here’s looking at you CMN: know before you go Casablanca

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Play it again, Sam.  Originally built by the US as a military airport during WWII, Casablanca’s Mohammed V airport has evolved into the busiest airport in Morocco.  After Morocco gained its indepedence from France in the 1950s, the airport basically rebranded into a public airport named after the former King/Sultan of Morocco, Mohammed V who ruled in the 50s-60s.

There are two terminals 1 (domestic and international) and 2 (international).  It is the hub of Royal Air Maroc and probably services more passengers from Paris to Morocco than any other airport in the country.

Remember: ✈️ = what in heaven’s name brought you to casablanca? to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = the beginning of a beautiful friendship

Convenience to the city: ✈️✈️✈️ (30 km from the city, but there is a train station on in Terminal 1 that will take you to the city)

Ease of navigating through terminals:  ✈️✈️ (Terminals 1 and 2 are connected, lack of signage makes things a little difficult.  Airport communication is in French, Arabic and English but can be confusing)

Convenience of check in/security lines:  ✈️ (very crowded, expect longer wait times)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️ (some westernized options: Starbucks, pomme de pain — very expensive)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️ (could use more facilities based on the level of passenger traffic)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️ (free wifi x 30 minutes, remember your European adaptor plugs)

Amenities: ✈️✈️ (there’s a few international brand stores, local Moroccan purveyors, pharmacy, urgent care, Pearl lounge and a VIP concierge service)

3 days in Capetown and Durban

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South Africa is an incredible destination.  Sitting at the tip of the African continent, this country has it all in terms of terrain and landscapes.  Miles and miles of beautiful coast rivaled by the mountains and rock formations of its hinterlands.  There’s the savanna to the serengeti, plans to grassy lowlands.  There’s also, of course, a very complicated, but rich history.

From the coastal beauty of Cape Town to the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, there is so much to see in this gorgeous country.  I’d be remiss not to mention the shanty towns that provides a stark reminder of the impoverished conditions for many people there.

Having hosted the World Cup several years ago, South Africa has been on the world stage before and hopefully will thrive from the attention, in the form of economic and touristic opportunity.   In my opinion. South Africa should be visited via tour, as there is so much to see in a finite amount of time, that you’ll want to be organized and have people who know where they’re going, as it is still a developing nation.

Out of Africa…

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2 days in Kruger National Park

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Going on safari in South Africa was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Seeing these magnificent animals up close was thrilling and surreal and I still can’t believe I’ve had this opportunity.  It’s fun to look at pictures, but the reason I work hard is to get out and see this beautiful world we inhabit amongst so many other beautiful creatures.  It’s easy to get caught up in ourselves and in our everyday routines, but traveling opens your mind and reminds you that there’s a bigger picture out there.

South Africa is an incredibly beautiful country, with distinct terrains and landscapes, and to best experience it, make sure you see everything from Cape Town to Johannesburg (you’ve come this far).  And you certainly can’t miss Kruger National Park, home of the Big 5 animals: lion, water buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros and elephant. Formerly used as a term to denote the most dangerous animals to hunt, it is now thankfully used to delineate the most exciting animals to shoot with cameras only.

I bless the rains down in Africa…

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