We’ve got Insta-envy (we’re pretty sure everyone can relate to that, right?). There are so many spectacular historical sites, evergreen tropical islands and natural wonders to see around the world, and we’re just a little jealous of all the jetsetters out there that get to travel frequently to see all those places.
Having said that, we live in a pretty magical place ourselves. Nothing compares to early mornings in the Kruger National Park, where your alarm is the sound of the park’s native and colourful birds calling out, fluttering about and getting themselves ready for the day. And we’re sure we’ve mentioned those sunrises a few times, too (expect to see every shade or pink, blue and orange that you can think of!).
Inside and just outside the borders of the Kruger, you’ll find thriving cities with world-class facilities. We’re also super close to what one Forbes contributor called the prettiest airport in the world! Suffice to say that our beautiful, diverse South Africa can and will surprise you in many different ways.
Anyway, back to the fascinating concept of air travel. Don’t you think that it’s truly amazing that one can be in two completely different places in the space of a day? We read somewhere recently that about 4.1 billion passengers would have traveled by air in 2017! That’s a lot of people that have got up, got on an airplane and traveled (whether it be for business or leisure) across oceans and over whole continents! Even the most remote and exclusive destinations can be accessed with ease.
Now for those of you that open your passports and struggle to find a blank space because it is so full of stamps, you’re probably completely clued up when it comes to how to make air travel a breeze, how to pack smart, what to carry in your carry-on etc.
But the truth is, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a newbie, it definitely doesn’t hurt to brush up on a few helpful hints before your next flight – and that’s why we’ve put this blog post together. Keep reading and let’s see if we can’t surprise you with a few you’ve never heard of!
Be sure to pack a few necessities in your carry-on. While we’re sure that airlines do their best to keep your bags and belongings safe, it may happen that your bag gets misplaced. And you don’t want to be left stranded without your phone charger, passport or important travel docs (which you should always carry with you anyway), a change of clothes etc. More often than not, it’s just a precaution but it pays to be prepared.#2:
Speaking of packing, when it comes to saving space, opt for the rolling method… it works! It’ll save you a ton of space and allow you to pack smarter. Domino effect – the more effectively you utilise your space, the more necessary items you can pack in one bag, and the less bags you take on your travels. It may seem like an obvious one but, let’s be honest, it’s usually the little things that slip one’s mind.
Give yourself a little added peace of mind by doing a safety check on the airline that you’re travelling with. It may help to know that 2017 was actually the safest on record for airline passengers. A Google search will turn up several websites where you can check your airlines safety record, read up on passenger reviews as well as get more info on what that airline offers – airlineratings.com is a good place to start though.
On another note: Have you ever heard of flightradar24? It’s been around for a while but it’s still one of the coolest websites/apps to use! You can see live air traffic from anywhere in the world, track flights, get more info on arrivals and departures and, between us, it gives you great perspective on exactly how much air travel takes place on a daily basis. It’s fascinating stuff.
#4: This is an obvious one but it’s so worth repeating – checking in online makes your life a lot easier! Plus, we’re fairly certain you’ll feel more relaxed and ready for your flight when you’ve got a good seat and avoided standing in any unnecessary queues, with other (sometimes) disgruntled flyers.
Stand out from the crowd… with your luggage, that is. If you’re worried that the tag on your bag might come off when it’s being moved on and off the plane (which can indeed happen), opt for a bag with a unique colour or design – this will make it easier to find and impossible to confuse with someone else’s when you’re collecting your bag/s.
Staying on the subject of luggage, it usually helps to be one of the last passengers to check in your luggage. Based on how they are loaded onto a plane and unloaded at the end of the flight, the last bags in are usually the first ones out!
The thought of a double-digit-hour flight would sound daunting to anyone. And it doesn’t get much better if you have a slight or even full-on fear of flying. That’s why it always helps to bring something along to destress and relax yourself – like your earphones and your iPod (crammed with your favourite tunes), that best-seller you bought from the book store a month ago but haven’t had time to read, or that super comfy neck pillow that your mom bought you so that you can catch a few zzzs on the flight. It’ll go a long way in improving your overall travel experience.
And there you have it! A few tips and tricks to help you nail those air travel junctures.
If all this talk of taking to the skies, travel tips and jetsetting has you itching to plan your next adventure, we’re happy to say that we can definitely help you with that. And to ensure that the helpful hints that we shared with you, are put to good use, why don’t we tell you a little more about our Kruger Park fly-in safaris?
As we mentioned earlier, the Kruger National Park is surrounded by quite a few brilliantly-located and positively-pretty airports. It’s part of what makes the park and embarking on a Kruger safari so appealing! It’s a remote destination, away from high-rise buildings and concrete jungles, but it’s still easily accessible.
Plus, time away from one’s busy lifestyle is always a must.
That’s why many people opt to go on a Kruger safari in the first place – it’s perfect for that much-needed time away from a hectic job, you don’t have to worry about constantly buzzing phones or social media overload (while we do have network coverage in the Kruger, it’s good to give your phone a rest and rather take in the natural beauty around you), and there’s no Monday morning traffic with a long line of cars snaking their way as far as the eye can see.
