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Durban, Maputo, Portuguese Island, Durban. Cruise with your family : 2 adults & 2 children. 2 to 6 Feb 2015.
Stay at Gordons Beach Lodge in Gordons Bay, and see a more "rustig" part of Cape Town, with spectacular beauty.
Explore the province of Limpopo in a Hyundai H1 minivan or similar. Rental from Polokwane Airport from the 30th of May until the 1st of June 2014.
Gordons Beach Lodge Silver Kia Picanto

R10,800*

Competition Running

R2 265*

*Subject to change. Limited availability

 

*Subject to change. Limited availability

Mango Happy Day Sale

There's a Mango Airlines Happy Days sale on the go. It runs until 9pm tonight, the 25th of April, or until seats run out - whichever occurs first. The special was available on a very limited number of flights up to the 30th June 2014. Quite unusual for it to be running at the end of the week, but perhaps this is because Monday was a public holiday.

New seats on Mango Airlines planes with more legroom

Cheapest 1-way Flight Prices

*To avoid having to get out the kleenex at the end of the newsletter, please note that there was very limited availability for all the below airfares, and that prices may have changed (perhaps even by the time you read this). Check whether the below fares are still available on your dates at Mango. There's a greater chance than usual that prices have changed, as the special has already been running for a bit.

  • Johannesburg OR Tambo to GRJ from R885* or 16,000 South African Airways Voyager Miles (same as last week).

  • Johannesburg Lanseria to CT International Airport from R825* or 17,000 Voyager Miles.

  • Cape Town to Lanseria from R905/16,500 Voyager Miles

  • CT to Johannesburg OR Tambo from R925* (very limited availability, we only saw on the 1st, 2nd and 8th May).

  • CT to BFN from R845* or 15,000 Voyager Miles.

  • CT to Durban King Shaka International Airport from R899* or 16,500* miles

  • Joburg to Port Elizabeth from R995* or 18,000 miles

Our pick of the week : Joburg to George with Mango from R885*.

Mango Airlines Happy Day Sale

The Purple Shall Rule!

  

Rating 4/5 : Years ago I made a promise to my kids that I shall take them on an overseas trip before they leave school, and during June 2013 I realized my promise to them with a fourteen day trip to Thailand.

A Thai Airways plane

Thai Airways always comes highly recommended and again did not disappoint. Thai Airways is one of the airlines with the best customer service and willingness to satisfy. Although international travel may seem daunting to South Africans who have not ventured across the border before, I believe one’s experience is directly influenced by the amount of “groundwork” one does before departure.

The internet has opened so many doors regarding information gathering and there is thus no need to arrive at a new destination without a wealth of information in your back pocket. From experience I have learned that my first purchase upon arrival at a new destination is the latest city map (available at any kiosk). Traveling from Bangkok international into the city can be done via bus, taxi and high speed train. 

Considering the amount of baggage one usually drags along, I would recommend a Taxi (make sure that you ask for meter tariff) as the train option is only viable if your accommodation is very near to your Train Station. Krung Thon Buri neighborhood is an excellent base to explore the wonders of Bangkok from. The Sky train and main river ferry terminal is nearby and the views over Bangkok at night are spectacular! Do your homework beforehand. Write down your places of interest and once you have your Bangkok City map, merely mark some on the map and your schedule will automatically open up on your map. Bangkok still offers excellent value for South African visitors. Expect to pay not more than R30-R40 for an excellent meal. Should you decide to discover the rest of Thailand, NOK air, a local budget airline, offers great all inclusive deals. NOK Air flies to most Thai destinations as well as neighboring countries. 


Our ticket purchase from Bangkok included airfare, bus travel and high speedy ferry at about R1200 return per person. Koh Samui and Koh Phanang are part of a huge Island group in the Gulf of Thailand. It offers a much more relaxed atmosphere than Phuket and is also more sheltered from wind and rain. From a safety perspective, due to its location in the gulf of Thailand, it poses no threat of any tsunami disasters. The best way to explore Koh Samui is to rent a vehicle.

