We flew out of Manchester to Frankfurt on a brief hop with Lufthansa and arrived slightly late, due to a delay before we took off. As a result, we had to power march from one side of Frankfurt Airport to the other, as we only had about 30 minutes left to catch the next flight. We arrived at the gate with about 5 minutes to spare and got comfortable on our long flight to Johannesburg. Thankfully the part of the plane where our seats were, was only half full, so most people managed a seat with a gap next to them.
The flight itself was uneventful, especially as we were flying at night, and we arrived at about 8.30 on the Saturday morning. We made our way directly to the gate for the connecting flight to Lilongwe and were able to board relatively quickly. This was a much quicker flight and we were in Lilongwe within a couple of hours.
Source: Flickr – I forgot to take a photo when we got off the plane.
Having made the same trip last year I’d prepped everyone to have their visa forms pre-filled and we managed to be at the front of the line for the Visa applications which went quite quickly compared to last year. There were three officials each in their own booth, so you would assume that each would deal with a single applicant and do all of the steps of the application. But no, each person has their own role, and they basically do that then pass the application to the next window, as you can imagine this slows down things immensely. In computer science terms they are processing things in serial not parallel and this introduces a bottle-neck. Eventually, I was through and could make my way to the baggage reclamation area.
I waited next to the carousel for a while as the bags whirled by, then the others gradually joined me. Sophie and two of the others managed to get their bags no problem. After half an hour of waiting as more bags were loaded up, we sent the others on through customs and continued to wait. There were still bags being added to the carousel and we were hopeful that ours would appear soon. Unfortunately, they never materialised and we were forced to go and find a random person to report it to. Eventually, we found someone who had no information for us but took all of the details and filled out some paperwork to get the ball rolling.