TOUR 1: SHORT 'n ACTION PACKED
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Total direct distance
Approx. flying hours
8 hrs (incl. numerous T&Gs)
Mountain and valley flying
Short narrow mountainous bush strips
Minimal with safety pilot
Best time of year
Possible year round
Best April - October (dry season) although during the wet
season it's mainly isolated TS to contend with.
Level of accommodation
Comfortable guest houses
2 - 3 star
Suitability for partners
This is all about the flying, so
great for 2 pilots to share the experience.
This trip serves as a sort of introduction to
what bushflying around Africa is about, combining a lot of really
good flying and destinations into a relatively short amount of time.
Perfect for the pilot who can't get too much time off work and for
the budget conscious. By it's nature, this tour is generally only
offered with safety pilot (just doesn't make sense to validate for
such a short trip, and it's all about what the safety pilot can show
We depart Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria, and
head to numerous strips and dirt tracks on which we practice some touch
'n go's. As we descend from the Highveld to the Lowveld over the
Drakensberg Mountains we route through the Blyde River Canyon (3rd
biggest after the Grand and Fish River Canyons) and practice some canyon
and mountain flying. Overnight in the Hoedspruit area.
(optional: overnight in a more luxurious Kruger Lodge, including an
evening and morning game drive).
Our route South takes us back through the Blyde Canyon, and onto some
interesting hilltop airstrips. As we fly over the Kruger Park and
adjoining Game Reserves, look out for elephant, hippo, and other large
animals visible from the air. The Nelspruit area is a gem for a wide
variety of interesting and mostly very technical landing strips. We
overnight at Chimp Eden, part of the Jane Goodall
Institute, a sanctuary and home to Chimpanzees that have been misplaced
from their natural habitat.
This flight takes us over the Swazi Mountains, many of the Anglo Boer
battlefields and the rolling hills of KwaZulu Natal to the base of the
towering Drakensberg Mountains. At 11,000ft we'll need to gain quite a
bit of altitude if we want to fly along the top of the ridge, a
spectacular sight especially when snow-covered during the winter months.
The landing at Dragon Peaks is yet again quite technical, it's a one-way
in one-way out strip with little room for error, but the previous few
days should have prepared you for this one. Overnight in a comfortable
We'll fly to the neighbouring El Mirador landing strip for a hearty
breakfast before our journey back north. Approaching Jo'burg Special
Rules we'll realize just how quiet the skies have been over the past few
days, as one is bombarded by position reports from all other aircraft in
the area. Skirting the Johannesburg CTR we'll land back at Wonderboom