In fact, when it comes to traffic in the Kruger, the only kind you’ll experience is a familial herd of elephants marching across the road or chacma baboons lazing on the warm tar in front of your vehicle, blocking you from going anywhere – though we’re fairly certain you won’t mind that kind of ‘roadblock’ anyway.
Seeing these animals in their natural habitat and experiencing the wonders of nature, untouched by man, can sometimes be the most therapeutic thing of all.
Now, while we are Kruger fanatics through and through here at Kruger Wildlife Safaris (as if the name didn’t give it away!), we also know that there’s plenty to enjoy around this spectacular National Park and around Southern Africa, too.
Remember when we said that even the most remote locations are a lot less effort to get to now? That also means that adding a stop at say, Victoria Falls or Cape Town during your Kruger Park safari becomes that much easier. It’s all about making the time you spend in each location (as well as traveling to each location) as worthwhile as possible.
So how does an epic Kruger safari, PLUS a visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world sound? Or perhaps you’d like to explore the Kruger National Park and a Private Reserve, without the lengthy (yet truly scenic) road commute from Johannesburg.
When it comes to a Kruger Park fly-in safari, variety is everything! Take our 3 Day Kruger Safari & Victoria Falls package, for example… it combines 3 days on a Classic Kruger Safari, with flights from Cape Town to an airport near Kruger Park and flights to Victoria Falls after your safari. That gives you the chance to not only experience the African bush in all its splendour but also one of Africa’s most magnificent and awe-inspiring natural wonders!
You could also get the most out of your Kruger Park fly-in safari experience by spending all your time in the Park, and deciding on an extended stay in Southern Africa later. In that case, a 4 Day Fly-in Classic Kruger Safari or a 4 Day Fly-in Classic Kruger Safari to Cape Town package might be more suited to you. Each one allows you to spend several days on a Kruger Park safari, but with return flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively.
If you extend your four day Kruger Park fly-in safari by one more day, you’ll get to experience eight daily game drives, plus return flights from Johannesburg to an airport around Kruger Park. Bonus – with our Kruger safaris, you have the option of visiting select attractions along the Panorama Route for a day. You do have to give up your game drives for that day but the route does boast a variety of stunning natural wonders that are worth seeing at least once during your stay in South Africa.
Safaris in Private Reserves and in National Parks offer you completely different experiences (you can read more about that in one of our previous Kruger Wildlife Safaris blog posts), and both are worth a try. A 5 Day Kruger Park & Sabi Sands Combo Safari gives you the ability to do just that, with return flights from Johannesburg, meaning your air travel is taken care of and that gives you much less to worry about and more time to make the most of your safari.
Air travel in constantly on the up and up, and according to a forecast by IATA, 7.8 billion passengers are expected to travel by 2036. That means more flights, busier airports and many more reasons to use the helpful hints in this blog post.
On that point, you may or may not know that we regularly post blogs with helpful tips and advice so be sure to check out our blog page for more.
On a final note: If you’re planning on embarking on a Kruger Park fly-in safari with us sometime soon and want to know what to expect, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram – we regularly post sightings that our guests and guides have experienced on their Kruger safari.
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I went on Safari with Outlook Safaris in June last year on part of a year out. Everything about the company was perfect, even before booking everything was very well taken care of. When I initially emailed with questions I was replied to very quickly and all the information I received was very useful,Robert was very patient with me. The drivers who picked me up in Jo’Burg were very friendly and professional and made the journey up to the Kruger Park very pleasant.I stayed in the most basic accommodation provided but it had all I needed including a fan and heater because the temperature varied so much. The Skukuza Park is stunning, with beautiful birds, baboons all wandering around. The game drives were amazing.
I just want to say that this was one of the most awesome experiences I’ve had. From the moment I first arrived until the sad last day I had to leave was amazing. Moss driving our group to Kruger National Park that first morning. Not sure if it was the early hour, but everyone was quiet and either looking out of the window, listening to their ipod, or getting some more sleep. I wasn’t sure what to expect. After our first stop for gas and snack some conversations started. By the end of the trip, I really missed seeing everyone every day and sharing those wonderful memories. I had such a good time building friendships and sharing laughs. I think I enjoyed making those new friends as much as seeing all of those wonderful animals in their own environment.
Both my husband and myself have traveled extensively and have had unquestionably one of the best experiences of our lives with Outlook Safaris. The first safari we took was the Classic 7 Day Kruger Park Safari, and this January/February we enjoyed the 5 Day Explorer Safari. Both safaris were wonderful and we were able to see many of the “harder to find” animals. The staff is enthusiastic about their jobs and it shows.Their excitement is only outdone by their knowledge of the bush.I would recommend also an overnight at Outlook Lodge on your return to Johannesburg where Chef and Manager Francois will pamper you with wonderful meals. The downy beds and intimate surroundings are refreshing after a soujourn in the bush. All in all, an experience never to be missed.
– Mary & Jim
An incredible company. Debbie the guide and also game driver has a wealth of knowledge and passion for the wilderness like no other. Being a single female traveller, I felt completely safe. All the staff are friendly, the meals delicious and the experience is second to none! The game drive vehicles are large enough to feel safe but small enough to have an intimate experience with the animals.
– Laura M