Thursday, February 23rd was our day of departure for home. Fortunately, we could take it easy in the morning as Mehluli was not picking us up until 11:00. We had a leisurely breakfast before finishing our packing. We drove the short distance to the Victoria Falls airport, where we bid a bittersweet goodbye to Mehluli. He took great care of us while we were in Zimbabwe, and was a wealth of information about the country.
|flying into Cape Town|
We boarded a Fastjet plane to Johannesburg. The flight time was 1 hour 35 minutes, so it was a quick one. We had a couple hour layover in Johannesburg before getting on our Delta flight. After we had booked our trip, Delta unfortunately decided that instead of flying direct to Atlanta there would be a stop in Cape Town. That added a 2 hour flight to Cape Town, with a 2 and 1/2 hour layover there. They did not let us get off the aircraft, which pretty much sucked since we still had more than 16 hours to go on that plane. Not to mention the fact that there were numerous children on the flight, including an infant in the row ahead of us. Suffice it to say that I got very little sleep on the way home.
We then had a 4 hour layover in Atlanta before boarding our final flight home. Going through customs in Atlanta was a breeze because we did carryon luggage only, and we both have Global Entry. From the time we left our lodge at 11:00 in the morning until we landed in Charlotte at 1:30 we had been traveling for over 34 hours.
To summarize the trip - it was fabulous! It exceeded all of our expectations. My recommendation to anyone going is to do carryon if you can, and add time on to either the beginning or end of the trip. The number of days we spent in each location was perfect for our needs, but that is a lot of flying time. Had we known Delta was going to change the return flight, we would have stayed a few days in Cape Town for sure. I highly recommend South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana as travel destinations.
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