Show Me The Way to Johannesburg

Next year 2021, if the Lord says the same will be my 13th tour to South Africa, one of the most beautiful places on earth.   The next few reposted blogs are from Oct 2014. Enjoy!
The nonstop flight from New York was smooth and less than 15 hours with great food and service. With the health scare in West Africa, you can imagine the comments those of us coming on this tour had to deal with. First of all, we are in South Africa which is one of several countries on the continent of Africa. We are 4000 miles away from West Africa. There is only one way into South Africa from the west. There arent any reported cases of the illness here. My question to some: Would you be so concerned if we were going to Dallas or Nebraska? South Africa is arguably better equipped to handle a major health crisis than our beloved USA. The largest acute hospital in the world with about 3000 beds, the only public hospital serving the 3.5 million people in Soweto is the Chris Hani Baragwanath.

We were met at the OR Tambo airport by our same knowledgeable, dedicated guide for the past 3 years, Joe. He was involved in the struggle back in the early Mandela Freedom Fighting days and In spite of the horrible, dehumanizing treatment Joe received back then; you will never meet a more humble, caring human being.

Upon our arrival at the 5 star Michaelangelo Hotel, our group was met by the Sr Guest Relations Manager and the Front Office Manager. After serving us guava and fruit cocktail juices, we were given our room keys. The entire group was delighted to learn they had been upgraded to Deluxe rooms with views of Nelson Mandela Square and of course I was pleased with my Executive Jr Suite. Yes, I’m spoiled but what can I say? I’m just a  hotel snob.

Our first night in each city, dinner and wine is included. Restaurants, wine selections and the actual personalized menus are all hand picked by me. Tonight dinner was at the Montego Bay Seafood Restaurant in the Square. Everything was right on point.

The first day of touring was to Lesedi, the cultural village that takes visitors back in time to learn about tribal life which is followed by a dynamic dance performance and a nicely prepared lunch that included salads, chicken, lamb and the exotic meats I leave alone…….crocodile and ostrich.

Sunday church service in Soweto… The group popped in for a few minutes and presented my personal gift of 3000 Rand to Ms Florence, a Soweto resident I had the pleasure of meeting last year. She calls me from time to time and refers to me as “My Darling”. She was overwhelmed with emotion. I’m happy that I could be a blessing to someone here. Life in Soweto, lunch, Apartheid museum, Hector Pietersen museum was quite a full day. Tomorrow: We drive to our 5 Star Game Lodge and I so look forward to my private outdoor shower, under the stars at midnight

Michaelangelo Hotel at Sandton

Michaelangelo Hotel at Sandton

The group, hailing from San Francisco, Raleigh Durham, and  Orlando

The group, hailing from San Francisco, Raleigh Durham, and Orlando

Nelson Mandela Square, next to Michaelanglo Hotel

Nelson Mandela Square, next to Michaelanglo Hotel

Sandton City Mall, next to our hotel

Sandton City Mall, next to our hotel

Not a Shopper but Kat can't resist a pair of sexy, sassy  sandals --imported from Greece with Swarovski crystals. They happened to catch my eye in passing

Not a Shopper but Kat can’t resist a pair of sexy, sassy sandals –imported from Greece with Swarovski crystals. They happened to catch my eye in passing

Dinner first night at Montego Bay Seafood Restaurant

Dinner first night at Montego Bay Seafood Restaurant

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital

Learning About Tribal Life at Lesedi

Learning About Tribal Life at Lesedi

Ms Florence Overwhelmed by the Gift

Ms Florence Overwhelmed by the Gift

Nice Room Service Presentation--- only soup and salad

Nice Room Service Presentation— only soup and salad

9 thoughts on “Show Me The Way to Johannesburg

  1. Glad to see the African Tours is still going despite the scare of ebola. Though a bit smaller. Glad to see you have Joe on a regular basis. I liked him. Ya know Yasin is still available from Robben Island, Though he is retired he still is doing office stuff on the island. Has the mood changed since Madeba passed. I still follow SA politics, online… lol Stay safe and keep sending me links. Hawkster

  2. Kat, last year me and my possi were there with you. I wish I was there. South Africa is one of my favorite vacations ever. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  3. Kat, keeping you and group in prayers for traveling grace, everything is looking super fabulous, including your super sassy sandals. Enjoy to the max!

  4. Beautiful Sis! With you I NEVER worry about anything! People forget when you travel with Kat, it’s always first class!!! 👏👏👏👍👍👍

  5. Kat This brings back fond memories of my trip with you in 2011. Blessings to you Have a safe trip and keep the memories coming Yolanda

  6. Kat, wow what a blast. Just got home a few hours ago– tired and sleepy. But I am so very glad I made the 2014 South Africa excursion. What a marvelous experience!! So many, many memories: elephants charging and lions feeding; five star hotels and culinary magic; attending church in Soweto; hanging in the shebeen in Langa township; the most beautiful scenery on earth. Met some wonderful folks. Some of us are deciding about which one of your trips we will choose as a reunion next year. I will never forget hearing words of those who knew Mr. Mandela, and to see the joy of those who had experienced the ravages of apartheid and, who now, are so very proud to be voting citizens of South Africa. Thank you, Kat.
    Jean Ingram (aka Ms life of the party)

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