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If you’re the kind of traveller whose made sure you booked the best cheap flights to Cape Town this winter, you obviously know a good deal when you see one. Here are some more to add to your bag of tricks when visiting the Mother City.

Winter Restaurant Specials in Cape Town

There’s nothing like a great special to lure food lovers out of hiding during the chilly months. Here’s where to get your foodie fix this winter.

Monday Specials

Asoka
Hungry Mondays mean you pay just R195 for a three-course dinner at this popular Kloof street eatery. The menu features hearty butternut soup, mussel pot swimming in white wine, and soul-searing vegetable curry amongst other Winter favourites.

Monday to Thursday

Kloof Street House
A few numbers down the road, you’re invited to lunch at Kloof Street House where you can nab three courses for R170 or add an extra course for just R25 extra.

This 20th century Victorian townhouse is nestled behind a façade of greenery just off the bustle of the main drag. You’ll be transported back to grander times while dining on things like Patagonian calamari, grass fed beef burgers, and classic malva pudding with a twist.

Great for spending quality time with family or a significant other, the Kloof Street winter menu makes it worth ducking the duvet and stepping out into the cold clear light of day in Cape Town.

Monday to Friday

Aubergine Bistro
Does fine dining put a spring in your step? Head for Aubergine, where you can snap up a 5-star feast at just R305 for two courses or R415 for three. Chef Harald Bresselschmidt is dishing up the latest in organic fare every day of the week, excluding alternate Mondays. Cape Malay Fish Chowder, free range chicken and caramelized pear join the catch of the day on this upmarket winter menu.

You’ll need to book in advance to secure a spot at this acclaimed restaurant.

Bistro Sixteen82
If you should find yourself in the winelands on a weekday, wade through the surrounding vineyards to this elegant terraced dining area for lunch. You’ll find comfort food in the form of pickled fish, pulled beef and ricotta gnocchi, as well as broccoli and roasted onion soup amongst other hearty delights.  

Two courses will set you back R230, three courses are R265 and R295 gets you four courses.

Cape Point Vineyards
You don’t have to head too far out of town to pick up a winelands style experience at Cape Point Vineyards.  This winter special boasts a two-course meal for R195, plus – you guessed it – a complimentary glass of wine to wash it all down.

Besides the 360-degree views over the Atlantic, complimented by dishes like tomato and shallot soup and grilled beef sirloin, Cape Point Vineyards has a children’s play area to keep the littlies occupied while you indulge.

Bilboa
A paltry R200 gets you a two-course meal, or you can add another R40 for a third course at the Mediterranean-styled Bilboa. If you’re not into a set menu, selected signature dishes like aged rib eye steak are going for R145 to R195 this winter.

Here, roast red peppers, lentil soup and lemon and orange blossom posset are just what the doctor ordered to banish the winter blues. The awesome Camps Bay vibe and sea views are complimentary.

7 Days a Week

Bobo’s Brasserie
Another infinitely Instagram-able eatery, Bobo’s Brasserie adds stylish interiors to its seaside location to create a sensationally snap-worthy experience on Mouille Point.

The food is fabulously French, and two courses are going for R110 and three courses for R165 during the winter season. Think French onion soup, beef tartare, Parisian dumplings, Chicken Paillard or Crème Brule. Those who prefer more familiar fare with flair can settle for burgers, battered fish or sirloin.

Bootlegger Coffee Company
Nothing takes the sting out of winter like a warming cuppa joe, or a vitamin boost of freshly squeezed juice, especially when you have the option of half-price burgers too.

These aren’t your ordinary greasy roadside burgers either, they’re wholesome offerings made from the finest ingredients. Head to the Salt River branch of this franchise from 3 to 4pm daily to get yours.

Tuesday to Saturday

Kyoto Garden Sushi
No list of specials is complete without mentioning the latest food of the moment. You can get your fill of sumptuous sushi at this minimalist diner in Lower Kloof Nek Road this winter.

The three-course winter menu at R230 features classics like ramen noodles with prawns, tuna tartare and miso ice cream. Plus, you’ll get a glass of wine, sake or green tea on the side.

That’s Just for Starters

Wherever you roam in Cape Town, you’ll come across excellent food and wine to chase the winter chills. While there’s no way to get it all in just one trip to this iconic destination, cheap flights to Cape Town mean you can always come back for more. Find the best fares here.

The post Beat The Winter Blues With A Week’s Worth Of Winter Warmer Restaurant Specials In Cape Town appeared first on Airline Specials | SA Airlines Blog.

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While scouring the internet for the best SAA flight option for your trip to, or across South Africa, and where to go on Safari, you might just be knocked for sixby the selection of safari accommodation options available to you. It’s at this point that you will realise that finding affordable flights is perhaps the easiest part of planning your trip.  

Different Types of Safari Accommodation

Understanding what to expect from the various safari accommodation on offer is essential if you want your trip to be as enjoyable as it is affordable. While your budget will best determine the type of accommodation you can afford, it’s always nice to know what’s out there – besides the animals that is! Here is a breakdown of where you can lay your hat when you book a South African safari holiday.

  • City centre hotels | Guest houses | Bed & Breakfasts

Usually foundin the main city centre, or close to it, these are the most convenient accommodation options for those looking for something close to the airport or not far from the city amenities. If you are heading to a game reserve or national park, you may choose to use this as a base for day excursions to different parks, or stay at one of these options overnight, before heading off to your lodge.

