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Tours & Dates Self-Guided Tours Bushpilot Training License Validation Hire & Fly Bookings & Enquiries
Our guided tours offer you an all-inclusive luxury self-flying safari, flying in loose formation with other planes and escorted by a guide aircraft and tour director.

NOTE: Due to difficulties in getting minimum numbers together over specific dates, we seldom anymore offer set-date GROUP tours. Instead we arrange customized tours over dates and along routes of your choice, whether guided or self-guided. We'll gladly arrange such customized tour for a group, however only for a group of pilots and partners that approach us as an existing group.

Further information about our individual tours can be found on the Self-guided Tours page.

We're in the process of renewing the website, for the time-being however we've left this page as it contains a lot of good information. Please feel free to contact us to setup a customized proposal.

Sample Tours and Itineraries

Detailed information on guided tours below:
Why guided | Itinerary | Route, Destinations, Accommodation
Non-pilot Partners / Friends | Aircraft Share | Costs | Included
Booking Discount | Optional Extras | Landing Kitty


 The Bushpilot Course, Deserts & Dunes, the Okavango and the Big Five
  (15 days*)

 

South Africa - Namibia - Botswana - South Africa

Long stretches without any ATC over wild and remote terrain, the highest sand dunes in the world, through the Fish River Canyon and along the rugged Skeleton Coast, landing at numerous challenging bush strips and overnighting in the comfort of bush lodges. Those who search stillness and nature will be caught in Namibia's loving grasp, while neighbouring Botswana offers deep bush country with an untamed wildlife experience. Total flying time: approx. 35 hrs**    

 
Map of intended route *additional 2 days prior for validation      **flying a Cessna 182

 Lake Kariba, the Delta and the pans (Tour only, no bushpilot course!!!)
  (9 days*)                     

 

South Africa - Botswana - Zimbabwe - Zambia - Botswana - South Africa

We head off the beaten track into the politically controversial yet fascinating country of Zimbabwe. Avgas (and petrol) are extremely hard to find, careful planning is imperative. From our houseboat on Lake Kariba we use small motorboats for gameviewing and fishing. Watch out for them crocs. The legendary Victoria Falls are a must see, after which the wildlife-rich deap- bush country Botswana is on the cards. In contrast the Makgadikgadi Pans offer a scene as if from another world. Total flying time: approx: 18hrs**

 
Map of intended route *additional 2 days prior for validation      **flying a Cessna 182

 Christmas & New Years Special, Bushpilot Course, SA mountains and coast
  (15 days*) ending Cape Town

 

South Africa - Lowveld, Drakensberg, Transkei, Garden Route, Cape Town

South Africa over the festive season. After completing the bushpilot course we head into the Kruger Park for a night safari with Africa's wild. Advanced mountain flying techniques will guide you through the Drakensberg Mountains, after which the Wild Coast offers some relaxation. A flight coastwise down the spectacular Garden Route brings us to the Cango Caves, after which Cape Town will see us into the New Year. Total flying time: a leisurely 24hrs** to Cape Town, optional extra 8hrs** back to Jo'burg.

 
Map of intended route *additional 2 days prior for validation      **flying a Cessna 182

 The Bushpilot Course, Moz, Malawi, Vic Falls and the Big Five
  (16 days*)

 

South Africa - Mozambique - Malawi - Zambia - Botswana - South Africa

We fly along tropical beaches, over canyons and mountain ranges, national parks teaming with wildlife, landing at numerous challenging bush strips and overnighting in the comfort of bush lodges. From the sunny shores of Mozambique with it's world class snorkelling and diving opportunities, into deep bush country up to Malawi, renowned for its hospitable people. Take a micro light flight over the Vic Falls in Zambia, and enjoy the wildlife experience which Botswana has to offer. Total flying time: approx. 40 hrs**

 
Map of intended route *additional 2 days prior for validation      **flying a Cessna 182

WHY A GUIDED TOUR?
 

Flying around Africa and bushflying challenges a pilot beyond his or her usual flying or navigational capabilities. She’s wild, unpredictable, unforgiving, yet beautiful and majestic, loving and accommodating. The sparsely located infrastructure causes headaches with immigration and refuelling, it necessitates a self-sufficient and flexible approach. Yet it is this lack of set procedures and conditions which offers a freedom that is unparalleled; learn to embrace that freedom and you’ll be dancing to the African beat.

