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Passports, Visas and Transport Options

1st November 2006

I got my new South African passport back yesterday!
I waited more than six months for it, and when it finally arrived the pathetic excuse for a Department of Home Affairs didn’t think it was necessary to notify me. I had less than a month to arrange visas, so I was forced to use my second passport to apply for some of them.

I am still waiting for the Tanzanians to return my British passport which will hopefully contain a 90 day visa. I am continuously checking the ‘reliable’ South African Post Office’s on-line registered post article tracker. I can only pray now. The British High Commission lost my ex-wife’s passport eight years ago when they relied on the Post Office.

I have changed my mind four times with regards to transport options for the initial segment of my journey:
First I was going to fly Kulula.com from Cape Town to Johannesburg for R499.
Then I decided to take a 20 hour City to City bus for R290.
That wasn’t good enough, so I then settled for the 25 hour Shosholoza Meyl train for R260.
Now I have booked, and will hopefully soon pay the R249 to fly with Mango, a new budget airline launched yesterday by South African Airways. It’s cheap because it leaves at 05:30!

My problem with the above is that I need to be in time for my City-to-City bus from Johannesburg to Lusaka - which leaves at 10am. The Kulula flight arrives at 8:30, so I would have to make a special plan to get to Central Joburg on time, which would probably cost more than the flight. My ex-wife wouldn’t play ball, saying that it was too complicated to drive me. I found a guy who would collect me from the Airport and drive me to Pretoria, where the bus would get to before 11:00, and it would cost me R280. I didn’t think it was right to pay so much and vowed to find a cheaper alternative.

The Mango flight departs at 05:45, so I’m holding thumbs for no delays...

Posted by ManicDave 05:13 Archived in South Africa Tagged preparation

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