Tuesday, 1 October 2013


I am sure many of us sappy romantics have poured over websites and travel books which feature Bora-Bora.  My first association with the island came from watching the first XXX movie. 

But since then I have had many a dream about this stunning location.

When looking at destinations to celebrate my birthday next year it was one of the first places I considered. I mean, what can possibly be better than crystal clear water, tropical beaches, rain forest mountains and hotels which have bungalows on stilts hovering over the azure waters of the Pacific ocean. I can smell the sea air, feel the hot sun on my skin and taste the umbrella cocktail!!

So the research started…Bora-Bora is considered an interesting choice for South Africans at is probably one of the furthest places we could travel to. With the regularity we receive travel offers and specials on vacations on this little piece of heaven one would think that it would be a snap to get there.

But alas, dear friends it is not!!

Bora-Bora forms part of the French territory of French Polynesia.  Yip, I had no idea where that is either…thank goodness for Google.  Turns out it is on the OTHER side of Australia. It’s an extinct volcano and is surrounded by a coral reef.  And although it is close to the other islands it is considered a remote part of the world.

Let’s look at the stats:
It’s 230 km from the capital of French Polynesia, Papeete
It’s 4000km from Auckland, New Zealand
It’s 6500km from Los Angeles, USA
It’s 15,000km from Johannesburg

Did you catch the 15, 000km from Johannesburg part!!  For me to get there I would have to:

Drive from Pretoria to Johannesburg
Fly from Johannesburg to Auckland via Hong Kong or Sydney
Overnight in Auckland
Fly from Auckland to Papeete
Overnight in Papeete
Fly from Papeete to Bora-Bora

By the quick calculations a travel agent sent me it would take about 55 hours traveling time to get there!!!!  That is Fifty Five hours!!

It was at this point that my heart started to break.  I can handle a lot and let me tell you I have done some crazy flights and layovers to get to destinations but 55 hours, that’s a lot!!

Although I felt a little sick I decided to investigate the prices:

Drive from Pretoria to Johannesburg – probably a Big Mac and soda as I will beg the brother
Fly from Johannesburg to Auckland via Hong Kong or Sydney – R14 900
Overnight in Auckland – R535 per person sharing
Fly from Auckland to Papeete – R9095
Overnight in Papeete – R1 070
Fly from Papeete to Bora-Bora – R3 852

That is R28 917 (current rate of exchange to the Dollar R10.06 so that works out to $2 662) and then I am only there.  I have not got accommodation yet.  A quick search on the internet revealed that I can expect to pay about R20 500 per person sharing for a 3 star hotel for 7 nights.

Let’s do the maths:
Travel: R28 917 ($2 662)
Accommodation R20 500 ($2 038)

Bring a trip to Bora-Bora to R49 417 ($4 912)!! My heart just broke because there is just no way I can justify spending almost R50 000 on a week’s holiday!!  I have not had a single meal or cocktail yet nor have I done any of the fun water sports like snorkeling or windsurfing!!

For this girl from the Rainbow Nation Bora-Bora will have to remain a dream…for now!!!

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