Three weeks ago I was walking though my apartment and received an email from South Africa Tourism asking if I was interested in joining them on a trip to South Africa to visit Johannesburg, Kruger Park, Cape Town and Durban. Today, I was able to pinch myself when I arrived at Washington Dulles Airport and boarded South Africa Airways flight 208 to Johannesburg.
Traveling with me are three other bloggers, Rob, Teri and Ryan; the South African four. After three weeks of tweeting each other we finally met at the gate 37B to board our plane. Every moment is exciting for me because this is my first time flying out of Dulles #airportfetish and flying South Africa Airways. On the plane we all sat in the same row behind first class just an arms reach away from the empty flat bed seats.
Regardless coach was great because I had the best flight attendant Karabo. She had an exquisite hair style with the personality to match. She served us many free bottles of Savaugon Blanc and Chenin Blanc! Sadly she would leave during our hour long layover in Dakar, Senegal. The four of us stayed up the entire 7 hour flight chatting about our world travels and I spent the next 8 hour leg to Johannesburg watching the Green Lantern and In Time. Total time on South Africa Airways flight including the layover was around 17 hrs but it couldn’t contain my excitement when I landed.
We exited baggage claim, meet our host David and transferred to the Intercontinental Sandton Towers Hotel. David has a mifi router for us to stayed connect online so make sure you follow my twitter and like the facebook fan page to get real time updates. We checked into the hotel and rooms are amazing, check out the room tour video.
The Sandton Tower room is spacious and well appointed with a comfortable king size bed, plenty of lights, flat screen TV that you can listen to in the bathroom, good quality iron, open closet space, bath tub and my two favorite amenities are a strong shower head and heavy towels. There is nothing like great water pressure and a good towel to quickly dry yourself.
After a 30 minute shower we walk thru the mall connected to the hotel and enter Nelson Mandela square were we posed in front of his three story statue.
Lekgotla is our diner location and it is an experience as soon as you walk thru the door. It has an Africa theme and since this is my first time visiting the motherland I was enamored by the decor. And the house band played original songs adding a nice touch to the evening.
While sitting at the table a hostess offers to wash my hands on the spot with a bowl and wooden pitcher filled with water and I opted for Zulu face paint.
Everything we ordered was delicious, my favorite was the crocodile even though we ordered three plates of calamari!
Senegalese Calamari: Crispy friend calamari served with peanut, lemon and chilli sauce
Crocodile Carpaccio: Thin slivers of crocodile served with mango chutney, chermoula and tomato jam
Ethiopian Naan Breads: Garlic, seasame, olive paste, chilli and feta
Mini Sosatie Braai: A trio of lamb boerewors, chicken espetada and beef sosaties sever on hot coals and dipping sauces
Zanzibar Kingklip: Grilled fillet of kingklip topped with a spicy peanut and curry sauce
We concluded diner with a shot of Amarula, an african liqueur that has a coffee like taste on top with a smooth fruity blend at the bottom. Today’s journey was a 24 hour experience that was a perfect kick off to the next two weeks in South Africa. South Africa Tourism has blown me away for far an this is only day one!
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