TOUR 3: THE FLIGHT OF THE TWO OCEANS

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Duration 10 / 12 days (with option)
Total direct distance 2100 nm
Approx. flying hours 24 hrs (incl. scenic flights)

Difficulty level

Very technical
Mountain and valley flying
Bush strips & wx

Experience required Minimal with safety pilot
Very experienced and preferably IF rated if self-guided
Best time of year Best November - April, as the other winter months bring cold and wet conditions to the Cape.
Best for turtle breeding between November - February
Best for whales down the coast August - November
Level of accommodation Comfortable guest houses and lodges, 3 - 4 star
Suitability for partners Very scenic and lots of ground activities, great for flying or non-flying partners
Price On request

From the Big 5 wildlife in the Kruger area, down the Wild Coast and Garden Route, and ending in Cape Town, this trip encapsulates the best of what South Africa has to offer. Scenically magnificent with lots of wildlife sightings, both land and sea based.
This trip includes some very technical flying, and often involves some difficulty with the weather. Hence it is highly recommended to take a competent safety pilot along, the cost of which works out about the same as going self-guided. At the end of the tour the stretch between Cape Town back to Pretoria is a pretty dull "dead-leg" of around 6hrs, so you have the option to end the flying tour and extend your stay in Cape Town. Many airlines fly directly from Cape Town back overseas.

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 a game lodge adjoining the Kruger Park, with optional afternoon and / or morning game drives.

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 & 4:
First things first we'll need to file a flight plan as we will be crossing Swaziland on this stretch. Over and through the Swazi Mountains at Piggs Peak, a rural but beautiful countryside passes below. Things flatten out a bit before we reach the Lebombo Mountain Range, across which we're then back in South Africa, descending for landing at Kosi Bay. Here we'll spend 2 nights in a beach camp.
This area is fabulous for snorkelling, scuba diving, and just chilling on the secluded beaches. But it's real claim to fame is that of a breeding ground for the Loggerhead and Leatherback Turtles. During the November - February months there's a good chance of seeing the mother laying eggs, or the new hatchlings scuttling down the beach to reach the relative safety of the ocean, either of which is quite a special and unforgettable experience.

Day 5 & 6:
After take-off we route SW, hugging the shoreline at around 500ft. From this vantage point we should see numerous dolphins, and possibly even whales and sharks down below. We stop at Durban Virginia's airstrip (planted next to and parallel to the beach) for some fuel and a small bite to eat. Further south there is quite a drastic change from developed coastline to a rough, wild and rural paradise. Waterfalls diving straight into the sea, big waves crashing against the rocky shore, cows and goats chilling on the beaches, on first arrival this area always takes a person's breath away - Welcome to the Wild Coast.
The Port St. Johns airfield, an old military strip built for DC3's and the likes, is perched on top of Mount Thesiger. The final approach onto runway 27 is accentuated by a sheer drop-off cliff face of over 1000ft. The 27 threshold is perched on the lip of this cliff-face, making for an interesting, and mostly high, final approach.
There is lots to do in this area, mainly in the form of outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, and visiting the waterfalls or beaches in the area. We will take a 4x4 and explore some of the lesser-known areas, and just generally enjoy the Pondo vibe over our 2 night stay. Meals here are a culinary delight.

Day 7 & 8:
As we route further south along the Wild Coast the landscape slowly flattens out into rolling hills. There's one or two great landing strips for a couple of touch 'n go's, and the deserted white sand beaches and turquoise seas stretch on for miles. Soon enough we'll be chatting to Port Elizabeth for joining and landing. Also known as the windy city, this one usually makes for an interesting crosswind cross-controlled landing.
After refuelling (both aircraft and her occupants) we route up into the Baviaanskloof Valley. Watch out for big herds of Buffalo and Eland as we fly over the game reserve. The airfield is nestled at the base of the steep valley, leaving little space to descend and manoeuvre in the circuit. Not much room for error on this strip.
Baviaanskloof is one of those hidden and remote places that even your average South African has never heard about, accessible only by 4x4 (of course we're an exception to that rule). Truly spectacular, with relics of ancient cultures still hidden in these vast mountain ranges. We'll spend two nights at a local farmhouse, exploring the region by car and by foot.

Day 9:
Over the mountains we'll arrive back at the coast around Plettenberg Bay, and follow the Garden Route down passed Knysna and Wilderness to Mossel Bay where we'll stop for a quick snack. Further south we'll finally reach Cape Agulhas, the southern-most tip of Africa, and it's the stretch from here that will offer the best chance of whale sightings. Especially around Sep / Oct during their breeding season you'll see hundreds of these majestic mammals in the waters below, a sight unrivalled from the land or even by boat.
Stellenbosch is a quaint student town, surrounded by South Africa's famous wine lands. It boasts what many believe to be the most beautiful flying club in South Africa. A night on one of the wine farms will afford you the opportunity to see the area and do some wine tasting, or you could even head out on a wine tour, with many other options of things to do in this area.

Day 10, 11 & 12 (optional):
Seeing as the flight from Cape Town back to Pretoria is quite a long and dull stretch, many clients opt to rather end their flying tour at this point and extend their stay in the Cape, flying back overseas directly from here. If this is you, then we'd take off in the morning for a quick 1hr peninsular flight, taking in Cape Point, Chapman's Peak Drive, over Table Mountain and the Mother City out to Robben Island, and back to Stellenbosch. From here you're free to enjoy the rest of your time in the Cape.
Alternatively if you'd like to fly back to Pretoria, then we'll drive through to Cape Town for two nights in this splendid city. Tons to do and see, the name speaks for itself. On the 12th day we then make our way back to Stellenbosch for the flight over the Karoo and Orange Freestate, refuelling in Kimberley, up to Pretoria.