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Trip Report - Mala Mala, Rattrays Jan 2006

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First Installment

After some frantic last minute work we were ready to head out. Saturday morning we flew United Business SFO-LHR. The airport was a zoo, with a long line to check in even for 1st class. We didn't have long to do any shopping, which really didn't bother me too much. Flight was good, though I think there was some kind of mistake, one of the attendants was actually pleasant ;-)
Spent Sunday visiting my family in Hampstead then over to Woking to see Elke's Gran for tea, then off to Heathrow for the Virgin flight to JNB. Again the airport was a zoo and so we had only 30 minutes to enjoy the Virgin lounge (only half done, so a little crowded). Flight down was delayed an hour, though I slept through most of the delay, waking as we took off. The new Suite in Upper Class is great, though the cabin section really gives a new dimension to cattle class, it looks like a barn with all these individual stalls.
Arrived JNB on Monday morning and had enough time to get cash, then walk to domestic to check bags for the SA Airlink flight to Mala Mala. If time is a little short for connections I recommend getting off the bus as fast as possible and get ahead of as many people as possible in the immigration lines. Split yourselves up into two lines, and choose the lines closest to the residents line (once they are through, they will open the lines to non-residents). We ended up waiting about ten minutes at the gate for our flight.
It's so nice after all the travelling to land directly at Mala Mala and then be just five minutes from camp. As frequent guests we are taken directly to our room, then we just bring the registration slip and our credit card to the office when we get chance.

As we requested our friend Leon was our ranger and we had the vehicle to ourselves for the first two drives until our friends arrived the next day.

More to follow..

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