito repellent with me without problem.
I found my way to South African Airways and Star Alliance lounge and I was soon busy updating my web page while drinking a bottle of water.
I was hungry even though I had had an excellent breakfast on board Thai Airways flight TG 991. Yes, you cannot complain about the food when flying with Thai Airways. I had two muffins in the lounge and time turned very quick and it was soon 9 thirty. Boarding at gate A23 @ 10:05.
I had brought me 20 nico chew and I was afraid that this would not be enough. So I left the lounge and I went to look for a drug store. I found a drug store, after having had to stop a few times to ask for directions. And they had nico chew and I asked for the strongest chewing gum they had.
- No, the strongest!
- 4mg is the strongest!
- That is the “BABY” chew!
Well, I bought the 4mg and 60 Aspirins and this turned out to be 200 ++ Scooby Dollars or 25 US Dollars. I threw my AMEX on the counter
- We don't accept AMEX
I gave them my Master Card and they asked for the pin which I had forgotten a long time ago. Then I gave them Bangkok Bank VISA Electron and this card was rejected.
- What the foock, an International Airport don't accepting AMEX!!??
I gave her 100 US in cash and she wanted to give me Scooby Dollars back. I had 2000 US in 100 Dollar bills and a 20 dollar note. I asked her to take away one pack pf Aspirin and it turned out to be 19 US and I gave her my 20 Dollar bill.
No need to muster all that imagination to understand that I was in a bad mood, not accepting AMEX at an international air port. I started to trot towards gate A23, well, it was more limping than trotting.
Safari boots and I have tormented myself for 2 weeks walking in them to make them comfortable, and they are. But I had one of my more stupid ideas yesterday going back home from Home Pro. I decided to stop for a pedicure. If they can cut my claws there will be a few mm extra in the shoes.
Not needed, but it can be nice to cut the nails preparing for long hikes in Africa. So I went inside and I spent an hour and the girl managed to cut my right foot and now it feels like walking with an aching football for right foot.
Yes, I was not happy about it. My shoes was very comfy to walk in and I was looking forward to hike around Victoria Falls. My throat feels very good and, well, I feel like a million. AND NOW THIS! I WAS SWEARING MORE THAN ONE TIME OVER THE GIRL IN BANGKOK!!!
Well, it was my own fault, but right now it made me feel a wee bit better to blame her. And my mood didn't turned any better when I discovered that gate A23 was like a foocking bus terminal. Bus to the aircraft. And when it was our turn to board the bus the people from gate A 24 boarded our bus. The staff looked puzzled and only God knows where this passengers will end up. On our flight to Victoria Falls?
There were some turmoil and rumpus at the gates and I was not sure for what flight our bus was going. But I saw some passengers from gate A23 so I guess we were going to South African Airways flight SA 40 to Victoria Falls, but I was not sure. Well, anyway, we took off and I was tired and hungry. And I was really looking forward to a shower. And we arrived to a plane, but this plane was not ready for any passengers.
I don't know if our driver got new instructions, but he made a U-turn. And we were soon passing gate A23 bound in the other direction. What the hell is going on around here?
We were soon approaching another airplane. God help us! Let this be the flight to Victoria Falls!
Boarding South African Airways flight SA 40
Boarding South African Airways flight SA 40
Boarding South African Airways flight SA 40
I was limping on board with the darn football for right foot. South African Airways only have Airbuses in their flight and I flew a domestic route with them. It was one of the worst flights ever. But this was a Boeing and the chairs was comfortable and space for my legs (and arse)
I asked the Stewardess if this was the flight to Victoria Falls (three times and she confirmed this three times) and I asked if the flight was full.
- Yes, the flight is full today
But I was very lucky, the seat between me and a lady from Germany was empty and it was quite a comfortable flight.
I even got a snack and it tasted good, yes, I was very hungry. I even felt asleep for a while so it was not bad. But my foot was aching and I was eager to get to my hotel room. Well, I would not mind having some sleep, but I have a full program and we start right off at 16:00 when they pick me up at the hotel for a river cruise/ river gaming.
Approaching Victoria Falls International Airport and the representative from Africa Travel Tours. I have booked transportation between hotel and airport with Africa Travel Tours so no need to worry about taxi. Just as I had originally planned my trip with Siyabona Africa.
Getting old and it is nice with the extra comfort, and as I have a dollar or two more in my pocket comparing to when I was a teenager it is nice to be chauffeured around. Yeah, Bwana is coming to town!
Yes, I was really looking forward to this. But my foot, the pain got worse by the minute and I will swim and walk at the crest of Victoria Falls tomorrow. We have a lot of activities so I'm worried about the whole thing, very worried! Must of the activities, well, all activities involves using my feet.
Now I have set up my own trip with Made in Africa Tours, Victoria Falls Guide and Africa Travel Tours. About the same price as with Siyabona Africa, well, I got exactly the same dates plus some extra activities at Victoria Falls and I paid 2000 US less and I can trust this companies. Siyabona Africa started to Scooby Doo around when it was time to pay the bill.
Quotation: 13,610 US
The Bill: 200,000 ++ Scooby Dollars
(I checked and it is 18,000 US)
Siyabona Africa say it is 13,800 US and I can pay in the Scooby Doo Dollars. I ask where they get the 13,800 from.