They accept South African Licenses and drive on the left hand side of the road. Driving on the Island is a pleasure and easy to navigate (remember your map when you arrive at the airport). Compared to Phuket- Koh Samui and especially Koh Phanang are still unspoilt destinations. Koh Phanang is a MUST travel destination, if you want to relax before your long flight back to SA. Best beach/resort location is Haad Yao beach area. It has more than a kilometer of shelter beach with many resorts along its natural cove. All resorts have beach dining facilities at about R35-R45 per person. Nothing I miss more, than to relax with the sun setting with decent Thai food and the waves two meters away from your table.

A Nok Air airplane

Koh Phanang is also a superb snorkeling and scuba island. All and all, the kids really had a ball and in the end it did not cost more than travel from Cape Town to Natal or Mpumalanga! 

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The bottom line: Ever wanted to know what it's like to be a pilot? Here's an interview with Pilot Simon Burnham.

What's the secret of your success? Be humble and down to earth

What was school like? School for me was awful I knew I wanted to be a pilot from a very young age but my grades were shocking even if I worked hard they were awful, but then I spoke to a British Airways pilot on a flight to Alicante. I told him what the problem was and the best bit of advice I ever got was ''all you need is a bit of common sense to become a pilot''.

Tell us about your first job. First job was working for the National Trust in the UK as a ranger. I really enjoyed it but wanted to work in aviation so applied for a job at Exeter Airport in check-in (this was while I was doing my PPL). So I worked there for a couple years then moved up to dispatch.

When did you know you'd like to become a pilot? When I was 8 years old we went to visit my nan who llived in Spain. I still remember the company and aircraft - it was a Caledonian airways 737-200. But the year after we went on a British Airways 757 and that was the day I knew I wanted to be a pilot. From that day onwards I spent every weekend at any airport.

You moved to South Africa to persue your pilot dream. What inspired this? Well I was born in South Africa but moved back to the UK when I was very young. When I did my PPL I knew the hour building would cost a fortune so South Africa was an option. I called up the local school then in Durban and they told me it was £30 an hour compared to £150 back in the UK. So in 2000 I packed my bags and came.

Where is your favorite destination & why? I love Durban & I really do think it's the most underrated city in SA - it has so much to offer. so far this year we have had the Air Race, watched Jimmy Carr and of course we had the Top Gear show. I wish more tourist would visit this place - I personally think it has more to offer than Cape Town.

If you could change one thing in the South African airline industry, what would it be? Simple with SAA I would just fire everyone at the top. Bankrupt it and start all over again like what SWISS did.

Which airline do you most prefer flying on? British Airways of course and Virgin Atlantic. After I was taken on a private tour of the the BA A380 it will be that from now on.

Where does the rumour come from that pilots have a girlfriend in each city? I have no idea please show me where these girls are.

What advice do you have for somebody who wants to travel internationally for the first time? Enjoy every moment of it because your in a lucky spot that most of the population is not.

If money wasn't an issue, where would you go on holiday? Tahiti I am a big into surfing so that's my first stop.

Which plane is the most fun to fly? Cessna Caravan Love it.

Do you ever fly business/first class? Only if I can get an upgrade wink wink.

What keeps you awake at night? Aviation of course.

What's the closest you've come to crashing a plane? Flying at 9000 in a Piper PA28 and lost control. It went into a spiral dive and I managed to fight it to the ground... later I found out it was the autopilot kicking in after 20 years of not working.

What advice have you got for young South Africans, wanting to become pilot? The market here is saturated. If you can get a European licence it is valid anywhere in the world unlike the South African. It costs a lot more but is well worth it.

What do you do in your off time? I spend most of the time on the beach surfing or fishing.

Are all pilots filthy rich? Hell no, we spend all our wages paying off the massive loans we took to learn how to fly.

What is the best part of working in the South African travel industry? Flying to safari lodges when most tourist pay an absolute fortune for the pleasure

Chicken or Beef? BEEF

Airbus or Boeing? both

F22 Raptor or A380? A380 not into fighter planes unless its a spitfire

A380 or Embraer ERJ 135? A380

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Until next time!
Karen, Rob & the rest of the SouthAfrica.TO team