  • Game lodges

Many people are inspired to search and book SAA flights to South Africa simply because they have seen online or heard via word-of-mouth,just what 5-star luxury in the bush looks like – and of course, they want to experience it first-hand.

Fully catered game lodges are the number one choice for foreigners visiting the country as most offer scheduled game drives, bush walks, and animal encounters for guests. It’s important to note that not all game lodges are the same. Some offer 5-star opulence while at others, you will find only the bare necessities of a rustic safari experience. It is important to make sure you know the star-grading of the establishment before you book your stay. It also won’t hurt to ask for a detailed list of what is included in their services and your bill.

  • Bush camps

Don’t get bush camps and game lodges confused. Bush camps are usually very small camps that are most often erected in the remote areas. They are far from civilisation in most instances and provide travellers with an opportunity to escape the city and experience the wild in its most authentic form. Bush camps usually offer camping facilities, huts, rondavels, or basic chalets for guests to stay in.

  • Mobile and tented camps

Mobileand tented camps are small temporary structures constructed onlyfor a short period of time. They are usually erected within national parks and game reserves for specific wildlife experiences such as the migrations, as part of a safari trail adventure, or rustic bush experience.

Guests stay in tented accommodation provided by the park or reserve, but the different levels of luxuryon offer can make one tented camp stay completely different from another. Glamping (a very luxurious and glamorous form of camping) has become quite popular in mobile and tented camps in national parks in South Africa, evoking the ideal safari ambience.

What Comfort Level Can You Expect?

How would you feel if you booked a rustic tented camp accommodation only to find your rustic experience to bea night sleeping under the stars, with a small tent for ablutions and with little to no supplies provided? Not quite your idea of a luxury safari camping holiday! So, before you book your SAA flights, and before you book your stay at any southern Africa safari, be sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

If you want to know which accommodation type is best for you, be sure to pay attention to how each is officially categorised and familiarise yourself with the terminology used to describe the vast options available to you.

Rustic accommodation – this is the type of accommodation that provides the bare basics. Most remote lodges and camps offer this type of accommodation. When staying in rustic accommodation, you can expect the likes of long drop toilets, thatched roof huts (or even tents), bucket showers, minimal water, and potentially even no electricity. If you want to know if a rustic accommodation optionhas lights and water and a few other luxuries, make sure that you ask, before you book your stay. While only the basics are provided, you can still expect for all of your daily needs to be catered to.

Comfortable accommodation – this is standard comfort-level accommodation. This means you can expect private bathrooms, flushing toilets, running water, electricity, and lovely furnishings. The establishment will be considered a 3-star and up in most instances. The majority of safari accommodation options in South Africa are considered “comfortable”.

Luxury accommodation – this type of safari accommodation is the equivalent of international 4-star and 5-star establishments. Most luxury lodges and tents aremodern, furnished with high-end items, and provide a variety of luxuries including internet access, and private suites, guest services (walks, game drives) and more.

Choose Your African Safari Accommodation Options Wisely

Keep in mind that you can get rustic, comfortable, and luxury accommodation types in the city and in remote areas, so it is important to browse wisely when booking online for places to stay. To book SA Airlines flights for your upcoming Safari, use our quick flight search feature above.

The post Knowing Your Safari Accommodation Options And Definitions appeared first on Airline Specials | SA Airlines Blog.

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It’s a well-known fact that Tuesday is the best day to book cheap flights – or is it?

Times are constantly changing in the travel industry, which means that the old rules are out the window and have been replaced with a whole new world of affordable airline deals. So, if Tuesday is no longer the day to watch when it comes to securing the best flights, how do you go about it?

Artificial Intelligence is Real

The robots are taking over the world, but don’t head for your doomsday bunker just yet – it’s a good thing.

Back in the days of yore when people pushed the buttons, airline specials were largely a matter of preference, time constraints and arduous research. Predictably, and out of habit, these discounts usually saw the light of day on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Now that computers are in charge, anything’s possible. In fact, studies reveal that there hasn’t been a ‘best’ day to book flights since 2017. Lately, you’ll only save about 1% on this traditional discount day, if you book at exactly midnight.

After this bombshell landed, experts scurried to find a new ‘best day’ to book your trip. No sooner did these new efforts reveal that Thursday is the best day to book international flights than further research revealed Sunday as the big day for all destinations. What’s going on?
Artificial intelligence – that’s what.

Nowadays, computers make the call when it comes to reduced rates. They base airline ticket prices on complex algorithms that have nothing to do with the day of the week. These calculations rely on real-time market trends and availability and result in split-second decisions and instant price updates.

This means there’s a new way to book cheap flights now, and it turns out to be the old way.

Times are Changing, but Timing hasn’t

In one respect, when you book still has everything to do with securing the best ticket prices. Earlier is still better. Research reveals that the lowest rate on any fare goes up and down about 71 times before the aeroplane takes off. On average, flight prices fluctuate either way every four and a half days.

Delving a little deeper into this phenomenon, it turns out that the best time to beat the odds is between four weeks and three and a half months before you go. After that, prices start to escalate due to last-minute demand. Primetime in that window is day 30 prior to departure (which could fall on any day of the week).

If you’re heading off during spring and summer, when everyone’s thoughts turn to travel, that window increases even more. Always make your flight bookings as soon as you’ve decided when and where you’re going. You’ll save an average of 5% on your ticket price.

Thanks to online bookings, it’s easy to keep tabs on these trends yourself.

