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Duration 4 days
Total direct distance 700 nm
Approx. flying hours 8 hrs (incl. numerous T&Gs)

Difficulty level

Very technical
Mountain and valley flying
Short narrow mountainous bush strips

Experience required 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.
Price On request

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 you en-route).

Day 1:
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).

Day 2:
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.

Day 3:
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 log cabin.

Day 4:
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 Airport.