3 weeks
Sept-Oct 2019
Air Safari
Tour Categories

SEPT 11 – OKT 3, 2019

This Air Safari tour is packed with highlight, visiting famous landmarks and experience local culture in South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Botswana. The tour starts out in Johannesburg, South Africa where you will be picked up from O.R. Tambo International Airport. The first few nights you will stay in the Johannesburg area to complete the pilot license validation process and pick up the aircraft before our first flight will begin flying out from Lanseria Airport (FALA) near Johannesburg directly to Swaziland. Swaziland is the real Africa: a small country ruled by an absolute king, stunning nature and friendly African people. We will be letting you experience local African culture in Nsoko, a small town in the back corner of Swaziland. The flight to Nsoko to Kruger National Park is not a long one from there, even though we will have to clear customs twice that day. The best way to experience a Kruger safari is in open safari vehicles: you can use all your senses to experience the bush and get close to the animals. Before flying into Zimbabwe, we will fly through the third largest canyon on Earth, the Blyde River Canyon. Our flight to Lake Kariba takes us through Zimbabwe. Lake Kariba is where we will be boarding a boat. The Kariba Lake area feels like you are in a movie such as “Out of Africa.” From Kariba, we will fly over Victoria Falls? After visiting the falls, our trip continues with a flight through Botswana to Maun. Maun is situated on the edge of the world-famous Okavango Delta which we will be exploring for 3 full days in 4x4Drive vehicles. Limpopo-Lipadi is a private game reserve situated along the Limpopo river at the border between Botswana and South Africa. The last days of safari game drives will be here. The trip ends again in the Johannesburg area at a lodge near Lanseria Airport.

Self-fly African Wildlife Adventure

A 3-week self-fly safari trip flying from Johannesburg to Swaziland, the Kruger area for a multi-day safari, through Zimbabwe to Lake Kariba to board a houseboat cruise, to Victoria Falls then to Maun, Botswana for a multi-day 4x4Drive safari in the Okavango Delta to end the trip at the Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game Reserve on the border between Botswana and South Africa and before returning back to Johannesburg to end our trip there three weeks later.

 If you have an EASA or FAA pilot license, we will assist you in getting your pilot license converted to a South African validated PPL license. The validation process is straightforward and includes mostly paperwork, one theory exam on South African Airlaw and a check ride with a local flight instructor once you arrive in South Africa. In addition, we will help you find a suitable aircraft to rent for this trip. We can also arrange a safety pilot to come with you, but if you know how to fly your aircraft at home, there will be no problem in doing the same in Africa. We will be flying along as well to give a full briefing each morning and to assist where needed.

If you do not have a pilot license, you can fly along as a passenger. You might be able to fly along with one of the participants or we can offer you to fly with one of our partners, a South African aircraft operator that can facilitate a maximum of 5 passengers to come along in his 6-seater aircraft on this trip.

