This was a 15 day safari trip to Botswana and Zambia, with some transitional time in South Africa. In general, this was a life-changing, mind-altering, beyond-spectacular trip!
My sister and I traveled together on this trip. We flew from San Francisco to Altanta (5-hour flight) and the directly to Johannesburg (16-hour flight).We were warned that the Johannesburg airport has a reputation for luggage loss and pilfering, so I tried to pack only uninteresting things in my check-on bag and crammed everything else into two carry on day packs, including a complete change of clothes and my nightgown. It was a pain in the backside to be carrying extra stuff without the benefit of wheels (a wheeled carry-on bag weighs more than we are allowed to take on the small bush planes that we will be flying later in the trip), but worth the peace of mind.
Luckily, our baggage arrived safe and sound, and the prearranged transportation service was there to meet us at the airport (the tour agency highly recommended that we not attempt to simply take a taxi to our hotel because it was too dangerous in Johannesburg –- so they arranged pickup service from an outfit that they trust) and take us to the Johannesburg Courtyard Hotel Eastgate.I expected the hotel to be on the low end of accommodations, but it turned out to be quite nice with a very genteel happy hour that included a very nice waiter who served complimentary wine or cocktails and great appetizers and crisps (potato chips, and a very nice complimentary breakfast. Drank a good South African merlot. The room was comfortable and included a small, equipped kitchen, and also a complimentary can of Raid (which we did not have to use). As with most buildings in Joburg, the hotel was entirely fenced in with a manned entry gate to screen everyone coming in. The tour agency and the hotel strongly advised against walking anywhere on our own.