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27 Sep 2013 : Fastjet was meant to commence flights from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg, but had to be postponed after the South African Department of Transport requested further information with regard to their name change from "Fly540 Aviation t/a fastjet" to "Fastjet Airlines Limited". "Tickets went on sale at first on the 31st July 2013 for their Facebook fans, and then from 1 August 2013 for the general public.
17 Sep 2012 : Precision Air cancels all Dar es Salaam to Joburg flights.
June 2012 : Precision Air cancels its Thursday DAR - JNB flights for the month of June 2012.
1 Apr 2012 : Precision Air SA adjusts its scheduled departure time from Dar es Salaam to 16h30, and its scheduled arrival time in Johannesburg to 19h15.
20 Jun 2011 : Comair BA reduces its flight frequency from Dar es Salaam to JNB from 5 a week to 3 a week.
2 Nov 2010 : Commencement of Comair-operated British Airways flights from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg, South africa.
Africa, especially South Africa has always been my all – time favourite travel destination. After taking a lot of more than questionable buses from Eldoret in Kenya to Dar- es- Salaam in Tanzania, I was more than exited to enter the TAZARA train and begin my first overland journey on a train in Africa. The day before the train departed I went to the TAZARA ticket counter, going for the cheapest ticket to get to Zambia. At that time my Kiswahili was very good and the lady told me, that no Mzungu (white man/woman) ever buys a second or third class ticket for the Tazara and the only ticket available for me would be the first class ticket in a sleeper cart because the journey will take more or less 25 hours. I was a little offended by the lady’s opinion that a Mzungu just does not have what it takes to travel anything other than first class in an African train, but she actually refused to sell me a cheaper ticket and told me that I would thank her one day and – oh boy, did I thank her.
Unaware of the existence of a first class lounge I waited in the station hall for the departure which was, of course delayed. I chatted to a lot of Mamas who asked me where I am from and where I am going and where my husband was to take care of me. I had a lot of fun talking to them and politely declined a few offers to marry their sons and I was sad thinking about that I most surely won’t meet up with them again in the first class. The train rolled in and I wondered where all these other Wazungus, that showed up in the first class section have been hiding during the two hour waiting period. That was when I learned about the first class lounge and I was more than happy to have never known about it… I entered the train and I shared my sleeping cart that sleeps 4 with another girl from Denmark and a Swedish girl. The train looked like no one ever maintained the interior or changed anything since the early seventies. Two bunk beds were attached to each wall of the cart and in front of the window was a table that sit two people. I liked it and was stoked when the wheels finally started to turn. The scenery was just amazing. Grassy hills, small villages in the middle of nowhere slightly stroked by the African sun. I could not get enough of the scenery. After dinner, I chatted a little with my cart mates and we went to bed at about 10:30 pm. It is not an exactly soft ride so falling asleep was one of the hardest missions ever for me. I finally dozed off into a very light sleep when we suddenly hit something big, because I was shaken off my bunk and really scared that the train broke down in the middle of nowhere.
We were somewhere halfway through Tanzania and word finally started to spread, while the train came to a full stop, that we hit a baby elephant. I had a very hard time to believe that but was convinced a few seconds later when I saw and heard mama elephant bumping the train in fury, she really went for it and I heard people scream. The train started rolling again and then eventually my cart which was almost at the back of the train passed the furious mum trying to get her still breathing baby to stand up again and my heart was surely sore to see that, because no one of course had a gun to put this poor elephant baby out of his misery. After that incident we were all awake and shocked by the events that just happened. We kept rolling and rolling and after watching the endless stretches of savannah and hills for an entire morning and afternoon, I was about to get a little bored. There wasn’t actually enough time to get into the bored mood because TAZARA sure knows how to keep your trip exciting, and my daydreams got interrupted by a very high pitched noise and a lot of bad smelling steam that came through the window and a rattling sound that I was not only able to hear but physically felt the force. The cart behind ours, the last one, got derailed. Well first our little elephant experience the night before and now we were again stuck in the middle of nowhere not too far from the Zambian border, but still the middle of nowhere. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I knew there was just no way to get this cart back on the rails again, so I wondered what was going to happen now. After some time, nothing was happening and me and some others got off the train. Not only was I able to see what a derailed cart looks like but I also saw the huge bumps that mama elephant left at some of the other wagons. Well there we were, and as I mentioned earlier, there was no sign of civilisation around, and yet spectators appeared at the site. After more or less two hours there were hundreds of people that appeared from literally nowhere to see for themselves what was going on with this train.
I joked around with the kids who weren’t that fluent in Kiswahili, so communication became harder. It started to get dark and it did not seem like anyone came up with a suitable solution to our little problem. The train staff told us to go back into the train and to shut the doors and windows to avoid muggings by the endless stream of people that was present now. Later that night, they finally decided what to do and went for the most African solution possible. They just left the last cart derailed and moved on. I don’t need to mention that the Tazara rails are mostly one way rails and that they will face the same problem on their way back in 3 days when they bump into the derailed cart. We finally passed the border to Zambia and after going through some visa price bargaining, everyone was issued with a Zambian visitor’s visa and we were able to move on. The rest of the journey went smoothly and at noon the next day after more than 50 hours of being on the train, we did reach our final destination near Lusaka. My feelings were mixed but I was relieved to get off the train and process the most African experience of my life". Daniela Rademacher
Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg
Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg