Dreaming about Africa – Chapter II

Roma Fiumicino

Flight to Johannesburg, finally, the moment had finally arrived when my spouse and life companion and I stood at Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Ready to embark on a journey that will take us from the heart of Italy to the vibrant city of Johannesburg, South Africa.With a captivating stopover in the Arab Emirates. Our anticipation was palpable as we stepped into the bustling terminal. Our hearts brimming with excitement and a sense of shared adventure.

Meanwhile, we made our way to the Emirates check-in counter. We were greeted by the friendly and efficient airline staff. The process was seamless, and our boarding passes were handed to us with warm smiles. This was the beginning of an adventure, and the Emirates team made sure it started on the right foot.

Boarding the Airbus A 380

Boarding the Airbus A380, known for luxury and comfort, was a journey of opulence. The aircraft’s design and logo exuded sophistication. The diverse cabin crew welcomed us, a testament to Emirates’ global reach.

In-Flight Comfort

In fact, the interior of the Airbus A380 was nothing short of impressive, and the spacious seats. Especially the plush cushions and ample legroom made it clear that this would be a comfortable journey for both of us. In particular, the in-flight entertainment system, a treasure trove of movies, music, and shows, ensured that the hours in the air would be both enjoyable and entertaining as we shared this experience.

A Seamless Flight

As we taxied down the runway and soared into the skies above Rome, the breathtaking views of the Eternal City faded into the distance. The Emirates flight on the Airbus A380 was a seamless blend of modernity and tradition, and we shared moments of wonder as we looked out of the window together. The cabin crew, dressed in their elegant uniforms, moved gracefully through the aisles, attending to passengers’ needs with professionalism and a touch of Arabian hospitality.

Culinary Delight

However, the culinary experience was one of the highlights of the flight. Emirates had curated a menu that celebrated the flavors of the Arabian Emirates. Offering a delightful fusion of Middle Eastern and international cuisines. The aroma of freshly baked bread and aromatic spices filled the cabin. As we savored each course, we shared our thoughts on the flavors and savoring this culinary journey together.

Relaxing Ambiances

The flight to the Arab Emirates was a true intercontinental journey on the Airbus A380; with an ambiance of relaxation and tranquility. The sound of the engines hummed gently in the background as we reclined in our seats, sharing stories and laughter. Watching the world pass by beneath a blanket of clouds.

Dubay Layover

Upon arrival at the Emirates Airport for a 4-hour layover, we were greeted by the grandeur and modernity that Dubai is known for. The airport itself was a marvel, a bustling hub of international travel that seamlessly blended architectural innovation with cultural elements. We explored the airport’s various concourses together, each offering a unique shopping and dining experience. From high-end boutiques to traditional markets, there was something for both of us. The duty-free shops boasted a wide array of goods, and we couldn’t resist picking up a few souvenirs, and discussing which ones would make the best gifts for friends and family back home.

Comfortable Lounges

Emirates Airport also provided comfortable lounges where passengers could relax and unwind. We took this opportunity to catch up on some work, recharge our devices, and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Arabic coffee while sitting side by side.


As we prepared to board the flight to Johannesburg, we couldn’t help but feel that our journey was not just a means to an end but an integral part of the adventure itself—a shared adventure. The combination of the Emirates flight experience on the Airbus A380 and the intriguing layover in the Arab Emirates had added depth and richness to our travel story, a story we were crafting together. With a sense of gratitude and excitement, we boarded the plane, ready to continue our voyage to the vibrant city of Johannesburg as a united team, ready to explore, discover, and create cherished memories together.

Arab emirates airport impression during flight to Johannesburg
Flight Schedules.

Arriving in Johannesburg

Arriving at Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport was an experience in itself. The airport is one of the busiest in Africa and a major gateway to South Africa. As we disembarked from our Emirates flight and entered the terminal, we were greeted by a bustling and diverse crowd of travelers from all corners of the world.

First, we proceeded to the immigration and customs controls. The lines were well-organized, and the immigration officers were efficient and professional. We presented our passports and visas, and after a quick stamp, we were officially welcomed into South Africa.

After clearing immigration, we made our way to the baggage claim area. Our luggage arrived promptly on the conveyor belt, and we retrieved our bags with ease. As we moved towards the exit, we noticed currency exchange counters conveniently located nearby. We decided to exchange some money to get our hands on the South African currency, the Rand.

The South African Rand (ZAR) is a colorful and unique currency. The banknotes feature images of iconic South African figures, landscapes, and wildlife. The Rand notes are denominated in various values. With the most common being 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Rand notes. The coins are also distinctive, with different sizes and designs for various denominations.

Diverse Crowd

With our Rand in hand, we ventured further into the airport, where we encountered a vibrant and diverse crowd. Johannesburg is a melting pot of cultures, and the airport reflects this beautifully. Travelers of all backgrounds, chat, move about, and share the excitement of arriving in South Africa.

After completing the necessary formalities, it was time to pick up our rental car with Avis. The car rental counters were conveniently located within the airport, and the Avis staff acted friendly and helpful. We pre-booked our vehicle, so the process was swift. We picked the keys up to our rental car, a reliable and comfortable choice for our adventures in South Africa.

Rental Car

Exiting the airport, we were directed to the vast multi-story parking garage. Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport has one of the largest parking facilities in Africa to accommodate its high volume of travelers. The garage was a sight to behold, with row upon row of vehicles. Thankfully, the signage was clear, and we easily found our car.

As we embarked on our journey from the airport, we couldn’t help but feel the anticipation of exploring the stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultures that South Africa had to offer. Our adventure had truly begun. Eagerly, we embarked on experiencing the wonders of this beautiful country.

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