A spur of the moment booking could cost you hundreds, so plan your travel wisely and be flexible. When you fly is always going to differ according to the day of the week. Weekends and holidays will always be primetime while weekdays mean better deals for travellers.

An exception to the Tuesday rule are the specials linked to actual Travel Tuesday which falls just after Black Friday. These specials are planned well in advance and unlikely to be automated any time soon.

It’s Game-On for Flight Providers

These unpredictable trends in flight prices mean that the airlines have had to up their game when it comes to offering the best deals. Thanks to technology, few airlines can claim to have consistently low prices if they’re using tech to keep them in business.

This means you should drop your preconceptions about which flight provider you use and shop around for the best deals.

One thing that hasn’t changed when it comes to booking your flights is the power of choice, and you’ll find that right here. We’ve harnessed the power of AI and internet tech to ensure our online search and booking engine is updated automatically every few seconds to ensure no good deal gets away from you.

Apart from comparing rates religiously, there are also a few other tricks you can try to get to the cheapest flights wherever you’re headed – any day of the week.

The post Is There Really A Best Day To Book Flights? appeared first on Airline Specials | SA Airlines Blog.

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Far from heading into hibernation, South Africans will be out and about this winter with some of the best festivals of the year on the go in the coming months. Check out the cheapest flights to Cape Town and join in the cool seasonal fun.

Here’s the pick of the bunch in and around Cape Town:

Knysna Oyster Festival 20 to 30 June 2019

This seafood celebration is one of the most hotly anticipated events on the culinary calendar. Expect a host of family-friendly activities and lots and lots of fabulous food. Start searching for the cheapest flights to Cape Town right away, this is the busiest (and best) time of the year in Knysna.

Phoenix Festival of Fire 21-23 June 2019

There’s nothing better than a blazing fire on a chilly winter’s night and you’ll find no shortage of that in Swellendam this June. The Phoenix festival is a fiery celebration of all that’s hot and happening in the world of trance.

Expect fiery dancing displays, trance beats at this psychedelic celebration at Nekkies Holiday Resort near Worcester.

Christmas in Winter 22 and 23 June 2019

Every year, Christmas comes early in Tulbagh when this extraordinary celebration takes over the town. Check into his sleepy village for traditional Christmas fare, wine and chocolate tastings, kids’ activities and tractor and horse rides for all ages.

National Arts Festival 27 June to 7 July 2019

Once known as the Grahamstown Arts Festival, this event has been a rite of passage for lovers of the finer things since 1974. This year, it’s set to be as enlightening and entertaining as ever with over 300 awesome shows planned throughout the event.

The Great South African Gin Festival 28-29 June 2019

If your tastes lean toward more current trends, head over to the country’s largest gin festival at Cape Town’s Castle of Good Hope.  Here you can sample a vast range of locally produced gins and find out why the country’s gone gin crazy. Live music and cocktail-making demos add to the fun at this highly anticipated event.

The Jive Cape Town Funny Festival 1-28 July 2019

Laugh off the winter blues this July at the annual Funny Festival. Once again, the Baxter Theatre is hosting the event which promises to be a smorgasbord of giggles courtesy of local favourites, up-and-coming newbies and top international acts.

Stellenbosch International Chamber of Music Festival 5-14 July 2019

This festival is a must for music lovers and gives you a chance to be the first to see young local musicians at their best. Recitals, orchestral concerts and chamber performances are all on the cards during this Stellenbosch celebration of fine music and burgeoning talent.  

Franschhoek Bastille Festival 13-14 July 2019

On a lighter note, it’s fun all around as Franschhoek cracks a nod to its French Heritage in a celebration of the red, white and blue this Bastille Day. Buckle up your braces and berets, it’s a roller coaster ride of carnival fun, food, markets, wines and even a barrel-rolling race.

Other Events Around the Country

Cape Town isn’t the only scene of crimes against Winter woes, there is a host of action happening all over the country.

Durban plays host to two of the biggest races of the year during the winter months.

The Comrades Marathon sets off on 9 June and promises to be another battle of giants for the prestigious title of number one in this amazing race between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Contestants from all over the world hasten to add this event to their CV, while supporters from around the country gather to enjoy the roadside picnics, music and entertainment.

On 6 July, Africa’s Greatest Horse racing event. The Durban July, takes place at Greyville Racecourse. Attracting blue bloods (both human and equine) from all over the country, this is the top social event on the Durban calendar and the ultimate ambition of every racehorse owner, trainer and jockey. Fashion, food and good-natured rivalry are the order of the day at Durban’s premier racing event.

There’s always something big happening in Johannesburg, with theatre shows, comedy skits and musicals on the go at theatres all over the city. Winter is time for first Thursdays where you can experience the city’s art and culture after hours, the Joburg nightlife buzzes until the wee hours, and there’s always a market on the go somewhere.

Fun All Around

Of course, outside of the major centres you’ll find no shortage of smaller events to support too. Make the most of this winter by getting out there and supporting those who are putting on a show for your enjoyment. You’ll be so glad you did.

Check out our website for the cheapest flights to Cape Town or wherever your kind of action is on the go this winter.

The post Catch the Hottest Winter Events with The Cheapest Flights to Cape Town appeared first on Airline Specials | SA Airlines Blog.

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With both summer and winter sunshine to its credit, South Africa offers a world of seaside entertainment, not to mention some of the planet’s best surf spots.

Here’s where you can go with the great selection of cheap flights South Africa has on offer this season.

