Kent checked in from Mozambique this morning with a trip update for us and a few lessons learn – some forgotten and some remembered! Read on…
Lessons forgotten: Five things our clients should always do, which Kent unfortunately forgot, on his current trip to South Africa and Mozambique:
1: Buy travel insurance! Wishing I had it when my flight from Dulles to Jo’burg was canceled by South Africa Airways.
2. Bring mosquito repellent–it can be surprisingly hard to find in a malaria ridden area like Beira, Mozambique.
3. Check your room safe carefully when you check out. I won’t admit how many Ben Franklins I left at the Peech Hotel in Jo’burg. Thankfully, their conscientious staff alerted me to my mistake.
4. If you have a serious head cold, take a decongestant prior to your flight’s final descent. It will save you a couple hours of deafness.
5. Learn a few words of the local language – useful phrases like hello, please and thank you. When my rudimentary Spanish and kitchen Swahili didn’t fly with my driver here in Beira, I reached into the vault for my sole Potuguese phrase, learned from pretty Brazilian sisters on a beach in Greece circa 1982. “Eo omo vosay,” I said. The Mozambican driver laughed and replied, “I love you, too!”
Lessons learned: Five things our clients should remember, which Kent actually did, too:
1. Bring a good book. If you forget yours and travel through Jo’burg, there’s an excellent bookstore in the international terminal.
2. In Jo’burg, give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Traffic there can be terrible even without all the construction to prepare for World Cup 2010.
3. Be patient: When the immigration official takes your passport and disappears for 30 minutes, he’s just handwriting your receipt.
4. In Africa, negotiate pricing for any cab ride before getting in. And don’t forget to have small bills to avoid the “I don’t have any change” routine.
5. Have all your travel docs (including emergency contacts)handy. It helps when you try to check in with the wrong airline for your flight!
And, I’m off to Explore Gorongosa!