Weird and wonderful travel records

Tuesday, 05 April 2022 12:18 PM

In 1872, Phileas Fogg went around the world in 80 days (OK, so it was in a story by Jules Verne, but never mind). In 2020, Khawla Al Romaithi from the United Arab Emirates went around the world in a bit more than 80 hours. That first fictional world record was set with elephant-back travel and hot-air balloons, while the real world record was set with jet travel and high-speed trains.

But pffft! That’s nothing. kulula can’t take world records seriously when the airline performs record-breaking feats every single day, without even getting its hair mussed. Just to show what we mean, here are some world records – and how well kulula measures up.

Most well-travelled mascot

Raymondo is a toy bear with his own blog. He has travelled more than 600,000 kilometres – across six continents and 35 countries – with a suitcase full of his own clothing and a passport. But that is nothing compared with a lucky pet rock that was forgotten in a corner of a seat pocket on kulula flight MN 115 in 2001, and took 30,000 flight cycles between Cape Town and Johannesburg – a total of 21 years and millions of kilometres. Whoever said a rolling stone gathers no moss certainly hadn’t met this one!

Longest journey by skateboard

New Zealander Rob Thompson took a trip between Switzerland and China, and did part of the journey by skateboard, a total of 12,159km. That would be ten journeys on kulula airlines between East London and Johannesburg. With two flights a day, at a one-way flight costing roughly the same as a new skateboard, Rob could have taken the plane. He would have been home within a week and wouldn’t have worn his skateboard wheels down to the nubs.

Longest layover

Lucky for you, flying kulula means no layovers, because kulula always gets you directly to your destination. So, you will never run the risk of having the world’s longest layover – a record currently held by Iranian Mehran Karimi Nasseri who got stuck in Terminal One at Charles de Gaulle airport for 18 years after it was discovered that his travel papers – actually his entire identity – were false. He slept on a red bench in front of a music shop in duty-free and lived off the kindness of strangers and was finally given British citizenship in 2019. His life story was made into the movie ‘The Terminal’ with Tom Hanks. So next time you suspect that your boarding queue is too slow, be thankful you are not Mehran Nasseri.

The longest barefoot walk

Irishman Eamonn Keaveney walked barefoot for 2,000km around Ireland in 2016 – that is the distance kulula flies from Johannesburg to George and back. He must now also qualify for the toughest soles in the world! On kulula flights, shoes are recommended, only because the tarmac at George airport can get very, very hot.

The furthest takeaway

The Raj Mahal Restaurant in Christchurch, New Zealand, received an unusual takeaway order in 2008: a vegetable briyani, to be delivered to Manchester, England! The fragrant curry travelled more than 18,000km in 24 hours. With kulula flying daily to Durban in less than two hours, the world’s best curries would never take that long. You can order yours via kulula, or – better still – fly to Durbs to scoff those racy curries on their home turf.

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