The Wild Coast, KwaZulu-Natal

The Wild Coast around Port Edward is a beautiful place for excellent surfing adventures. This small town is about 2 hours’ drive from King Shaka International Airport, close to the holiday hamlet of Ramsgate and just across the river from the Wild Coast Sun.

The best news is that winter is the ideal time to take on the waves at these top surf spots like Ntlonyane when the swell comes surging in from the south and the winter winds breeze in from the west/southwest across the dry warm atmosphere.

Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa’s city of eternal sunshine, and home of surfing legend Shaun Tomson, is a huge drawcard for the winter surfing crowds. The city has a balmy winter climate and several great surf spots close to the main beaches.

Dairy Beach is the best place for beginners or those who prefer a gentle introduction to their surroundings, although on windy days, the waves can get huge and rough. Heading south to uShaka Beach or Blue Lagoon in the north brings a constant supply of large swells to test your abilities. Some of the lesser-known spots like Anstey’s and Brighton Beach have almost ideal surf conditions year-round.

The ever popular Ballito Pro, presented in 2019 by wetsuit company O’Neill, is the longest running pro surfing event in the world. Surfers take to the waves at Willard Beach from 27 June – 7 July and it’s a great opportunity to mix with the top surfing dudes!

Thanks to a strong surf culture, surf lessons and board hire are easy to come by in Durban.

Jeffrey’s Bay, Eastern Cape

This gorgeous little town, located 87km from Port Elizabeth, has been synonymous with surfing since the 1960s and still delivers a wonderful day out on the water.

In fact, J-Bay is considered the second-best surfing destination in the world and is a host of the Billabong Pro Surfing Championship among other prestigious events. The 2019 J Bay open takes place at Supertubes this year from 9 – 22 July.

When you aren’t watching the pros, you can pick and choose from several other prime spots to paddle in here including Impossibles, Salad Bowls, Coins, Tubes, Albatross, The Point and Kitchen Window.

Don’t let the winter weather worry you, daytime winter temps in Jeffrey’s Bay rarely dip below 18 degrees.

Hout Bay, Cape Town

On the other hand, while Cape Town is not known for its welcoming winter climate, it’s worth donning a wetsuit to try out the waves in this top tourist destination.

Dungeons in Hout Bay is one of those surf spots that you have to work hard for, but the rewards are great. Accessible only by boat, this spot is located behind Sentinel, close to Hout Bay Harbour and rewards the avid enthusiast with 20-foot swells on a good day, epic take off spots and perfect barrels. There are plenty of coffee spots and/or bars in town to warm up after venturing into the chilly Atlantic waters.

Long Beach, Cape Town

An hour outside of Cape Town you’ll find another small-town treasure in the shape of Kommetjie. This tiny haven on the Atlantic side of the southern Cape peninsula has the most consistent shore break in the Cape which comes to the fore when the southeaster picks up.
For a bigger ride, Outer Kom sets the scene with massive curling waves and a huge westerly swell.

Eland’s Bay, Western Cape

For the truly brave, Elands Bay offers an excellent challenge about 3-hours drive from Cape Town. While the area is best-known as a summer surf spot. If you’re after a unique small-town experience, it’s worth heading up the coast to try out this awesome spot any time of year.

The area has a rocky shelf where the waves peak, creating a hollow take-off and long cylindrical wall.

Alternatively, wait until summer when the weather is as warm as the hospitality and the point break is at its best. Thanks to cheap flights South Africa is accessible to surfers all year round.

Get Onboard with Cheap Flight South Africa

With a wide variety of domestic flights to choose from, it’s easy to tick off these and other excellent surf spots from your list. Check out our website to find the best deals on cheap flights South Africa has ever seen.

The post Hit the Surf thanks to the best Cheap Flights South Africa Has on Offer appeared first on Airline Specials | SA Airlines Blog.

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You’ve booked your Mango flights to Durban and now all that is left to do is carefully pack your bags and prepare yourself and the kids for the trip. It sounds a whole lot easier than it is.

For starters, packing with small children running around your legs can be a savage experience. Once you’ve got that done, there’s the airport processing to face, which children tend to naturally over-complicate. And then there’s the clincher. Once they are on board, previously angelic kids can morph into monsters! Sounding all too familiar? Don’t worry! You are not alone.

Who hasn’t heard friends and ‘other’ parents say that they are dreading their upcoming flight, simply because they are flying with their kids. Well we’ve heard you, and we have put together a few helpful tips for handling what seems to be the inevitable mid-air meltdown.

Goodbye Mid-Air Meltdowns – Hello, Stress-Free Mango Flights to Durban

Chances are, your child hasn’t actually morphed into a sky monster at 32 000 feet. Kids are just as sensitive to change as we are, so their sudden tantrums and terrible behaviour could merely stem from being out of their emotional comfort zone. Then there’s the cramped space issue. Kids don’t like to be closeted, and it’s not something they understand themselves, or know how to communicate. So the next time your child throws an all-mighty tantrum while high up in the sky, try to take a breath and see it for what it is. Then apply the following air-tantrum busters.

  1. Eliminate the Element of Surprise
  2. Kids respond better to situations when they know what to expect, so tell them. Start mentally and emotionally preparing your little onesa few days or weeks before the trip. Explain how the seating and seat belts work, that there will be strangers sitting close by, and that generally, people are expected to be quiet and well-behaved. The more you expose them to what is expected, the easier it will be for them to accept the situation when it’s happening.

