travelling in south africa

The kids go on holiday as of the 6th of December and because I am being retrenched at my morning job it means I’ll be sitting around (minus the few shoot days) doing jack until the kids go back on the 16th of January… so of course I would rather prefer spending the month up in Jozi with M and shoemate than moping around here trying to keep sane and busy.

Now I don’t know when last any of you have travelled SA with a child as most people (like myself) are still under the impression that toddlers fly free as they sit on a parents lap. Yup… this is apparently bullshit and the airlines have tossed that idea out the window. Now they claim that if a child is older than 2 they have to pay full price.

Tell me something… does the obese guy in row A3 taking up two seats pay double? I didn’t think so… so why then may I ask are children who take up little to no space expected to pay the price of an adult. Please PLEASE someone in the industry explain this logic to me?

We’re constantly berated by the media about how we should tour our own country before we think of going elsewhere, we should be proud of our beautiful place of living and you can see this by all the sho’t left adverts. Mmm… well in all honesty when I am expected to pay R4000+ for a flight for my two year old and I to jozi I’m not so sure about this whole guilt tripping thing they are trying to pull.

So we look at other options for getting there… airlines are out. All of them; kulula, one time, mango, velvet sky, SAA, BA the lot. No ways am I paying FULL ADULT AIRFARE for a 2 year old – it’s daylight robbery. So let’s see what other ways there are to travel this country:

  • By car – can you see my 23 year old golf making it all 1473kms (and that’s only one way) cause I surely don’t, and even if I had a newer car it would still cost me well over R3500 for the trip. Plus can you imagine fish and I stuck alone in a car together for 17+ hours? I think social services would be waiting for me in jozi!
  • By bus – let’s see, a toddler in a stuffy bus for 21+ hours where he can do nothing but sit in his seat… yup I’m already getting a migraine just thinking about it.
  • Then there is the train (which at the moment seems to be our best bet) fish loves the train, well he did when we went on our little train trip but then again that was only 2 hours, the actual trip to jozi will be about 26/27 hours. Now the difference with the train is that at least he has space to move around, isles to run up and down etc and a nice bed to sleep on at night.

But with the train we then have two options: the tourist train and the premier train. (I think we’ll leave the blue train out of this as I’m no millionaire)

  • The first being a really good price: R1350 for both of us, up AND down, but in the tourist train which means we might have to share a compartment with 2 other people (not too bad I guess so long as they don’t mind my busy child) this excludes food and drinks though you may take your own.
  • The second being R2400 one way but fish travels free, we get a private compartment and all our meals are included. More space for fish, less stress on mummy and an easier trip with less stops at the varies places.

End of the day I think we’re going to book the tourist train simply because it’s the easiest on the budget. This doesn’t mean I’m still not irked by the fact that as a South African born and bred I still have to spend all my hard earned savings  just to visit family IN THE SAME COUNTRY. I am NOT a tourist, I do NOT earn in euros or pounds or dollars so why are we still expected to pay these ridiculous prices? And with responses on twitter and facebook I am not the only disgruntled parent/citizen. Now I am NOT saying that tourists and locals should pay differen’t prices, that’s just wrong, what I am asking is why hike the prices up to what THEY can afford but then leave it where we can’t?

We should take a page out of europe’s book… you can get a flight from one place (in the same country/region) to the next for less than 10euros many a time. That’s less than R100 to travel via air… flying from Germany to South Africa cost me R3000 (this for a trip that is at least 6 times the distance of cpt to jhb).

Thing is that if travelling in SA was more affordable I would LOVE to take fish places and find great family friendly places for people to holiday. I guess we need to find great family friendly means of transport first…

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3 thoughts on “travelling in south africa

  1. Mango are apparently have a crazy sale on flights today – why not check them. We booked for all 4 of us for a ridiculous price to fly to CT because we got a Kulula special!! Check it out!

  2. Good luck.

    I totally agree that our country should be made easier and cheaper to travel around, but I guess it is a case of quantity with Europe.

    I guess that there are many people in this country that travel by bus or taxi – but with the road accidents there is no way I would be willing to do that.

  3. It is very sad, the girls and I are going to JHB from CT for 10 days and the tickets I got early, way early and it still like R3000, then with Hannes flying the day before Xmas and 2 days after another R2000. We are driving up with the kids in September!

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