Hoping to make a dream come true this year by visiting South Africa with my partner, so I'm looking for advice about the best way to get there. So far the flights we've seen have been a short hop to Paris or Amsterdam, a huge connection time, then a massively long flight to Jo'burg. I've never done a long-haul flight before so frankly the idea of being on a plane for 10+ hours is a little bit scary.
Ideally we'd like to stop off somewhere kinda mid-way for a day/night to make the most of the journey and break up the monotony.
We live in South Wales, so would like to fly from Cardiff, Bristol or Birmingham.
Can anybody recommend a 'custom' route to South Africa?
I don't know what you mean by scary regarding being on a plane for 10 hours, but at least a longer flight means you don't have to take off and land extra times...
Anyway, KLM flies from Amsterdam, and if you have the money, go for the economy comfort seats, which are worth the money if you are tall for sure!
Otherwise, long haul seats are generally much more comfortable than the standard 2-3 hour flights within Europe, usually 5-10cm more legroom and better entertainment, including drinks and food etc etc.
There loads of interesting destinations in between, but it probably going to cost you extra if you have to book separate tickets and stopovers are not always possible. I know Emirates offers this but it is a bit of detour to fly via Dubai. And personally I find Dubai the most overrated destinations in the world!
Otherwise check with Egyptair for really cheap flights and the option for checking out Cairo or so. I wouldn't recommend the airline though, just check some airline reviews online.
Bottom line: try finding flights via South African Airways, KLM, Emirates or maybe Lufthansa, BA or Air France. It is really not that bad and if you read something, play a game, watch a series/movie, time does fly....literally...
Anyway, have fun!
Your best option is probably to fly from Birmingham with Emirates via Dubai. They're a great airline and it doesn't make your journey too much longer.
I went to Dubai 11 years ago and wasn't keen but I've just got back from a few days there (before a trip to Oman) and I liked it a lot. If you're not afraid of heights you can go up the Burj Khalifa which offers amazing views, and there's loads of other stuff to do.
Thanks guys, really helpful.
Haha I didn't mean scared of flying as in take off/landing - I'm a fidget and sitting still for long periods is a nightmare lol.
I always find with the long flights, you sort of enter a state of trance / sheer boredom / relaxation that just helps pass the time. Sure, it drags on a lot, but as long as there is good entertainment you can really amuse yourself well enough. 3 movies = 5 hours ticked off already. Then there's meal times, reading magazines and of course trying to catch some sleep. In fact, ideally you just sleep the whole way if the time of day is right.
Don't be put off by the long flights. It's definitely better than stringing together a bunch of tiny ones. Unless you want to stop at a few destinations along the way of course.
enjoy the flight, as your destination is worth the inconvenience think of how much time you spend sleeping in bed anyway!
Emirates thru Dubai seems to be the best value for money, airport is clean and easy to hang out, or if a long enough wait, take a trip to see the buildings, and if you are a woman, dress modestly, as if not you will be the recipient of some judgemental stares. Irritating, but not earth shattering!
All european capitals have flights to JNB and CPT, so it is all much of a muchness, all above suggestoins are valid and true. Which ever way you choose, have a wondeful time.
Walk around and stretch during the flight, you will feel much better if you do even if you do drink a serious amount of alcohol on the flight, drink tons of water, hydrate and exercise, this will give you something to do!