One of my disciple just returned from South Africa recently and prepared a freaking detail report of not only his Business Class experience but complete with his Safari Adventure 🙂
How did a kampung kia ended up in South Africa?:)
SOUTH AFRICA IS THE BEST KRISFLYER (business class) REDEMPTION PER MINUTE OF FLIGHT TIME
One day I was reading an article about the Best Krisflyer redemption per minute of flight time and Cape Town was top of list . However, it will be a short trip for me so I decided to go Johannesburg (4th on the list) to save some transit time. (For Cape Town one has to transit in Johannesburg, just stay in the plane for 1hour transit, another 2hours flight time to Cape Town). Joburg safari meets my criteria list for a short holiday using award tickets.
- Firstly, the award tickets must be good value for points. (SQ business class return ticket to South Africa cost around rm14,000 to rm2x,000 depends on when you book it and your flying date)
- The destination should be somewhere that I am not willing to pay for the tickets for such a short trip.
- It has to be somewhere my wife wants to go too ( Ok it was my wife who set this criterion )
My trip details:
Safari tour : 4days Tydon Bush camp safari ( RM4,200/ person)
Date: November 2018
Flight: Singapore airlines business class return award tickets ( 90,000 krisflyer points/ person)
Penang- Singapore- Johannesburg (Business class bulkhead seats, flight time 720min)
Johannesburg- Singapore- Penang ( Business class normal window seats, flight time 720min)
Krisflyer Points/ Minute flight time = 62.5
My wife and I arrived Penang international airport at 6pm for our 915pm flight. After checking in we headed to plaza premier lounge for some refreshment. It was a small and almost good enough lounge except for the shocking toilet which was terrible.
We were soon in our Penang-SG flight, SQ363 (Boeing 737, flight time 1h 25min). We have chosen the bulkhead seats, 1F and 1D. I won’t into details as it was a very short flight.
As soon as we arrived Singapore airport, we headed straight to the terminal 3 Krisflyer business class lounge at around 11pm. It was a big and classy lounge with a wide variety of food and drinks.
TsaminaMina Zangalewa this time for Africa!
We boarded our SG-Joburg flight at around 1:20am. (SQ478 ,A350, with 2013J seat) Again, we chose the bulk head seats row 19D and 19F which were couple seats.
THE BULK HEAD SEATS!!!
The first thing I said when I saw my seat was ‘WTFFFF?!’ The seats were so big and spacious! Being a small guy I almost felt embarrassed as I was like a baby crawling on a throne seat. Each passenger was given a pair of noise cancelling headphone to enjoy their in flight entertainment. The seats came with many little compartments that I like as I have many gadgets and chargers
could have brought a mahjung table and two more friends along and still fit in.
Sorry I am not a fan of airplane food. It does help a tiny bit if the presentation is good. SQ did a good job here.
Johannesburg to Tydon safari camp.
After 10.5 hours, we finally arrived OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. Our driver was there waiting for us so off we go to our safari camp.
What is Tydon Bush Camp and what did I do there.
Tdyon bush camp is an exclusive camp inside Sabi sand reserves (didn’t expect this for only rm4,200). Sabi sand is a private reserve connected to Kruger park. The difference between a private game reserve and Kruger park is your vehicle doesn’t have to stay on the road in a private reserve. That means your guide can drive you very near to the animals or even follow the animals when they hunt. On the other hand in Kruger the game drives are restricted to certain times and to certain roads and you might get a traffic jam too. For example yourcar might be car number 100 in the quee when there is a lion in sight. By the time you get there the lion might be gone. ( there are only 4 vehicles in tydon😊). There are only 4 tents in Tydon Bush Bamp, capacity for each tent is 2 ppl. So the camp will only have a maximum of 8 ppl visitors but there were only four of us when we arrived😊. You get 8 hours of game drive everyday. 5-9am and 4-8pm. Food is included, drinks ( including beer and wine) were very cheap. So basically you just eat, sit, listen, watch and sleep there. Doesn’t sound too interesting but trust me it is really fun. Please make sure you click on my youtube links to see what to expect from your game drive. There were too many animals to mention and too many photos and videos to post here so I will just select a few to give you some idea what to expect.
Our games drives
I think the best way to describe our game drive is it is watching like National Geography LIVE. The guide explained every detail to us and there wasnt a moment that I felt sian. It wasn’t all about animals. We learn so much about their habitat, trees, insects, too many to mention😊. Basically the guides spoke nonstop for all the game drives we had. I even learned a thing or two about 4wd drives😊/
TIME TO GO HOME
After 4 days in Tydon Safari Camp and 2days in Johannesburg city, it is time to balik kampung. We arrived the airport early and checked in 3hours before our flight. We headed to the Aspire Lounge which was nice and quiet. It wasn’t a big lounge like the Krisflyer Lounge in Changi but I like it a lot more. The food was good, lounge was clean and the toilet also spotless.
Normal business class seats aka SENGEK seats
I purposely chose the normal business class seats for our flight back. The seats were a far cry from the bulkhead seats that I swam in on the way to Johannesburg. There wasn’t any big problem that I could pinpoint but after the bulkhead seats I just felt it is a big downgrade with these seats. I certainly don’t like the sengek design! For a small guy like me who doesn’t need the width of these Singapore airline business class seats, Thompson Vantage seats used by some other airlines are way better for me as we can conveniently convert into flat bed just by pressing a button. As mentioned by GenX before, these SQ sengek seats (including bulkhead seats) require the help of the aircrew to convert it into flatbed mode. You can do it on your own but you still need to get out of your seat to convert it.
Big thanx to GEN X
My wife and I can’t thank Gen X enough for all our free business class tickets! Thank you so much again, without your all your tips there is zero chance I would go South Africa for such a short holiday especially in Business Class!! It was an unforgettable and definitely the best holiday I have had. For those of you who want to sit in the business class seat for the longest time with the least Krisflyer points then South Africa is your destination😊. Trust me, the awareness and animal knowledge you get in just a few days will definitely change the way you feel about animals and nature.