Something to declare: Africa by 'private jet'; flight delays; Marylebone and beyond

Destination of the week: Africa by 'private jet'

Timbuctoo, Victoria Falls and Madagascar: these are all locations on next year's luxury air safari of "remote Africa", which begins on 7 November 2008 in the prosaic surroundings of Luton airport.

Each winter, The Captain's Choice Tour (0845 603 5764; charters an under-utilised Boeing 757 and flight crew from First Choice Airways. The usual 200-plus seats are taken out and replaced with an all-business-class configuration seating just 92. The aircraft flies during the day, and every night passengers (and crew) are accommodated in luxurious hotels.

The exotic itinerary for the 19-day trip also includes Leptis Magna in Libya, the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania and the spice island of Zanzibar. If you have to ask the price, you possibly can't afford it: £12,495, based on two sharing; the single supplement is a further £1,330. The basic price works out at around £27 per hour for the duration of the trip, but in return you get champagne, caviar – and the chance to stay at Libya's only five-star hotel, the Corinthia Bab Africa in Tripoli.

Seminars about this and other luxury tours are to be held this month and next: in London on 30 October, Southampton 31 October, Bournemouth on 1 November, and Oxford, Leeds and Chester on 6, 7 and 8 of November respectively. You should book a place in advance.

Warning of the week: flight delays

The latest punctuality statistics from the Association of European Airlines makes depressing reading for British Airways – or, more accurately, for its passengers. The airline's house journal reveals that under 55 per cent of the airline's flights in June started within 15 minutes of scheduled departure time, making it easily the worst performer of the leading traditional airlines.

The percentage of "on time" flights among most of BA's rivals was in the low 70s, but Air France had problems with its long-haul flights (only 57.4 per cent on time or up to 15 minutes late). Air France managed seven out of 10 punctual short-haul flights, but both Lufthansa and Alitalia fell short of this for European services.

The best-performing carriers were the Dutch airline KLM and SAS Scandinavian Airlines, which despatched 73 per cent of flights within 15 minutes of scheduled departure time.

Bargain of the week: Marylebone and beyond

While St Pancras is under repair in advance of Eurostar's move there one month from tomorrow, the title of most attractive London terminus is monopolised by Marylebone. The station, as featured in The Beatle's Hard Day's Night film, is the start or finish for some of the UK's lowest and most innovative rail fares.

Chiltern Railways is currently offering mobile-phone users a deal of £5 each way between London and Birmingham, as well as intermediate stations such as Banbury, Leamington Spa and Warwick Parkway. These E-day tickets must be booked online at; the virtual "ticket" is sent to your mobile phone.

Next spring, travelling between the capital and north-east Wales and Shropshire will become much easier when direct trains start to connect Marylebone with Shrewsbury, Wrexham and other towns.

The train operator, Wrexham & Shropshire (0845 260 5233; www.wrexhamandshropshire., plans five trains a day, with a journey time of 200 minutes between Shrewsbury and Marylebone.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn