It took two flights of roughly seven hours from Singapore to Dubai and another seven plus hours to Johannesburg. I was fortunate on the first flight as I had no one sitting next to me. The flight from Dubai to Johannesburg wasn't full so I had lots of space, which made both flights more comfortable. Good food, good service and lots of movies on the Emirates flights allowed me to chill out after working long hours getting ready for the trip. People sympathised with me about the long flight, but I smiled and said, "I enjoyed it. It was a nice break from work."
Landing in Joburg I expected lots of problems with Immigration, David Bowden had quite some trouble and there was potential questions about Yellow Fever inoculation. They were more concerned about Ebola. The only question the Officer asked me was if I had a good flight. Then he complained about the Internet connection as his computer was running a slow.
David, from Copper Sunset and Tours who contracts with Sun International to provide transportation, met me outside the gate and led me to his new Audi for the half hour drive to the Maslow Hotel. This wonderful business hotel is part of the Sun International group, who are my hosts on this trip.
On the drive from the airport I asked David questions about SA, politics, the economy, crime. David said crime was very low. In some areas there is no crime at all, he claimed. In others it is very bad. He said the economy was very good. Just on that short drive I was impressed that the city was clean and well organized. The freeway was modern and well-maintained.
We also talked about the wildlife parks, which I will soon be visiting.
It was about 4:00am when I arrived so I skipped supper and just ate the snacks in the room as I went through emails and got settled in. I could have gone for dinner or taken advantage of room service, but I didn't feel like eating.
Sleep was my highest priority. The room is very classy and comfortable, but I am only staying one night. They also gave me a bottle of red wine 'Maslow Cape Blend Wine', which was very good, but I didn't get through one glass. It travelled with me to Sun City, to the Royal Livingstone and finally to Table Bay Hotel where I finally finished it off.
Breakfast and check out is at 8:30. Then I go to the Goodman Gallery before going to 'the Palace' to check in. In the afternoon: 16h30 Game drive to the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park.
The sun rose a deep wine red on what I expect will be a very interesting day. As I watched the sun rise I knew I was somewhere new that I'd never experienced before. I knew I was in Africa, but what I didn't know, is how good this trip was going to be. Everyday seem to exceed the previous day in experiences and meeting terrific people.
46 Rivonia Rd, Sandton,
2146, South Africa
Tel: +27 10 226 4600
@TheMaslowHotel @SandtonCity @TheGautrain