  3. Create Some Rules
  4. Help your child to understand that tantrums on board the aeroplane are unsafe and will come with consequences attached. Perhaps ensure that they know that their privileges or favourite toy will be taken away if they break the “travel rules”. Write the rules down – even allow them to decorate a page of rules – and pop them on the fridge for the weeks leading up to the trip.

    Of course, this tactic is useless with an infant. The best way to ensure that the infant isn’t disturbed and fussy for the duration of the flight is to ensure that he/she is kept warm and is well-fed. You could also book a flight that falls over regular nap time, so that your toddler is most likely to fall asleep during or even before the flight. To ensure minimal disruption, ask for priority boarding which will mean that you get to board the flight ahead of other passengers and can be seated and comfortable by the time they arrive.

  5. Have Distractions Prepared

    You can’t expect to tell a small child “no” and then have no alternative behaviour to direct their attention away from their tantrum. Take along your child’s favourite toy, snacks (even if you don’t approve of snacks, you might have to do so on this sort of occasion), colouring books, iPad/tablet, books, and more.

    If your child is of school-going age, you could create a special worksheet or “competition” that they will need to complete while on board. You can arrange for prizes to be awarded after the flight, once all has gone smoothly. It sounds very similar to bribery, but it’s not really!

  6. Use Mystery & Reward to Your Advantage

    Kids love rewards and there’s nothing more intriguing than knowing there is a reward, but not knowing what it is. Before the trip, mention that you are creating a goody bag filled with a variety of treats that your child is sure to love. Mention it a lot and make a big deal about secretly adding to the bag. Then incorporate a points system (this can work quite well in conjunction with the rules list). For every good behavioural trait that your child displays during the trip, make sure that they know there are points attached. The goody bag will only be awarded in the end, if the points all add up sufficiently.

  7. Be Prepared to Pay the Price & Be Strategically Kind
  8. If you are worried that your child might cause a disturbance (often it simply cannot be helped with infants), make sure that you head into the plane fully prepared. First off, try to get a seat towards the back of the plane, but don’t panic if you can’t. Other passengers will be more forgiving if you own the situation and try to “make nice”. A good idea is to piece together a few nifty goody bags for other passengers. An apologetic gift bag up front will create a sense of niceness among passengers and will result in a softer approach to discomfort felt by any of the other passengers. Remember, adults respond just as well to ‘bribery’ as your small children! Of course, if you ever find yourself in an unlikely confrontational situation with other passengers, call on the assistance of a flight attendant. These professionals are trained to diffuse potentially uncomfortable or aggressive situations in the air.

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As Black Friday continues to grow as one of the best supported sales of the year, more and more retailers and travel operators are hopping on board to boost their profits. As a result, there have been some rather unusual items up for grabs from ridiculously cheap international flight specials to bizarre objects for the world traveller that came in the form of a doormat that says “I love you” in different world languages!

If you’re into any of the following things, Black Friday 2019 might be your chance to pick them up for a song. These are some of the weird and wonderful things you could have scooped up on Black Friday 2018:

A Little Culture

The saying goes that money can’t buy you class, but it might get you 50% off on selected shows at the Joburg Theatre if last year’s Black Friday is anything to go by.

Included in that super special bundle were some not-to-be-missed extravaganza’s like Janice Honeyman’s Snow White, The Fairest Panto in All The Land, Guitar Wizards and Sinatra and Me.

Discounted tickets were valid any time after purchase, so if you want to plan a host of memorabledate nights on the town in Johannesburg, Black Friday’s your chance.

Convenience and Comfort

Online deals for last Black Friday included 50% off water bottles with built-in Bluetooth speakers and other assorted travel tech. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, ‘who needs that?”, but if you’ve ever been strapped for space while planning a hiking trip, you’ll see the logic.

If you’re heading out on a horseback safari this December, you want to visit Western Shoppe where you can get 12.5% off all leather goods and riding gear. Not only can you look the part during your big adventure but if you’ve ever spent any time in the saddle wearing jeans, you’ll be so glad you splurged on a pair of comfy, tight-fitting jodhpurs.

A Clear(er) Conscience

Keep tabs on Seeds for Africa’s website if you want to give back extra to the environment this November. Last year, you could get 20% off all their seed packs, including endangered species like the African baobab.

So, if you want to do your extra bit for Mother Earth on Arbor day, or any day, pick up a couple of packs and go green this Black Friday.

A Great Time

If you want to make the most of your trip to Durban this summer, take a trip down Point Road to uShaka Marine World where you can get amazing weekly and monthly specials. Last November there was a free burger up for grabs along with every discounted Sea World and Wet ‘n Wild water park combo ticket.

If that’s too tame for you, you could pick up 40% off all SANParks bookings made on the day for a wild time at some of South Africa’s best nature reserves.

Helicopter flips were up to 30% off if you wanted to get high in Cape Town last Black FLYday or if you’d rather risk your neck below the waves, you could have booked a snorkelling jaunt for 30% off.

Good Health

If all the hype is anything to go by 30% off medicinal cannabis and related items from the Lifestyle Shop Online could save your neck down the line.

Wellness Warehouse upped the ante with an entire month of 40% off assorted health goodies from Ayurvedic herbs to weight-loss shakes.

Romance

This year might be your chance to experience the yacht life with a half-price dinner cruise around the V&A harbour courtesy of The Alba Restaurant.  What could be more romantic than sipping on bubbly and nibbling on some fine fare with views of Table Mountain at sunset? Other options include high tea on the high seas or a breakfast brunch.

