The airline business is a competitive and cut-throat arena in which to operate. Emphasis is placed on cost and more importantly, the reduction thereof.

JNB 13Dec14 Helmeted Guineafowl 03Helmeted Guineafowl

Thus a younger, leaner (and if I am brutally honest, prettier and better able to carry off “The Look”) fleet  of crew have been recruited to bolster the established flight attendants who carry the weight of experience and a few extra pounds besides from their indulgent lifestyle.

JNB 14Mar15 Warthog 01 - CopyWarthog

But weight equals cost, fuel burn to be precise and the new, lighter crew are gradually replacing us older chaps who find that our extravagant living has made us uneconomical.

JNB 19Jul14 Blue Waxbill 03 - CopyBlue Waxbill

Routes are being transferred from the old fleet and it was with great sadness that I said my last goodbyes to Johannesberg earlier this year.

JNB 13Dec14 Red-billed Oxpecker 01Red-billed Oxpecker

In particular, I shall miss Pilanesberg National Park. I was reminiscing with a few photos the other day and realised that there were still many that had not been used, so as the subtitle to the post suggests, here are a few pictures that did not fit the narrative at the time.

JNB 16Apr07 Lilac-breasted RollerLilac-breasted Roller

As the main title clearly shows, I shall greatly miss South Africa, but will always be grateful that I was given the opportunity to visit.

JNB 13Dec14 Dideric Cuckoo 03Dideric Cuckoo

But such things are cyclical. A number of routes have already crossed back and forth a couple of times between the fleets. I am keeping my fingers crossed that JNB and CPT will one day make a welcome return to my rosters.

JNB 19Jul14 Slender Mongoose 01 - CopySlender Mongoose

Until then, brace yourselves for a deluge of photos as I reminisce about some spectacular birds and animals that I was privileged to see there. Even in the days of roll film (remember that?), it was impossible to visit Africa without returning with less than 3 dozen reels.

JNB 21Jan11 Southern Red Bishop 06Red Bishop

Since I embraced the digital age, a  quick visit can trigger exposure numbers in the thousands! So don’t be surprised to find a few more posts sharing misty memories from a place so far away where I have never felt more at home.

JNB 21Jan11 Common Bulbul 01Common Bubul

Written by Redgannet
Redgannet worked for more than 35 years as a flight attendant for an international airline. He came to birding late in his career but, considering the distractions, doesn't regret the missed opportunities. He was paid to visit six continents and took full advantage of the chance to bird the world. He adopted the nom de blog, Redgannet, to avoid remonstrations from his overbearing employer, but secretly hoped that the air of mystery would make him more attractive to women. Now grounded, he is looking forward to seeing the seasons turn from a fixed point.