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Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Cambridge...
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Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Hello, I am traveling to Zambia and will have to go through Tambo International in Johannesburg. I am wondering if anyone knows how it works there between arrival from UK and later departure to Lusaka? I believe I have to pick up baggage and then check in again for the second flight?

Also, I have heard many stories about baggage theft at the airport. Any thoughts on that?

If just traveling through will I have to go through SA customs and passport control or would I just be going from one desk and gate to another?

Thanks for taking my questions. Last time I traveled through that airport, 2008, under different travel circumstances, I found it utterly chaotic so am dreading this part of the journey a bit.

Johannesburg, South...
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for Johannesburg
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1. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Stay in transit, you should be OK, and should not have to enter South Africa.

Baggage theft is greatly exaggerated, and actually occurs all over the world.

I have had clients who have experienced baggage theft at home ( Toronto).

Why always focus on South Africa?

Hope you had your Yellow Fever vaccination!

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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2. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Unless your bags are checked through to Lusaka, you will have to claim them and then re-check them when you check in for your flight to Lusaka.

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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3. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

You may be able to have your bags checked all the way through. Even if your tickets are separate, some airlines will do this (I have done this with BA and Air Botswana tickets).

If your bags are checked through you don't have to clear immigration- you can go through an area marked "transit" and there are some desks where you may need to pick up a boarding pass for your second flight. It's pretty simple.

Personally if I have enough time, on the outbound journey I will opt to pick up my bag and clear immigration and recheck it in. I'm not worried about theft, but JNB is just notorious for bags not making connections- in which case, they will catch you up but only after a couple of days and starting a safari without luggage is a pain. On the way home, I don't care if my bag is delayed and check it through if the option is available.

Cambridge...
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4. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Thanks. Yes, I will get the vaccination. Thanks for taking the time to offer advice!

Cambridge...
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5. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Thanks that's really good advice regarding when to check bags and when not. I appreciate your taking the time to get back to me.

6. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

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Randburg, Gauteng...
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7. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Hello, your experience in 2008 was unfortunate. You will see a totally different airport now. It is modern, functional and world class even though it is small (but, the largest in Africa) and you will be very pleasantly surprised when you arrive.

Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris

South Africa
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8. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Since 2010 the airport is upgraded . So is much better then on 2008.

Cambridge...
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9. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Many thanks. This is very good to know.

Cambridge...
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10. Re: Johannesburg airport, Tambo International.

Thank you!