If you’re concerned that seasickness could tarnish your amorous ocean-bound ambitions, you can always settle for the same view at MAReSOL. This Mozambican restaurant slashed their prices on whole Peri-Peri chicken in half last year. Whatever’s on the specials board for 2019, you’re guaranteed the same smouldering ambience and great views.

Looking for something in a lower key, try out the Black Bun Burgers at Hudson’s and get the party started with half price on tequila, wine and beer.

If your idea of romance is a boozy picnic in the idyllic winelands, you could have saved up to 70% on wine from Avontuur estate last year.

Wanting to spoil (and impress) your significant other? Keep an eye out for 40% off pampering spa days in Constantia and Kenilworth.

Giggles

Even if you don’t buy anything, a visit to one of the major online retailers around Black Friday is sure to bring a chuckle, or at least have you scratching your head in bewilderment.
These are some of the wackiest gadgets and goodies that were going for a song online last year-

  • Throw cushions emblazoned with a life-size headshot of Nicholas Cage
  • A boyfriend pillow shaped like half of your better half
  • A troll doll hairpiece for your dog
  • Motion-activated lights that fill your toilet bowl with an eerie neon glow
  • DIY kit for a twerking robot
  • His and hers unicorn hoodies
  • A set of Game of thrones sculpted egg candles

We’ll have to wait and see what amazing things are up for grabs this year.

Happiness

Yip, it’s true. Finally, money can buy you happiness. Especially when you take advantage of the awesome flight and travel deals coming up this Black Friday.

What could be better than finally being able to afford those long coveted local or international flights to a sought-after destination or to see a long-lost relative or friend. The priceless memories and experiences you get when you book a travel special are about as unique as Black Friday deals can get. Not to mention theInsta-fame you’ll scoop from all your great location shots.

Just like last year, you can count on FlySafair Black Friday specials and Kulula Black Friday flight deals to put a smile on your face this November. What’s more, we’ve got the inside skinny that Travelstart Black Friday deals will also include some Travel Tuesday and Black Friday flights that shouldn’t be missed.

While we can’t guarantee that other service providers and retailers will keep up their end of the bargain this Black Friday, we can tell you that we will. Keep tabs on our social media pages or check our website regularly for the best Black Friday 2019 deals South Africa has ever seen.

The post Things You Never Thought You Could Buy On Black Friday appeared first on Airline Specials | SA Airlines Blog.

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Most local South African travellers have safaris near the top of their bucket list, no matter how many times they’ve enjoyed the hospitality of the African bush. For international travellers these wild excursions are the first thing that springs to mind.

While we never tire of our usual outings into the wilderness, South Africa offers a wealth of less common ways to enjoy wildlife experiences. Not least of these is the opportunity to embark on a variety of horseback trails among the wild animals. If you have a good idea of what to do on the back of a horse (or you’d like to find out) equestrian safaris are the cherry on the top when it comes to intimate interactions with game species.

Wild animals are not threatened by horses since they are a prey species themselves, so they tend to ignore them. This allows you to approach much more closely than you would be able to in a noisy vehicle which reeks of diesel fumes.

Horses are the original 4×4 and can easily access areas that vehicles can’t go, allowing for a totally different view and more immersive experience than you’ll have from a safari vehicle.

You’ll find reputable horseback safari operators all over the country too.

Thanks to its cheap flights Mango Airlines can take you to any of the major centres in South Africa affordably, placing you within easy traveling distance of these equestrian adventures.

Here’s a sample of the epic rides that await.

Go Wild in the Western Cape

While the Western Cape is rightly famous for many attractions and outings as well as fabulous food and wine, it’s not known for big game experiences. However, you’ll find a great diversity of private reserves and game parks within the province.
If you want to go riding among these wild landscapes, Botlierskop Private Nature Reserve should be your first port of call. Sandwiched between George and Mossel Bay, this premier private reserve has the big five in residence as well as lesser-known denizens and over 200 different birds.

Here, you can take your pick from 1,2 or 3-hour rides that traverse the fynbos, woodlands and coastal vegetation. You don’t need to be a Grand Prix or A Grade rider either, all levels of experience are catered for at Botlierskop. More experienced equestrians will enjoy the 3 hour fast-paced version which has the option to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner as part of the deal.

Best of Both Worlds in St Lucia

If you’ve always wanted to meander along the edge of the ocean on horseback, you’ll get your chance in St Lucia. This World Heritage destination offers the chance to embark on bush or beach rides or a combination of both with Bhangazi Horse Safaris.

Two guides accompany each ride which means that the group can be split according to ability and preferences, with the stronger riders racing on ahead while more placid plodders take up the rear. Thanks to this courtesy, children as young as 6 years old can join in the fun.

The beach rides take around 2 hours and usually includes hippo sightings as well as the chance to see whales out at sea in the springtime. The bush rides take place in Iphiva Game Reserve, close to the centre of town and often yield sightings of plains game, warthog, duiker and bushbuck. With a little luck you could even see a rhino on one of these jaunts.

  • The half-day combo ride includes both activities.

Meandering in the Magalieserg

You’ll find Magaliesberg Horse Trails about 45 minutes’ drive from the bustle of Johannesburg and 15km from Hartbeespoort. The outfit offers a wide variety of rides to suit all ages, abilities and interests. Small children will delight in pony rides, while the more adventurous usually choose one of the hour-long safaris instead.

This is a great introduction to horseback safaris since there are no predators present in this reserve. You will get to see blesbok, giraffe, wildebeest and zebra up close though.

An experienced and entertaining guide accompanies all the rides and the horses are all good-natured animals who know their job.  

