Thursday, 12 January 2012

What’s the cheapest way of calling Israeli cell phones from South Africa?

A reader asked this question so I did a bit of research: 
I would recommend using your computer (with mic and headset via your PC’s ADSL Internet connection) to dial out using software called: Rynga
See here for the rates: 
Calls to Israeli landlines are free for the 1st 120 days after buying 10Euros of airtime – after the 120 days is up, it’s cheaper than using SkypeOut.
Israel  (Landline)         FREE for 120 days: then 0.21 ZAR cents per minute
Israel  (Mobile)           0.43 ZAR cents per minute.

VOIPbuster software is also an option, but they don’t offer free calls to Israel landlines:
image Israel  (Landline)         0.12       ZAR cents per minute
Israel  (Mobile)            0.83       ZAR cents per minute

If you have Skype then you can use their SkypeOut service (more expensive than the above)
ie: call from your PC to Israeli cell phone:
Destination:     Price:
Israel   ZAR 0.20 per minute
Israel - Mobile ZAR 1.15 per minute

You can also call from your cell phone (obviously more expensive than above using your PC:
This one you pay VAS (Value Added Service) call rates: image

See here for other and more detailed info:
Calling cards:

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Ratanga Junction, Cape Town not a good ride :(

We were very disappointed by our trip to Ratanga Junction Theme Park in Cape Town yesterday.  I took our tourist friends on a day trip – they had 2 children aged 12 and 9.  The kids were taller than 1.3m in height so they needed to buy the “Adventurer Rider” tickets at R152 each.  (The “Mini Adventurer Rider” Tickets were R75 each).
HTT note: If you have children older than about 7, then expect to have to pay the “Adventurer Rider” tickets.
The adults also decided that they would also try some rides so they also purchased 2 “Adventurer Rider” tickets.
Note: The account below was for the trip that we went on and was based on the perceptions that we had before entering the park – we did not do any homework by going to the Ratanga Junction web site before visiting.  If you are reading this article, then please also go to their web site – so as to make your visit more enjoyable than ours!

So, 2 adults and 2 children entry cost a total of R608 (excl. R15 parking) – no complaints… pay and let’s have a full day of fun on all the rides!  Let the fun begin!

But not so fast!  The ticket office wanted more Rands… we asked for a map to figure out where the rides are – “That’s an extra R3 please.”
We replied with something like: “Ummm, did we hear you right?   Can you repeat?  We have just paid R608 for tickets and that doesn’t include a park map?”
“That’s correct – R3 please.”
So, we paid the measly R3… but really!

Dear Ratanga Junction, please add R1 to the ticket prices and give the park map out for free.

OK, now to follow the map and get onto all those rides for free… Again, not so fast!  We expected (perhaps wrongly so) that all the rides and fun events were included in the R600 entry fee… wrong!  
We needed to pay extra for Putt-Putt and Sling shot and others (see list below for the “extras”).
We expected to only have to pay extra for food and drinks… oh, and wait, the security personnel at the entrance searched through our bags and forced us to throw away all food and drinks that were in our bags! 
When we wanted to buy drinks they were over-the-top expensive! eg: R17.50 for an appletiser (no glass, no ice – just the tin), iced water for R14

I said “perhaps wrongly so” above because the web site does say “All prices exclude the Slingshot and other separately ticketed attractions” – but we didn’t go to the web site before paying our R600, nor did the ticket salesperson tell us of any additional charges :(

Free rides ie: included in the R152 Adventurer Rider entry fee: Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras Thrill Ride (formerly the Cobra), Crocodile Gorge, Monkey Falls, Congo Queen, Diamond Devil Run, Bushwacker, Stargazer, Bangers

‘Pay extra’ rides: The Slingshot (R50, and can be closed due to winds), Animal Petting Zoo (R10), The Simulator (R20), Mini-Golf (Putt-putt) (R15 for only 9 holes), Rock climbing (R20), Paddle boats (R40 for 4 people).
Note: Sling Shot was not working (probably due to the wind) :(  Ride Photography: R50 each.

Note: expect long queues in peak season: up to 50 minutes for each of the big rides. 
Just noticed that the Twitter account has useful info like the wait for each ride: 
In retrospect, our 2 adults should have taken the non-rider tickets for R50.

I hope the above helps others to enjoy their visit more – and now they definitely won’t go into the park expecting to buy the “Adventurer Rider” tickets and pay nothing more for all the rides. 

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Copyright © 2008 HandyTechTipper. All articles are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 South Africa license, unless where otherwise stated.