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About bluebird

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  1. @Game Warden you have my promise! This site and its members were too helpful (and entertaining) not to return the favor. My photos will be sub-par, and my knowledge of the flora and fauna will be beginner-level. But as a professional writer, I promise to write the h*#% out of it and use proper punctuation. 😆
  2. @Grasshopper_Club thank you for the brilliant info! I hadn’t even thought of which side of the plane we were on. I’ll check that tonight and make any necessary adjustments. It would be great to see Lake Malawi and some of the places you mentioned.
  3. Loving this report. What a special place! The otter pics are gorgeous. And I’m learning from all of your bird and antelope pics.
  4. @Geoff wild dog is at the top of my list, but I’m going to love this trip regardless of what I do or do not see. And I love your point about living in the present. This safari has been quite a distraction for me (and everyone I talk to about it), and 18 months is a long time to be distracted.
  5. I'm so excited for my upcoming (first) safari, that I've set up a little countdown corner in my office at work. The stuffed wild dog was purchased at Disney World this past year. (I don't usually get souvenirs from places like this, but I couldn't pass up those satellite ears.) And I found the cardboard countdown calendar on Amazon. It's silly, but nothing puts a smile on my face faster than when I get to flip a day (or three) off this calendar. What do you all do to count down to your trips? Or am I the only one this ridiculous? P.S. I'm actually at 236 days now!
  6. @Geoff, I just checked and you're absolutely correct: we land at 2:35 p.m. I don't know where I came up with 7 p.m...? At any rate, we won't be trying to make the Mfuwe connection that day, because I'd already booked safari and internal flights based on a later Delta JoBurg connection. (I keep telling myself these three days of travel will all be worth it!) @AfricaIan I've heard great things about Pioneer Camp; your recommendation makes me want to stay there even more. But my agent booked us at Latitude 15. I'd considered going back to her to ask for Pioneer Camp, but I'd made so many itinerary changes at that point because of my Emirates flight that I decided not to worry about it. (She's probably heard quite enough already from me about what I read on SafariTalk. Haha!)
  7. @marg yes, we were very happy to learn this. We have a hotel reserved through Emirates. Very generous! We’ll overnight in Dubai, get to Lusaka about 7 pm the next day, spend the night in Lusaka and THEN take the early Mfuwe flight. So we leave SLC on Friday morning and get to our safari on Monday. 😳😳😳 It’s not optimal, but we would have had to overnight in JoBurg with Delta, so we decided it’s a bit of a wash. And this way we get to experience Emirates business class and see a little bit of Dubai. I have a friend who is an A380 captain for Emirates and he is also going to bid to pilot one of our flights, which would be a lot of fun as well. So glad to hear your experience was a good one!
  8. Thanks, @marg. Our actual departure city is Salt Lake City, but our first Emirates leg is out of San Francisco. SLC>SFO>DXB>LUN>DXB>SFO>SLC Really looking forward to our first Emirates experience.
  9. @pomkiwi, thank you for this! Just what I was looking for. I tried this on a couple of similar sites, which didn’t work, and then assumed it wasn’t available for some reason. And thanks for the confirmation, @Geoff. By the way, your latest trip report has been an obsession of mine. Stunning photos and great storytelling. @wilddog, yes! I knew we wouldn’t be flying over the Sahara, but it was exactly what my dad mentioned as an example. We’ll be going near the North Pole on our flight from San Francisco to Dubai.
  10. First-timer going with my dad to Zambia to mark my 40th birthday. August 24-Sept. 9 Our itinerary includes South Luangwa National Park (Bilamungwe and Chamilandu—Bushcamp Company and Mwamba—Shenton Safaris) and the Busanga Plains in Kafue National Park (Busanga Bush Camp—Wilderness Safaris). 241 days, 8 hours, 49 minutes to departure. But who’s counting? 😉
  11. My dad and I have booked our flights from the U.S. to Zambia for August/September 2018 with Emirates. (Many thanks, by the way, for the many helpful answers I received when trying to figure that out.) Now that’s settled, my dad is curious to know what we’ll be flying over on the Dubai to Lusaka leg of the journey. Emirates doesn’t publish actual route info, which makes sense. But I’m curious if anyone has paid attention to that on the flight. Any major landmarks or interesting scenery from the plane? What countries did you fly over? Obviously not greatly important, but part of the adventure that we’re both looking forward to.
  12. @sdfamily thank you so much for all of the great info. I didn't even consider a booking service to help me. What a fantastic idea; it would be worth a few to get better seats at a reasonable amount of miles. If you do have that name, please let me know. But I'll do some Googling as well! @BieneMaja, so glad to hear you've had good overall experiences using miles. It sounds like it's worth the search to find the seats we want!
  13. @pomkiwi and @marg thanks very much for the info. You've given me a lot to think about, especially if Delta One from Europe is that much lower in SkyMiles to JNB. (Right now from Atlanta, it's more than half a million miles per person!) Maybe we can extend the adventure a bit in order to have a more comfortable flight. I'll definitely play around with Google Flights before making any decisions.
  14. @Crimson255, good to know. Maybe I'll give my travel agent a call and see what she recommends. Where I was assuming I'd use miles, I figured the earlier the better. But maybe I should wait a few more months regardless. I was surprised by how much basic economy was adding up to--especially because SLC is a Delta hub.
  15. @janzin and @Caracal, thanks for the boost in confidence. I'm happy to hear flexibility doesn't change all that much with miles. (I haven't used them for much for booking because I've been saving them for so many years for this trip.) @Tulips, I wish I had just opened a credit card with that type of rewards system; I think it makes a lot of sense for travel and would make the booking process much simpler. As it stands now, Delta controls everything. @AandA, great info. So far, searching in July 2018, flights are right around $2,100 per person, just in economy. I wonder if, as the safari season heats up, it gets more expensive or if I just need to wait for a deal...? It's a bit of a gamble if I end up deciding to use miles. Out of curiosity, how was the long-haul flight in the Delta Comfort section for you?

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