More Options

If dealing with wild animals and a strange horse at the same time is a little out of your comfort zone, there are plenty of other options to choose from all around the country. The Drakensberg, KZN Midlands and the Eastern Cape all have well-established equestrian trails to try out.

Once you’ve worked up the courage to try out a horseback safari, all you need to do is book your cheap domestic flights, saddle up and ride off into the wilderness.

The post See SA’s Wildlife on Horseback appeared first on Airline Specials | SA Airlines Blog.

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Traveling to South Africa for the first time puts you in a unique position to experience a few surprises. Some might be pleasant, others not so much. If you have already sussed out the flights with South African Airways and you’re planning your upcoming trip, you might want to spend some time looking into the country’s unique weather, roads, and wildlife situation. This will ensure that you aren’t taken by surprise when the weather suddenly doesn’t match up to what you have read about it, when the road you are traveling on is more dust than tar, or you have an unplanned encounter with a wild animal.

South Africa’s Weather

South Africa is renowned for having fantastic weather all year round. The climate is warm with a bit of humidity, but on occasion there can be heavy rain, and in some areas, the winter can be really cold.

Make sure that you investigate the expected weather in each area that you plan to visit, at the time that you plan to visit. It’s always best to be prepared for most weather conditions when travelling in South Africa and particularly in Cape Town where you can experience four seasons in a day (if you are really lucky!).

You may be better prepared if you know what to expect in terms of weather in each of South Africa’s main cities:

  • Johannesburg – Jo’burg is known for its mild climate that typically doesn’t get too hot or humid. Between June and August it can get quite chilly in the mornings and late afternoon. The warmer months, which are between October and March bring fairly humid nights with days reaching a max of 28-32 degrees Celsius. Rainfall happens most often in summer.
  • Cape Town – Cape Town is usually warm and sunny, except in winter (May-August)which brings cold fronts, rain, and general chilly weather. June is usually the month that experiences the most rainfall in Cape Town. The summer months can also be quite windy and reach temperatures of 29-34 degrees Celsius max.
  • Durban – Durban experiences hot and humid days nearly all year round. The winter months, June to August, can have cold mornings and evenings with warm days. The most rainfall happens in Durban during the summer months (November to March) which can also reach temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius max.

If you are lucky enough to experience a South African lightning storm, prepare for a stunning show put on by Mother Nature herself.

According to the Lightning Climatology of South Africa website, lightening storms are most prevalent in outlying areas in the North West, Northern Cape, Free State, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and even Lesotho. Cape Town also experiences quite magnificent electric storms. Apparently these areas are high risk with positive polarity. Areas with ferric or red soils provide positive charge which makes them prime areas for lightning strikes.

SA actually has the most occurrences of lightning strikes globally, but this doesn’t mean that the country has come up with innovative ways to avoid the dangers that come with these beautiful light displays. In fact, South Africa ranks third in terms of lightning strike deaths annually (more on this here).

If you are caught in a lightning storm, turn off your electrical appliances and keep away from the windows until the storm dies down. If you are swimming, get out of the pool immediately. If you are on the golf course or out on a game drive, stop what you are doing and try head towards shelter or back to your camp/accommodation if there is no safe shelter. Avoid driving anywhere when there is lightning.

South Africa’s Wildlife

Wild animals and the Big Five are one of the main reasons why so many people book flights to South Africa with national carriers South African Airways and other leading airlines. If you are booking a holiday to do some game viewing and to get back to nature, you will be undoubtedly encountering wildlife in its natural environment. However, it is important to know the right and wrong ways of interacting with wildlife to avoid getting potentially hurt. Here’s what to expect:

  • Lions and other wild cats.

Lions, Leopards, and various smaller cat species all tend to look very relaxed while strolling along the road or through a park/camp. While they may appear calm and relaxed, never get out of your car or try to interact with the animal. Don’t hang out of the vehicle to take pictures, or attempt to feed the lion or cat either. Stay a while and enjoy watching them, but do so with your windows up and with no interaction with the animals.

  • Troops of monkeys and baboons

Unfortunately, many monkey and baboon troops in South Africa are misplaced and make a nuisance of themselves. Even those that are found in national parks and with an abundance of space and food sources tend to cause trouble in residential areas or camps. It is important to never feed the monkeys or baboons and under no circumstances should you ever try to touch or pet them. If they snatch food or steal something, it is best to just let it go. Don’t fight back. The strength and aggressiveness of these creatures is often underestimated.

  • Hippos

Hippos kill more humans every year than any other wild animal (this is usually at night and most often in areas where refugees stumble into them while trying to cross borders). They are extremely aggressive even though they look the complete opposite. The last thing you want to do is make a hippo feel uncomfortable. If you are in an area where you are camping outside of your vehicle and there is a hippo nearby, stay away. If you get between a hippo and the water or if you make it feel remotely threatened, it will charge you.

  • Crocodiles

These reptiles are every bit as deathly to humans as you would expect them to be. Many bodies of water in South Africa play home to a variety of crocs. If you are planning to go for a swim in an area that is not expressly marked as a safe swimming area, don’t! Keep swimming for safe beaches and swimming pools, just to be safe.

