Jozi Never Disappoints on Glitz and Adventure
Two weeks back we travelled to Johannesburg (Jozi) with my husband and our eldest son. You see as a family we are in this global travel club that allows us to travel at huge discounts, with price guarantees and to stay at four and five star resorts at two and three star prices.
That week end Johannesburg, and Sandton in particular hosted more than six hundred club members from Africa at a training event that really transformed our lives. I share some of the gems from the training in a separate article.
The Hilton Lobby
The three of us and other club members stayed for four days and three nights at the five-star Hilton Hotel in Sandton for a song. I must admit that this was my first five star resort experience and it was out of this world! I have traveled and stayed at hotels sponsored by my employers and project funders at work before. Mostly the sponsors have prescribed, due to the limited budget provisions, for me to stay mostly at three star facilities.
The Party Mob
This was a different experience that we had. To start with, we had a host to take care of all our needs flown in all the way from Europe by our travel club. She was there to take care of the organisation of excursions, restaurant bookings etc. while we concentrated on what we were there for, to have fun as we fed our brains with top notch training from our trainers from the USA. To top it all we had an “all you can drink” welcome party on the Saturday night. The imbibers had a time of their lives.
There are quite a lot of activities to do in the vicinity of the Hilton Hotel to easily fill up four days. The main attractions were the Nelson Mandela Square and the Sandton Shopping Mall. I particularly enjoyed the shopping of course; which girl wouldn’t! There were eating places gallo ranging from the fast food courts to exclusive restaurants to sample from.
My husband and I flew Air Zimbabwe from Harare to Johannesburg. Our arrival at OR Tambo International Airport was a near scare as we had to circle round a second time before our final bumpy landing. The return flight had some turbulence but the captain handled that quite well.
Our son, Jabu, on the other hand crushed it with friends on a bus. He is vertically gifted in stature so he tells us he had quite an uncomfortable ride turning this way and that trying to find a comfortable position for his tall frame. On his way Back he did some shopping before heading to the bus station to travel back to Harare. It was then that he was pick-pocketed.
Jabu, Allistar, Laura
He lost his wallet with cash in it and both his debit cards. Fortunately he had spent his cards empty . Had there been any money on the cards he would have been done for. You see one of the weaknesses I spotted in the use of plastic for shopping in South Africa was that the system does not ask for any security checks from the buyer. They just swipe your card on the machine and without asking for ID or PIN number give you a little slip to sign. It’s possible the pick pockets tried to swipe but had no luck as both cards do not have overdraw allowance.
So what it meant was that our son had no money to buy food on the return overnight bus trip. Thank God there are still kind hearted people left on the blue planet. The gentleman he was sitting next to gave him some food and bus fare to get home.
Overall we really had a great time in Jozi. The food was superb. The hotel services were truly five star. We fed our brains with knowledge, relaxed in luxury and style and above all, we met and made new friends from all over South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria.
Many more travels await with friends and family. This trip has shown us just a glimpse of what awaits us in terms of traveling in style at ridiculously low cost and meeting awesome people in the process.
If you are interested in knowing more about the travel club that we are members of that made this trip possible, shoot me a message on Skype. My Skype ID is madlala2010.
“Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn