Nigeria Meet South Africa: Let The Fun Begin!
Yes! I’m here again and for the next eight days I will be bringing you fantastic tales from the South of Africa. It’s always such a delight to write travelogues.
My last sojourn here was just about three months ago and I really couldn’t wait to be back to explore the rolling hills and breath-taking sceneries that keep drawing tourists from all over the world to this nation.
When I got the mail asking me to join this team of beautiful people for another tour, I wondered what was left to be seen. Then I got our itinerary and Google-d those places and I knew instantly that I couldn’t afford to decline such an opportunity. And I’m bringing you all the way on this ride so let’s start from the very beginning.
LEAVING FOR THE AIRPORT
I left the office around 4:56 pm on Monday, October 17, heading to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Leaving the island for the mainland can be quite hectic if one doesn’t plan well. But I’m glad I’m leaving well ahead of departure time as I hate having to rush when traveling. Since my ugly airport experience where I missed my flight twice on the same day, I made a vow never to fall into such circumstance again. The memory alone still frightens me.
Today’s looking good. I already checked in for my flight on-line before leaving the office. I don’t like avoidable stress. It took me less than 15 minutes to check in on flysaa.com. Easy, fast and done. It saves me time and helps avoid the long check-in queues at the counter. Phew!
IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOM CHECKPOINTS
If you are a frequent flier, you know what the drill is here. I came ready. Or so I thought. When I submitted my bag for checking, I found out that I’d left its key on my desk at the office. Undeterred, the officers found their way around it. It took me about 20 minutes to finish this phase. Next was the Immigration/NDLEA/Customs check point and boom! I see this officer pointing at me to come through the fast track lane. You know, this could cost some money to go through unless you are heavily pregnant or disabled. But on getting to the end of the lane, I found a smiling church member in her Immigrations uniform. Isn’t the Lord good?
LOUNGE AS IT SHOULD BE
All checks behind, I arrived the South Africa Airways Business lounge. Oh what a life! The moment I noticed WiFi signals on my device, I couldn’t resist the urge to work. But not without first helping myself to some tea, sandwich and hot delicious puff-puff. The Wi-Fi connection turned out to be a bit slow but I couldn’t be very bothered. I had South Africa on my mind.
At exactly 22:05Hrs, our flight departed the Murtala Muhammed Airport. I curled up in my seat, ready to nap through the five hours thirty minutes flight.
GOOD MORNING JO’BURG!
It’s 5:15a.m and we have just arrived the O.R Tambo International airport. We filed lazily yet excitedly past immigration and in less than 20 minutes we were in the arrival lobby being received by a friendly face. Our tour guide is named Hennie and he’s from the ‘Welcome Tourism services’. At this point, I really just want to wash my face.
BREAKFAST IN SANDTON, LUNCH IN SUN CITY
We drove into Sandton and checked into Sun Maslow for breakfast. Upon arrival at the hotel, Hennie hands us over to his colleague, Kingsby, as well as Didier Bayeye of Sun International.
After a sumptuous breakfast, we proceeded to the hotel lounge to rest before our journey to Sun city in the North west province.
The 2-hour ride into the magnificient Sun City resort was filled with what is now becoming a familiar site: beautiful landscaping. We arrived at the Sun Cascades, one of the four hotels housed in this resort, and we marveled at such exquisite detailing of layers and layers of pure magic.
After a quick 20 minutes spent ogling at the architecture, lunch was served at the Palace of the Lost City- another hotel within the resort.
Then we had the break. Whew! Finally, some time to freshen up and catnap.
SAFARI AND DINNER
After 3 hours of me-time, we regrouped in the lobby and was briefed about this next activity. The Pilanesberg National Park is situated in Sun City. It’s a vast game reserve boasting a variety of game animals. Virtually all the animal species native to South Africa are found here and its such a view. Hectares and hectares of vegetation and wildlife.
The drive took about 2 hours and when we got back we had dinner at the Sun city hotel. Dinner was delicious. I had my favourite dessert – pudding. Right now, everyone’s in their hotel rooms, resting their heads and getting a much deserved rest. I need some too. I am tired from the flight and drives, yet I can’t stop looking forward to tomorrow.
See more pictures below: