Jo’burg to Addis Ababa to Dubai

Africa travel

Well that’s pretty much a title I never thought I would write.

My first foray playing International Travel Agent went pretty well for our big anniversary trip. We splurged on the long flights by upgrading to business class, and stuck to coach for flights four hours and under. But I still tried finding decent fares even for the business class flights.

Africa travel

Flight route from Johannesburg to Addis Ababa

That meant flying Ethiopian Airlines for the first leg, which was an overnight flight from Johannesburg to Dubai, with a layover in Addis Ababa.

We felt so fancy because we got to use the South African Airways lounge in the O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Africa travel

Kurt enjoying free food and drinks in the South African Airways Lounge at O. R. Tambo International Airport

But we felt even fancier when we got on board the airline and saw EA’s international business class seating.

Africa travel

Ethiopian Airlines business international seating. (I brought the box of chocolates and shared with the flight attendants.)

There were fancy schmancy menus, and the food was delicious. Snacks were a tasty blend of spiced seeds and crackers. Service was outstanding.

Africa travel

Africa travel

Ethiopian Airlines food business international.

Africa travel

Drinks menu, Ethiopian Airlines

 

I love watching and photographing out the windows, so I was relieved that the window I had was relatively clean. If you’ve flown much and enjoy a window seat, you know how utterly dirty some windows are, and it’s not like you can reach outside and clean that crud off!

Africa travel

It was already dark by the time we flew over Mt. Kilimanjaro, so the only thing I could see were airplane beacons on some peaks. But I did get some nice photos over Zimbabwe as well as some of my favorite air photos: clouds. I thought you might enjoying sharing some of the views today.

Africa travel

Flying over Zimbabwe

Africa travel

Zimbabwe

 

Addis Ababa Airport Tip #1: When transferring within the Addis Ababa airport, if you have an hour before boarding time, slow down when you reach the shops/market and explore. Because even traveling from one Ethiopian Airlines plane to another Ethiopian Airlines plane at a different gate (yes in the same terminal), you have to go through security again. This means if you pass the market and end up in another security line, you’re suddenly beyond the point of getting to explore the neat-looking shops and cafes in the airport. In Addis Ababa airport, they look similar to outdoor markets and I wish we realized it before we went through security and spent our two hours between flights staring at a large, cold, concrete room full of people while waiting for buses to take us to the runway to board our planes.

Africa travel

Addis Ababa Airport, Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa Airport Tip #2: When flying business class, go to the Cloud Nine Lounge instead of through the usual security gate, because as we were loading from the busloads of people onto the second half of our flight, we watched as passengers from the Cloud Nine lounge came on a smaller bus apparently from the lounge directly to the plane. {sigh}

Africa travel

Africa travel

But despite missing an opportunity for some cool Ethiopian souvenirs and a little “posh” lounging in Addis Ababa, we were happy to board the second leg, and enjoy more business class spoils for the remaining night flight to Dubai.

Love, Marla

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