Flight Transfer Time at Johannesburg Airport

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Sep 1st, 2013, 10:40 AM
  #1
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Flight Transfer Time at Johannesburg Airport

My wife and I are flying from Hoedspruit to Johannesburg on SAA then transferring to Ethiopian Airlines for our flight to Kilimanjaro via Addis Ababa. We have only 1 hour and twenty minutes between arrival and departure. Is that enough time? It looks like the domestic and international terminals are right next to each other.... The SAA flight is on a De Haviland Dash 8 Turboprop; will we take our luggage onto the tarmac and pick it up on deplaning, rather than checking bags and waiting at the carousel? Is the flight to Addis Ababa likely to be full? What's outbound airport security like in Johannesburg? We're doing this on Monday, October 21st. Any info would be appreciated.
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Sep 1st, 2013, 02:24 PM
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We flew in from Nelspruitt and changed in Jo'burg, but we had a little more time than that and it wasn't a problem. Here's something that's worth finding out. We had to get our luggage from the Nelspruitt flight and recheck it. We were flying international to the states, but I'm not sure if your connecting flight would be considered a regional flight or an international flight since it's a different country and a different carrier. I think that might be the influencing factor. Hope that helps a little. BTW, we were encouraged to have our luggage 'wrapped' at Jo'burg which did take a little time.
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Sep 1st, 2013, 04:32 PM
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That should be enough time to connect. You should be able to check your bags all the way as both airlines are members of Star Alliance. Request the boarding passes for your connecting flights when you start out in Hoedspruit as this will save you a LOT of time in JNB as if you have boarding passes in hand you won't have to line up again at the check-in counter.

I've flown through JNB a few times and never had my bags wrapped and so far (knock on wood) have never had a problem. JNB is one of my favorite airports in the world.
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Sep 1st, 2013, 08:37 PM
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Thanks Caroline & Femi - that's very reassuring information. I'll check out whether we can check our bags through and get boarding passes for our EA flight. We're really excited about our trip. First we'll be in a private lodge near Kruger (Ezulwini), then on to Tanzania for an 11 day safari with Shidolya Tours. We'd also appreciate any feedback or advice on the safari portions of our trip too! Thanks to the travel community!
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 05:26 AM
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Hi Ulunick

I would not have thought you could check a bag from Hoedspruit for an international flight so let us know if that works.
I would be a bit uncomfortable about that timing as not a lot of room for error so best to check if you can book bags in Hoedspruit otherwise I would be trying for an earlier flight out of Hoedspruit.
I always have my bag wrapped as it gives me a peace of mind plus I know if someone has been in the bag. Even though it is painful to get the wrap off, I do the trip a couple of times a year for over 10 years and would not consider leaving the wrap off!
I also thought airlines would not let you book flights that were too close together timewise, but not sure about that.
Kind regards
Kaye
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 10:44 AM
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It's been some years since we did similar and we could not check bags from an internal SA flight to the international. On landing from Hoedspruit bags were off loaded onto carousel at Domestic, where (we did have more time) leisurely walked to International. Here ALL bags were searched before we could checkin/obtain our boarding passes. Then security, carryon bag checks into the main Intl terminal. Once our gate was called, there was another security check before we could board. Can't advise if/how procedures have changed since.

If there is an earlier flight and though no one enjoys hanging out at airports, JNB is civilized, though maybe not as is AMSterdam (my opinion). Rather wait with a good book, descent eateries, shops... than missing ongoing flight.

As transiting thru ADD, believe you require Yellow Fever inoc and proof of same for entry to Tanzania. Sometimes this is asked for, others not... but rather have than have this given to you on site at USD$50/person.
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Sep 3rd, 2013, 04:17 PM
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Ulunick - We stayed at two private lodges near Kruger NP in the Sabi Sands Reserve two years ago and it was wonderful. We stayed at Elephant Plains and Cheetah Plains. We had to change midway because neither could take us for the whole time we were to stay. However, both were great. Be sure you ask for Malva Pudding. It's like a staple in the fridge there and I wanted to take the pudding home with me. ;-)

We went in Sept and Oct, so it's beginning to get warmer. I'm sure you've already talked about the Malaria meds, etc. I actually loved the bug net beds. They were so elegant that you felt like Cleopatra or in your case, at least your wife will. ;-) However, my husband was beginning to like it too by the time we left. We can't wait to go back. You'll have lots of fun.
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Sep 3rd, 2013, 04:29 PM
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Yes, Sandi, ours was only 2 years ago and we had that problem, so I'll be interested in it. Nelspruitt and Hoedspruitt aren't very far apart and similar situation.

Oh, I just remembered, I have a friend who grew up in SA and now lives near me in the US. She flies in and out of Hoedspruit regularly and told me today she is going in December to a wedding. I'll e-mail her and try to find out. I tried to call her but she wasn't home. When I find out, I'll post it here.
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Sep 4th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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Ulunick I just spoke with my friend who has dual citizenship SA/US and flies that route to visit her family. She agrees that when you fly in on a regional from Hoedspruit that you must retrieve your luggage and go through international customs in Jo'burg.