Tour Highlights

  • Self-fly Air Safari through South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Botswana
  • Landing your aircraft on unpaved airstrips in the African bush;
  • Big-5 Kruger safari in open game drive vehicles with professional guides;
  • Explore the real African culture of Swaziland;
  • Flight through the Blyde River Canyon;
  • Water safari on a House Boat on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe;
  • Flying over and visiting the Victoria Waterfalls;
  • Exploration in a 4×4 vehicle of the Okavango Delta
  • Flight over the Madikgadi Salt Pans;
  • Exclusive safari at Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game Reserve in the Tuli Block, Botswana;
  • Hot Air Balloon ride over the Cradle of Mankind;
TRIP START/END LOCATIONJohannesburg/Pretoria, South Africa.
DEPARTURE DATE/TIMEPlease arrive latest on September 11, 2019, at 18.00 hours.
RETURN DATE/TIMEThe tour ends on October 3rd, 2019, at around 2 p.m. after lunch at Lanseria Airport near Johannesburg.
SELF-FLY OPTION*Total flying distance: 2075 NM | Approximate total flying time: 16:50 hours (C172), 17:50 hours (C182/C206) | Flying time check ride with South African instructor including overland: approx. 2:00 – 2:30 hrs. All aircraft owners charge block times from off-blocks to on-blocks.
PASSENGER OPTION*Total flying distance: 2075 NM | Approximate total flying time: 17:30 hours. There is room for a minimum of 3 up to a max of 5 passengers that together share the flying costs. Professional pilot and commercial operator in a 6-seater aircraft. The operator is based in Stellenbosch and charges a one-time transfer fee for getting the aircraft to/from the starting point of the Tour, which starting point is Lanseria Airport: €2550,00 | Flying costs including a professional pilot, all landing fees, fuel and accommodation/food for the pilot: €395,00 per flying hour. Based on 17:30 hours of flight during the trip, the cost with 3 passengers sharing will be €180,00 p.p. per flying hour and with 5 passengers sharing €108,00  p.p. per flying hour. An arrangement can be made directly with the aircraft operator. The above-mentioned charges include VAT.
WEARComfortable clothing suitable for safari and travel. Informal dinner attire for first few dinner nights in Pretoria. Good walking shoes if you want to participate in guided bush walks. Bring a hat or cap to protect against the sun. Take also with you some warm clothing for in the early mornings and evenings.
ACCOMMODATIONWe will be staying in safari lodges. Some of the lodges in the Kruger National Park are clean and sober, while others are top-rated lodges such as the lodges we are staying in at Victoria Falls, Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game Reserve and on the last night near Lanseria Airport. In Kariba, we will be boarding an old cruise boat from the old Rhodesian Times, which will instantly give you the idea that you are playing in a movie like “Out of Afrika”. The captain will dock the boat for the nights at one of the uninhabited islands or along the shoreline of Lake Kariba. During the 4x4Drive you will be sleeping in roof tents right on top of the 4x4Drive vehicles in designated camping areas in the bush in Botswana. At times, you will also be sleeping in tented camps on normal beds or stretcher beds with proper linen and blankets, which is the real African bush experience.
GUIDESAt least 2 guides will be embedded and coming along on this tour with their own support aircraft. The guides have extensive knowledge and experience of the African bush and are both pilots with experience of flying in Africa. Some of the lodges have their own professional field guides with local knowledge, who will join us on the game drives, such as in Kruger National Park and at Limpopo-Lipadi.
PACKAGE TRIPYes, lodging and associated lodge safaris, the 4x4Drive safari in the Okavango Delta, the cruise on Lake Kariba and all the food and drinks are included and guaranteed by STO Garantiefonds. No flights or other transportation and optional activities are a part of the offer.
TERMSOur Terms & Conditions as found here and are applicable to this Tour offer.
21-day full-board LodgingSafaris and game drives*
All drinks are included*CO2 compensated
Airport pickup from O.R. Tambo on arrivalDrop off at O.R. Tambo on the day of departure.
J-Burg, Soweto  & Apartheid Museum Day Tour, €65,00 p.p.Great Zimbabwe Historical Site Tour,
€25,00 p.p.
Tiger Fishing at Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, €35,00 p.p.Bungee Jump over Zambezi River Bridge at Victoria Falls, €145,00 p.p.
Elephant Back Safari at Victoria Falls, €135,00 p.p.A swim in the Devil’s pool, right on the edge of Victoria Falls
Aircraft Rental and FuelLanding- and Handling fees
Pilot Check RideLanding- and Handling fees
Concierge Service, €1995,00 per aircraft joiningHot Air Balloon Ride, , €165,00 per person

*Safaris, Game Drives and Guided Bush Walks are normally a part of the lodging arrangement in Africa and as such included in the price. The accommodation is offered full-board including all the drinks, which include standard wines and beers but excludes exclusive champagnes, wines and spirits. The options (optional activities offered) are not a part of our tour offer price, nor are they a mandatory element of our tour. The options are available but have to be paid to the local operator offering the specific activity by credit card or in cash in Rand or US$. As for aircraft rentals, we provide you with the needed information about the aircraft owners willing to rent out their South African registered aircraft to you, so that you can arrange a direct rental agreement with one of them. We will make the arrangement for the pilot license validation and provide you with the contact information of a local flight instructor that will assist you with the validation of your EASA or FAA pilot license into a South African validated license.

Tour Documents

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Day 1: Arrival in Johannesburg, South Africa

Arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa. Start of the self-fly safari trip with a welcome dinner and drink around the campfire at The Farm Inn Urban Safari Lodge in Pretoria. This lodge will be our home base for the first few days.
  • Pickup from O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg
  • Arrival at The Farm Inn Urban SafariLodge, Pretoria.
  • Welcome dinner and campfire get-together.