- From an online currency converter we use
- Well, I get it to 18,000 and not 13,800
- No no, no problem, you can pay
They started to tell me they had entered the wrong amount and the last I heard from them was that they had mixed up Dollars and Euro, of course, by then I had decided to cancel my trip with Siyabona Africa. And I was scared that my whole adventure would capsize and sink, but I found Made in Africa Tours and here I am on my way to Victoria Falls.
15 minutes to go to Victoria Falls and I woke up shitting my pants. We bounced and I thought we hit the tarmac. But it was turbulence and I was very afraid. The plane was bouncing and I was afraid that we would crash. I expected the pilot to abort the mission and return to Johannesburg.
This South African pilot, obviously a fighter ace from the Boer war and he refused to give up. We landed and the aircraft was tilted by 45° and my pants were full. I have never been so scare before.
So it was nice, very nice to get off the plane and I was so happy to get out of the plane walking the earth again. Now I will have to fight with the Immigration and I hope we can pass this formalities very quick. Maybe I should call for assistance, a wheelchair to take me and my right foot through the immigration.
South African Airways flight SA 40 arrived safe to Victoria Falls
South African Airways flight SA 40 arrived safe to Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls International Airport
Air Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls International Airport
Our hero safe on the ground with his pants full
Approaching the terminal and I had a guy coming to offer me a bottle of water and he wanted to assist me. Starting good, but as an old Swedish Nazi I was sceptic at first. But they were really nice around here. Well, I was not so happy when I discovered the immigration. Kind of woke up the old Swedish Nazi in me again.
Two lines, one for SINGLE ENTRY and one for DOUBLE ENTRY. 2 Immigration Officers at each counter and I thought we were going to kick arse. Well, it took so long time and I could hardly stand on my right foot.
- What the foock is going on up there?
I could not believe my eyes, what are they doing. Take the money and stamp the passports. On the flight I had had company by a German group and a Japanese group and we were all waiting here. And it took me an hour before it was my turn at the immigration.
I don't understand, it took me 2 minutes to complete the formalities. What have they been doing here? I was happy to be through the immigration.
No checked luggage so I just put my carry on through the scanner and I was in the arrival hall looking for my driver. And there was a guy with a sign with my name. Good, let's put this place behind us. The quicker the better.
The driver told me that we were waiting for another passenger before we could leave.
- What the
- One more guy is coming
- I booked my own car
Turned out that it was a van and there were already a few passengers waiting for us. I have been up and about for about 24 hours and now I have to wait for another passenger. Of course, I have booked my own car.
Seriously, what’s the point? Luckily enough that I had not paid Africa Travel Tours. I went to look for a taxi and I was soon on my way in my own car. I want to have a shower ASAP and I want to get my right foot out of the shoe ASAP.
On the way to Victoria Falls Hotel
It was the dry season, but it will start to rain any day now. There had already been some rain. The landscape was dry and brown. Water level in Zambezi River low and not much water at Victoria falls. Good, I can swim in the Devils Pool and the gaming is excellent. A few days of rain and it will be an explosion of green.
And when it is green it is hard to see the animals. And during the dry season the animals goes to the water holes and rivers. So I hope to get a good gaming experience.
My own car and I had a good chat with the driver, he told me that here were plenty elephants, buffaloes and even loins during the late afternoon. We passed some monkeys on our way to Victoria Falls Hotel.
Otherwise only goats and cows. But I got plenty of good information from my driver. Well, we entered Victoria Falls Town and we were soon at my hotel. YIIIIPEEEEE! A shower, and lunch!
I expect to take some pictures during the adventure in Africa and I will split up this adventure in a few pages trying to save us some down loading time. Of course, there is also the option to follow our Hero's adventure on the map of Botswana above.
Click any of the links below:
Wednesday 5th of November 2014
• Checking in to Victoria Falls Hotel
Thursday 6th of November 2014
• Devil's Pool in Zambia
• Guided tour of the falls in Zimbabwe
Friday 7th of November 2014
• Elephant back safari
• ZAMBEZI SPECTACULAR Helicopter flight
• Sunset cruise and Dinner
Saturday 8th of November 2014
• Zambezi River canoeing
• Night Safari and Bush Dinner
Sunday 9th of November 2014
• Historical Bridge Tour
Chobe Game lodge
• Moving from Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park - The African safari adventure starts
• Day 2 - Other side of the tar road
• Day 3 - River drive
• Day 4 - Group safari
• Day 5 - Last safari
Friday 14th of November 2014
• Flying to Savuti Airstrip
Camp Ghoha Hill
• Arriving to Ghoha Hills - Evening Game Drive
• Day 2 -Safari in Sevute
• Day 3 - Safari in Savute and Linyanti Swamp
Monday 17th of November 2014
• Safari Air's flight from Savuti Airstrip to Xakanaxa Airtrip
• Arriving to Camp Xakanaxa - Afternoon on the Khwai River and Xakanaxa Lagoon
• Day 2 - Morning Game Drive at Moremi Game reserve
• Day 2 - Afternoon on the Khwai River and Xakanaxa Lagoon
• Day 3 - Camp Xakanaxa - Last Game Drive in Moremi Game reserve
Monday 19th of November 2014
• From Xakanaxa Airtrip to Kalahari Plains Camp via Maun
Kalahari Plains Camp
• Arriving to Kalahari Plains Camp
• First safari in Kalahari
• Last safari in Kalahari
Saturday 22nd of November 2014
• From Kalahari back to Victoria Falls
Sunday 23rd of November 2014
• The African adventure have come to an end - Flying to Johannesburg
Monday 24th of November 2014
• Time to go back home to Bangkok
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