  • Elephants

Elephants are wildly entertaining. If you are going on safari you will undoubtedly be spoiled by a number of sightings of elephants eating, ambling, and best of all, drinking and rolling in the bodies of water that they find along the way. Younger elephants are extremely playful and can seem as if they don’t have an aggressive bone in their bodies, but unfortunately, they do. Young males are known to be ‘testing the waters’ and can get spooked unexpectedly and also show sudden aggression. Mothers with young calves can also be particularly aggressive. If you see elephants, it is best to keep your distance. Even if you are in a vehicle, don’t get too close or you could find yourself paying a hefty insurance cost when the elephant destroys it. Of course, never get out of your vehicle or try to feed the elephants.

  • Rhinos

Rhinos can be unpredictable. The Black Rhino is typically more aggressive than the White Rhino, but both can be quite territorial and should not be approached. Rhino happen to have quite poor eye-sight. Never get out of your vehicle to interact with a Rhino – even if it is a baby.

The State of the Roads in South Africa

South Africa has a unique road situation but it’s simply not true that our roads are non-existent. Some roads do suffer serious pot holes and safety hazards, but these are usually well-documented on the internet. Do a bit of research on the routes you plan to take and get in touch with a travel agency or a local resident to determine if you are making the best route choices. All national parks and reserves have well-maintained roads, so you should have no problem if you are spending time on any of those.

Sometimes you might encounter antelope, ostrich, buffalo, cows, dogs and various other animals crossing roads. Always obey the speed limit and watch out for signs warning of wild animals. Try to be as alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

Tourism information offices at your destination will always provide you with safety tips and advice that is specific to the area that you are visiting.

Book Cheap Flights to South Africa

If you are looking for the best-priced flights with South African Airways or other leading airlines you are on the right page! Use our flight search feature above to find, compare, and pay for the best flights to and from SA.
 
 

The post Travel Wise | Weather & Wildlife In South Africa appeared first on Airline Specials | SA Airlines Blog.

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The Drakensberg certainly deserves its reputation for being home to some of the best hiking trails in South Africa. You can amble through the scenic lowlands of Rainbow Gorge near Bergville or challenge yourself with a chain-assisted clamber to the top of the amphitheatre at the Sentinel.

With over 1000km to explore, you’ll find no shortage of easy walks or testing multi-day challenges if you’re prepared to go to any lengths to make the most of this scenic and diverse area.

Thanks to its central location, the Drakensberg is easily accessed from both Johannesburg and Durban by road or from Cape Town via air. Thanks to cheap flights South Africa is easily accessible from abroad too.

If footloose and fancy free isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other activities you’ll love when you visit this World Heritage site in the very heart of the country. Here’s a snapshot of things to do in the Drakensberg that aren’t hiking.

Head for the Top of Sani Pass

Sani Pass is at once beautiful and treacherous, winding its way erratically up from the southern ‘berg to the Lesotho highlands.

You’ll need a 4×4 to survive the trip and a passport to get through border control. The going gets rough though, so unless you have nerves of steel it’s best to take a guided tour to the top. Gorgeous views over the rugged hills of Lesotho make every nail-biting moment worthwhile and once you arrive you can indulge in a tipple at the Highest Pub in Africa, which is 2 874m above sea level.

Another rewarding option is a visit to a traditional Lesotho village where you’ll be welcomed with warm hospitality and freshly baked bread.

Thanks to its precarious and unpredictable nature, the pass is often closed during inclement weather, so check ahead before planning a trip.

Go Zipping Through the Landscape

In Cathkin Park, about 35 minutes’ drive from Winterton, another lofty adventure awaits with Drakensberg Canopy Tours Zipline adventures.

This exciting activity involves gliding from cliff face to cliff face and tree to tree as you dangle from a sturdy zipline. For safety’s sake, there’s a qualified guide in attendance to make sure you come to no harm and you’ll be provided with all the necessary training and safety gear before you set off.

Step Back in Time

Your historical exploration in the Drakensberg depends entirely on how far you’d like to rewind the clock.

You’ll find evidence of the ancient San people at over 600 sites in the Drakensberg. There are over 35 000 individual instances of cave art inscribed on the granite surfaces of these hills and cliffs.

Some of the best ones can be found on a trip to Battle Cave in the Maloti Drakensberg park which is one of the best depictions of traditional warfare in the country. It’s a treat to take one of the guided 4-hour tours up to this site and find out more about San culture with running commentary along the way.

It’s hard to believe that this pristine and beautiful area was once the site of conflict but there are more recent battlefields to visit here too. The area between Mooi River and Van Reenen’s Pass is littered with remnants of bloody battles between Boer, English and Zulu troops.

Again, a guided tour is the best way to make the most of excursions to these reminders of skirmishes past. You can choose from a wide variety of tours in different price ranges depending on your departure point and areas of interest.

If you’d rather explore at your own pace, pick up a map from Drakensberg Tourism and make your own way around.

Music Brings Life to the Hills

The Drakensberg Boys Choir has long been hailed as one of the best musical ensembles in the world and you can get to see them live during your visit to this area. During the school term, regular performances take place at the school, about 30 minutes’ drive from Winterton.

Chase the Snow

Nearly every winter you’ll see snow on the highest peaks of the Drakensberg, and often in the foothills too. You can even try your hand at snow skiing at Tiffendell Resort near Barkly East in the far southern reaches of the berg.

The Drakensberg has something for everyone to enjoy. There’s top class golf, horse trails, exciting abseiling adventures, amazing fishing and more. Snow or shine, there’s something on offer in the ‘berg any time of the year.

So, book your cheap flights to Durban, arrange a 4×4 car rental, and head for the hills!

The post Go Beyond Hiking In The Drakensberg appeared first on Airline Specials | SA Airlines Blog.

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