The journey to Johannesburg- Travel Essentials

My people Ninjani?

Just a couple of phrases I picked up after spending the most amazing week in Johannesburg. This is a 3 part blog post to show you what it takes to get yourself to South Africa.

Part on is all about getting yourself to Jozi. This is information that I really looked for but was so hard to find especially for a first time traveler going somewhere that required you to have a visa.So I want to break it down for you guys, things that you need to have to be able to get to your destination.

The Visa

Th visa process is actually quite straight forward when you are going to S.A. You need a couple of things, this would be a list that you would want to put down if you are planning to visit down south.
– Bank Statements, these are basically to show that you can be able to sustain yourself for the duration of the trip. I would advise you to take a bank statement right before you pay for your flights and your accommodation. They are not expecting you to be a billionaire so between 100k-200k should be a good enough amount.
-Flight Booking, this is basically to show the days that you plan to travel so exact dates and time of travel. Most airlines have a hold button to be able to hold your ticket till when you actually do get your visa. So you can be able to use this to your advantage.
-Accommodation, this is the tricky part because we had to bite the bullet and pay for our Airbnb just because we didn’t want our gorgeous house to slip right from under our hands. This as really helpful as it is something that you must have to actually get your visa.
-Letter of employment, don’t be afraid of your HR department and if you are a student get to the admin and ask them for the letter. It is just necessary because they want proof that you are not trying to run away from your country.


This is totally up to you guys. You can choose to stay in a hotel or you can choose to stay in an Airbnb which for us, the latter, made the most sense. I always say it’s important to start your search way in advance, you don’t want to be in a rush and end up not seeing some small details . For example Joy and I wanted separate bedrooms however, some houses were sneaky with their description and they were giving two beds and not two rooms. You always have to be super careful.

We were able to find the perfect house in Sandton City, which was 5 minutes away from the mall, right in the city center. What I loved about this house is that it was exactly like they showed in the images of the Airbnb. Only better, our hosts Craig and the Manager, Brenda (If you are reading this, you are a gem!) took such great care of us. We had our apartment cleaned every other day so even when we made our meals, which is the best part about the staying in a house we would have a clean house at the end of the day. Here is a link to the house we stayed in. Morning side Airbnb

If you aren’t on Airbnb register with my code, apparently I get 15 dollars credited into my account lol so do it! Register

The flight

Ok so this is all about preference and the amount of cash you are willing to spend. We choose Ethiopian airlines which ended up being such a delightful flight. Our longest layover was actually 45 minutes and we barely felt it because we are such chatty Cathy’s. You could always choose to go with SAA which is on the higher side but you will get a direct flight to the country within no time.

Change your money.

This was actually something so important that I learnt from my friend and fellow blogger Naomi Mutua. The last time she went to S.A her card just refused to work when she got there luckily she had changed her cash before hand. This is actually so important because of the fact that when you get there, if you are not being picked up at the airport by a friend it would be advisable to get to the help desk and find out the tour companies that are available in the airport. This always means that they will ultimately be more expensive.

With the insecurity in the country, you just have to bite this bullet. We paid around ksh4,000 to our house and on our way back we paid ksh2,500 using Uber. The problem is that they are really harassed at the airport so they may cancel your trip which is inconveniencing especially when you travel like Joy and I with 40 bags lol.
One last tip, always notify your bank about the fact that you are about to travel so they don’t think you are having fraudulent activities on your card. Oh and the Forex at Yaya is the best for changing money.

Carry on Essentials
So with the change in the whole security in the world, there are some countries that don’t allow you to actually have your laptop on the plane. Luckily, when going to S.A it’s not a problem. I would suggest that you have your laptop and your charger, load up a couple of movies that you can use to entertain yourself with. Something that you can use to take away the boredom.
I downloaded the audio book The Year of Yes by Shonda using YouTube offline which was really cool thing to have, always have your power bank so your phone doesn’t die out on you. When you get to O.R Tambo airport which is absolutely huge, they have a WiFi service that allows you 30 minutes to log on, it’s called Always On, I would also suggest you load up your sim card with some roaming cash for when you get there because the registration process requires for you to check into your email which obviously needs internet.
I would suggest you carry a nice face mask and some lip balm for your lips, you don’t want to land looking all washed out with some crusty lips. No one needs to be dusty lol. Lastly, I would suggest you pack a jacket for your travels, we were going from hot weather in Nairobi and in Malawi,when we got to S.A it was real cold so just be prepared if you are traveling soon.

Dress comfortable
This is not the time to put on your tightest jeans and a pair of dress shoes or a one of your body con dresses. You are in a flight that would be for a couple of hours , get nice and loose, Joy wore her stretchy pants and I wore my signature travel pants and a pair of sneakers which were perfect for when we got to the Malawi airport. They asked us to remove our shoes which really wasn’t a problem because they were easy to take off and put on.

I really hope this post helps you guys, I would love to hear your experience on the comment section below. What did you guys go through? See you guys on part two and part three which will be super epic!

Have a look at Joy’s post on our amazing Airbnb.

Love you guys.




  • Napunyu

    This is such a helpful post Jay.I’ve learnt a couple of things. Props?

  • Eunice Radak

    Very helpful tips at the perfect time for me since am planning on traveling. Can’t wait for part two and three.

  • Valerie Erulu

    hey jay
    i thought you do not need a visa to go to south africa

    • Hey Valarie,

      Unfortunately you do, it’s not hard to get it though.