Personally, I don't recall it being extremely long that it took us to go through customs, but I do think an hour and 20 minutes could make it 'iffy' depending on how long it took to get your luggage from the originating plane, get to and through customs and then on to your concourse. I agree with Sandi that I'd try to get an earlier flight from Hoedspruit or a later international flight. I know there aren't that many flights per day to Nelspruit and I suspect Hoedspruit might be the same. However, if there is some way to check both airports you might somehow coordinate it so you could get one or the other. I don't recall exactly, but I believe it's about an hour between the two and if you don't have a car, some of the lodges offer transportation too. I hope some of that helps.
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Sep 8th, 2013, 05:19 PM
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1Caroline - this is my 3rd try at posting a response to your thoughtful messages. I'm going attempt this post before going further....
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Sep 8th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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Yea! Well, we don't have much choice on flights. There's nothing earlier out of Hoedspruit (12;00 flight landing at 1:00 pm) and nothing later out of JNB to Tanzania (2:20 pm departure). I was doubtful about being able to check our bags through, though it sounded great. We're considering going lighter, with each taking a carry-on bag and a good size daypack, which would also help with a small plane flight we have from Serengeti to Mahale Park on Lake Tanganyika.

We're staying at Ezulwini Lodge in Balule Nature Reserve in So Africa; I wonder if your friend knows of it.... Thanks for the Malva Pudding tip - we'll look for it.

I just read a biography of Cleopatra, so I can definitely visualize my wife under netting as the Queen of the Nile. In fact, we're hoping to end our trip in Egypt if it's not too crazy in a month.

Thanks again!
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Sep 8th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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I'll ask her. It may take me a day or two as she does travel a bit too, but I'll try to catch up with her in the next couple of days. She is so excited that she'll be home for Christmas this year and she hasn't done that in 20 years. It sounds different to me when she talks about it being hot at Christmas.

I'll get back to you.
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Sep 8th, 2013, 07:38 PM
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Ulunick, I forgot to mention that we've been trying to go to Egypt for the last two years and it's just been too dangerous. Even the people who use to say it wasn't when we knew it was, are now saying it's too dangerous. However, in two and a half weeks we are going to Morocco and we have a great travel agent there if you should decide to go there where it's more settled. It is Desert Majesty and they are amazingly accommodating and respond in a timely manner. http://www.desertmajesty.com/ Felicity is one of the co-owners there and she is very good in English. I read somewhere that she has a Master's Degree in English so she is very conversant in it. Just threw that out as an option if Egypt is still in turmoil.
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Sep 9th, 2013, 07:58 PM
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Ulunick - I just talked with my friend and she doesn't know much about the the lodges as she's been in the states for around 20 years and when she goes home it's to see family. She said that all she knows is that it is next to Kruger National Park. I'm not familiar with that reserve although most reserves are for the protection of the animals and the lodges that are within it are very nice and usually somewhat expensive. I know there are a lot of nice lodges in the Kruger area. It sounds like you've got your trip booked and ready to go so I hope you have a wonderful trip and I know you will. We told ourselves it would be a 'once in a lifetime trip' which is what everybody says on their first trip to Africa, but most return. So, have fun and be safe.

It's a good idea to get travel healthcare insurance as most insurances don't pay abroad and if they do the hospital/clinic usually wants prepayment and you get reimbursed from the insurance. No, I don't sell insurance ;-) I'm just reasonably cautious when it comes to some things, I guess.
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Sep 9th, 2013, 10:06 PM
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If it's too crazy for Cairo, we'll head to Italy for the last week - Rome's got some pretty old stuff, too. I think Cleopatra hung out there for awhile, as well.

I really appreciate that you checked with your friend about our lodge next to Kruger. We're were able to get 5 nights as at a fund raiser auction for about a 1/3 of its value, which let us feel like we could spend some on the Tanzania safari portion of our trip. Just about all the travel is with United miles, so we've been lucky there, too.

Thanks for the nudge on travel insurance - my wife and I were talking about that at lunch today. It's good to count on getting care and getting home when in need.
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Sep 10th, 2013, 03:36 AM
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There's a difference in travel insurance though and being able to get home. MedJetAssist is a medical transportation insurance that we use. It will transport you from hospital to hospital even back home. The standard travel insurances that I've researched only pay medical bills which is an important difference. We do carry both though as my husband has diabetes. I think you're probably young enough that medical transportation insurance isn't extremely expensive given the alternatives.

Have fun. Italy is wonderful too. We've been there several times. Love Venice and the Amalifi Coast which has the Isle of Capri. It's gorgeous.
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Sep 10th, 2013, 10:20 PM
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My wife is all over the MedJetAssist insurance; she's used it before, and there's no way we're going to Africa, especially, without it. Thanks for the kindly clarification, though. We're feeling more encouraged about going to Egypt after corresponding with Debbie (CasualCairo). November in Italy sounds rainy and cold - it's the rainiest month of the year - but it would not be a bad consolation prize if Egypt gets weird again. Again, thanks for the advise, 1Caroline.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 04:40 PM
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You're welcome. Have a safe and fun trip and I'd love to see a trip report.
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