Our guided tours are designed to incorporate the best of both worlds; the freedom of sitting at the controls of one's own plane combined with minimized hassle as the guide aircraft carries emergency supplies and the tour director takes care of logistics and is responsible for the flight planning. 

Besides the adventure of flying in loose formation with 2 - 6 aircraft and a group of like-minded people, flying as a group provides support and safety in numbers. All flight permissions, bookings and logistics are pre-arranged and dealt with en-route. All that is required from you is an adventurous spirit, the willingness to learn advanced bush flying and some basic preparation.

GENERAL ITINERARY
 
1. Licence Validation

For foreign pilots - To fly a South African registered aircraft, you will first need to obtain a validation of your pilot's licence. This can take up to three days, and is usually done in Johannesburg. Please read the detailed information on our validation page.

2. Bushpilot Course

Most of our tours have the Bushpilot Training Course incorporated. We fly to Barberton Valley, on the border of Swaziland and the Kruger Park, where the course will take place over three to four days. Besides the training itself (as set out on the Training page) it is also customary to do some formation flights, where everyone takes off in their own aircraft to join up overhead in a variety of aircraft formations; something which requires exceptional control on the part of each pilot. Generally these days are fun-filled yet learning-intensive, and the Barberton Valley airfield is the perfect place to unwind around the fire after the day's activities, beer in hand with like-minded aviators for company.

Note: Non-pilot partners / friends can join towards the end of the bushpilot course if they so wish by catching a commercial connecting flight to the close-by Kruger airport. This would save them the time and costs of coming to SA and waiting around for the validation and bushpilot course to finish. They are however welcome to join from the beginning, and can even sit in on the ground school of the course if interested.

3. Africa's calling
 

Armed with the new skills acquired during the course we now head out on our tour of Africa. While the guide aircraft makes sure that things run smoothly, plans the route for each day and flies in loose formation with those that want to stay in a group, you have the freedom to fly off on your own and meet us at that day's destination. We do however ask that you keep up constant radio contact.
See the tours on offer for specific routes, and below for further information.

4. Back to the real world

After an amazing adventure we usually find the prospect of returning to our normal lives somewhat disappointing. Well if this is the case then it shows that we have done our job well, and hope that you return with many fond memories, and the seed of an idea to plan another African flying safari.

THE ROUTE, DESTINATIONS AND ACCOMMODATION
 



Based on our experience and planning around immigration and refuelling formalities we've carefully chosen routes which portray the true essence of Africa. The Fish River Canyon, the dunes of Sossusvlei, the Okavango Delta, the Drakensberg Mountains, Lake Malawi, the coast of Mozambique and South Africa, these are just a few of the special spots that we fly over, through and around. One has a choice, either fly directly to your destination or take the scenic route...we believe in the second option.

But then each route has it's destination. These tours have been designed with very specific and special destinations in mind. Yes, the main point of the tours is the flying, however after a long day up in the skies we believe the ground experience should be as rewarding and exciting. In between long routes we generally spend two nights in a camp and enjoy safari game drives, snorkelling, horse riding or just relaxing and taking in the surroundings. As such the lodges and camps we choose are established in the heart of Africa, away from your usual tourist bustle, and set up to a high luxury standard. The remoteness makes you wonder how the chef manages to whip up such delicious meals, and there's never a shortage of one's favourite drink.

Many of these lodges are seasonal, some of them only temporary establishments that get dismantled during the wet season, only to be rebuilt every year. It is not unusual to wake up in the middle of the night to a hippo grazing next to your luxury tent, or to see lion-spoor running through the camp the next morning. Of course each camp has game rangers that will escort you through the camp and explain the do's and dont's. These guides are professionally trained and educated, and will share with you their wealth of knowledge and their passion for the natural surroundings.

For an example of the camps we use please see the webpages of our suppliers Wilderness Safaris and Ker & Downey.

Note: Our routing and schedule, and of course events outside our control such as adverse weather, may sometimes necessitate us staying in a slightly more rustic establishment for an evening. Due to lack of alternatives, accommodation during the three or four nights of the bushpilot course is in thatched African rondavels, however these are comfortable enough and most of your time will be spent landing short and unimproved strips and enjoying the hospitality and the meals at the Barberton Valley airstrip.

