Bargain Flights Around Southern Africa With Avios

If you are heading to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia or Mauritius, Avios are your best friend!  British Airway’s subsidiary, Comair has a good network in the region.

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Use GC Mapper to find out the mileage on each route.

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Use the Avios Award Chart to see how many Avios for each segment.  In the example above, you can see that Jo-burg to Durban, Port Elizabeth, Victoria Falls and Harare are in the 1st zone and cost 4500 Avios.  Jo-burg to Windhoek or Cape Town cost 7500 Avios and Mauritius costs 10,000 Avios.  All flights are easily booked online.

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Hotel Review: Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth

The seaside town of Port Elizabeth was the ideal gateway since our first destination was 3 hours east and our planned day-trip to Birds of Eden was around 2 hours to the west going towards Cape Town.  Port Elizabeth is easy to get around and the roads are well-marked.  The Radisson Blu Hotel is in the seaside suburb of Summerstrand.  Just follow the signs, stay as close to the sea as possible when roads diverge and you can’t miss it!

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This hotel is a bargain for those who have the Club Carlson Visa, only 38k points for 2 nights!

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Like I said, you can’t miss it!IMG_3574 IMG_3165

Nice spacious lobbyIMG_3166

They have one of those annoying “open” bathrooms but at least there is a shade for those who prefer privacy.  I must say I would have preferred the bathroom be completely enclosed, I’m not a fan of those open bathrooms.  Beds are comfy with a nice assortment of pillows.IMG_3171 IMG_3168 IMG_3167

There’s a tv and work desk with a view of the sea.  Internet connection was pretty good.  There is also secure free parking.IMG_3169 IMG_3170Overall, this hotel was a good option for us as we used our points.  If we didn’t have points, we probably would have spent the night in a town closer to Birds of Eden to save a long drive but we had to spend at least one night in Port Elizabeth any way to catch an early flight to JNB.  The breakfast was not included for a points stay and the restaurant didn’t have anything of interest so we went the cheapie route and bought food at the supermarket next door.

Eco-Lite: Birds Of Eden Revisted – Part 2

Continuing on from yesterday, we pick up the virtual stroll through the Birds of Eden walk-in aviary at the first pond where you can see Scarlet Ibises and other water birds, then past the grassy area to the main pond and the area surrounding the Jandaya Cafe.  Sadly, the Jandaya Cafe is now screened in and the birds no longer are able to join you for lunch.  The food was good though!

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(Don’t look if you are under 18!)IMG_3285 IMG_3288 IMG_3294 IMG_3295 IMG_3298 IMG_3283 IMG_3300 IMG_3302 IMG_3308 IMG_3315 IMG_3535 IMG_3538 IMG_3311 IMG_3323 IMG_3324 IMG_3328 IMG_3331 IMG_3341 IMG_3343 IMG_3344 IMG_3345 IMG_3347 IMG_3349 IMG_3351 IMG_3354 IMG_3355 IMG_3356 IMG_3362 IMG_3359 IMG_3358 IMG_3368 IMG_3541 IMG_3567 IMG_3566 IMG_3370 IMG_3353 IMG_3357 IMG_3367 IMG_3371 IMG_3554 IMG_3562

 

Birds wondering why they can’t get into the cafe.  Maybe because they don’t have credit cards?IMG_3561 IMG_3539 IMG_3542 IMG_3543 IMG_3544 IMG_3546 IMG_3547 IMG_3548 IMG_3549 IMG_3551 IMG_3553 IMG_3557 IMG_3564 IMG_3373 IMG_3375 IMG_3376 IMG_3378 IMG_3380 IMG_3381 IMG_3382 IMG_3374

 

The Cape Parrots Of King William’s Town, South Africa

There is a lot of confusion about the classification of Cape Parrots.  In the past, there were 3 subspecies:  Poicephalus robustus robusts (Brown-headed Cape Parrots), Poicephalus robustus suahelicus and Poicephalus robustus fuscicollis (Grey-headed Cape Parrots).   Cape Parrots have now been reclassified so the Brown-headed Cape Parrots are in their own species now – Poicephalus robustus and the two Grey-headed Cape Parrots are now in their own species divided into Poicephalus fusicollis suahelicus (the Grey-headed Cape Parrots in the Limpopo region) and Poicephalus fusicollis fusicollus (Grey headed/Brown-necked parrots found in West Africa.  If all this is confusing, there is a good graph on Thor’s Cape Parrot page.

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In this post, I will be blogging about my experience with Poicephalus robustus, the Brown-headed Cape Parrots.  The distribution map below is extracted from Birdlife and I have indicated in blue the approximate range of these birds.  They breed in the Hogsback area and fly down to King William’s Town most days to forage as fruit trees are plentiful.