NON-PILOT FAMILY / FRIENDS

These tours are also fantastic for non-pilots, with a C182 or C206 catering for two or more passengers. However this is not everyone's idea of a holiday. The main question is, "Does this person enjoy flying in light aircraft?" If the answer is yes, I will call them "buddy pilot" from now on. The essence of these tours is the flying, with as much as 6hrs of it on certain days. If a potential buddy pilot appreciates the concept of flying and is willing to lend a helping hand with navigation, logistics and the "maintenance" of the tour, then it is an adventure for them as much as for the pilot. We've had some buddy pilots rave more about the tour than the actual pilot, however they were an adventurous type and didn't join with the expectation of being pampered by the poolside.
 

While there is enough for the buddy pilot to do during the validation and the bushpilot course (they're welcome to join the ground school of the course), it is possible for them to join as we finish up the bushpilot course or any time between. There are daily flights between Johannesburg (or even Cape Town) and Kruger Mpumalanga, from where you can pick them up (10 min flight).
The cost of a buddy pilot joining is mentioned in our quotes, and includes exclusive aircraft hire for the buddy pilot and yourself.

AIRCRAFT SHARE AGREEMENTS

These tours are a favourite amongst single pilots who are looking for someone to share the plane with, thereby effectively halving the cost of plane hire. We will arrange such a plane share agreement if there is another single pilot / passenger wanting to do the same. One can also learn a lot from another pilot's "style" of flying. Note however that a rigid attitude can interfere with the enjoyment of the flying for the other party. Both pilots need to approach such a plane share with an open mind and respect for the other pilot. You will be swapping roles as PIC and passenger; the PIC is at all times in control and making the necessary decisions.

Those wishing to build up hours should rather consider flying solo (if they are happy flying alone) or bringing a partner / friend to share the experience and help with in-flight duties such as navigation.

COSTS

Due to the all-inclusive and luxurious nature of these tours they come with the relevant price-tag attached. Bear in mind however that there are no hidden charges, everything is arranged, and your guide will take care of any logistical issues en-route. Accommodation is generally in magnificently setup and luxurious African lodges. Some of these lodges exist in private concessions while others are rebuilt every year after the rainy season, all of them set in spectacular surroundings with highly educated guides to share with you their wealth of knowledge and expert chefs to prepare the meals. Included in the price is also a conservation levy which is charged by each of these lodges. 

For further information and a detailed quote please use our enquiries form or contact us directly.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

These guided tours are all-inclusive, and there's no hidden charges. From the moment you land at the tour's point of departure (usually Johannesburg, O.R. Tambo Intl.) where a representative will meet you, until we give you a lift back to the airport at the end of the tour, we are there to sort out logistics and make sure things run smoothly. Each tour has a different set of included items, however here is a rundown of what is generally included:

Licence Validation (for foreign pilots) - incl. 3hrs wet rate check ride and instructor charge, air law study guide, validation application, ground transport and courier charges.

Bushpilot Course (tour dependant) - incl. 2hrs instruction in training specific C172, optional further training on request. Ground school, theory and hands on practice.

Aircraft Hire - Depending on the tour and aircraft type, between 25 - 40hrs wet rate tach time.

Guide Aircraft - Planning each route, taking care of logistics, carrying emergency supplies and excess weight.

Welcome Pack - Relevant aviation WAC charts, frequency charts, and an airfields directory.
Pilot's Excess Insurance
All permits, flight permission and clearances
Accommodation - Twin sharing accommodation in select luxury African lodges (single available).
All meals and drinks - strong alcoholic beverages limited
Airport meet and greet and all ground transport
Safari game drives and other select activities


BOOKING DISCOUNTS

Group booking discounts are available should you manage to organise a second pilot to share the aircraft with, or if you bring more than one buddy pilot along. Early bookings with deposit down payment at least 6 months in advance also qualify for a discount.

TOUR OPTIONAL EXTRAS

Some tours have optional extras, for example finishing the tour in Cape Town rather than Johannesburg. These options differ from tour to tour, and will be presented as a line item in the quote. Please contact us for more information on these options.

KITTY FOR LANDING FEES, APPROACH FEES AND NAVIGATION CHARGES

Due to ever-changing exchange rates and regulations it is difficult to determine beforehand the cost of the different fees en-route, especially landing fees, navigation charges, passenger taxes and possible bribes. As such your quote includes a kitty for these fees, based on our estimates. These fees are for the client's account once the kitty runs out, or the unused portion will be reimbursed, whichever applies.