Reception The Farm Inn Urban Safari Lodge, Pretoria.


Day 2: Pilot Workshop and Check Ride

Those that will pilot their own/rented aircraft on this tour will spend time together in the morning in a workshop on South African air law, followed by the Air Law theory exam just before lunch. In the afternoon, the pilot check rides with a South African flight instructor will take place at a nearby airport. After that, you will be handed out your South African pilot license and the aircraft will be handed over to you, so you will be fully ready for a next day departure.

Non-pilots can relax at the lodge or join for an early morning game drive right at the Farm Inn lodge. For those interested, there will be an option to join a guided walking tour through Alexandra Township in the afternoon or to visit a nearby crafts centre, visit the Apartheid Museum, Soweto or the Voortrekker Monument.

  • Pilots: Air Law workshop.
  • Pilots: Air Law theory exam
  • Pilots: check ride with South African flight instructor
  • Non-pilots: Urban Safari Game-drive
  • A guided tour through the Alexandra Township for those interested
  • Visit of crafts centre, Apartheid museum, Soweto or Voortrekkers Monument

Pilots: check ride in the afternoon with a South African flight instructor. Aircraft pickup and inspection and a flight to Lanseria Airport (FALA from where we will depart on our 3-week tour.

The day is concluded with a South African Braai in the boma with African music and dance.


Day 3: First flight into Swaziland

Flight from Lanseria to Nsoko in Swaziland. We will need to clear customs/immigration out of South Africa to fly to Swaziland at Lanseria Int’l Airport (FALA) and on arrival in Swaziland at Manzini Airport (FDMS), Swaziland before continuing our flight to our destination: Nsoko (FDNS).
  • Flight from Lanseria Airport (FALA) to Manzini Airport (FDMS) in Swaziland.
  • Flight from Manzini to Nsoko Airfield ((FDNS).
  • Welcome by Swaziland locals at the airfield.
  • Stay at Nisela Swaziland Bush Lodge.

Day 4: Visit Local Village in Swaziland

Visit of the local African community in Nsoko. Flight from Nsoko via Manzini to Kruger Int’l Airport.
  • Meeting the locals in Nsoko, Swaziland.
  • Flight from Nsoko back to Manzini Airport to clear customs/immigration.
  • Flight from Manzini to Kruger Int’l Airport in South Africa (customs/immigration).
  • Overnight stay in the Greater Kruger National Park.

Day 5: Kruger Safari

First of two full days of safaris in the Greater Kruger area with our field guides in open safari vehicles in search of the Big Five. Professional guides will come along to guide your experience in the bush and to help you spot the animals.
  • Full day game-drive in open safari vehicles.
  • Overnight in one of the Kruger lodges or tented camps.


Day 6: Kruger Safari

Continuation of our 2-day Kruger safari.
  • Full day game-drive in open safari vehicles with our field guides.
  • Overnight in one of the Kruger area lodges or tented camps.


Day7: Kruger Safari

Last day of our 2-day Kruger safari.
  • Early morning game-drive in open safari vehicles with our field guides in Kruger National Park
  • Flight from Kruger Int’l Airport to a private airstrip near Lydenburg
  • Braai on the airstrip with an overnight stay in a tented camp at the airfield.


Day 8: Trout Farm visit and flight through Blyde River Canyon

Our lunch will be at a trout farm after first flying through the third largest canyon in the world, the Blyde River Canyon.

We will spend the night again at the tented camp at the private airstrip spending time around the fireplace that evening.


Day 9: Flight to Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Flight via Polokwane and Chiredzy to Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
  • Flight via Polokwane, South Africa (FAPP) and via Chiredzi, Zimbabwe (FVCZ) to clear customs/immigration out of South Africa and into Zimbabwe.
  • Flight from Chiredzi to Masvingo Airfield (FVMV).
  • Visit of Great Zimbabwe, a medieval historical city.
  • Overnight stay in Masvingo.

Day 10: Flight through Zimbabwe to Gache Gache Airfield, a bush strip near Lake Kariba

Flight from Masvingo Airfield to Gachi Gachi Airfield, situated near Lake Kariba. Here we will board our safari boat for a cruise on Lake Kariba.
  • Flight Masvingo to Gachi Gachi bush airstrip.
  • Boarding safari boat at Lake Kariba.
  • Overnight on safari boat.

The Gachi Gachi airstrip.


Day 11: Boat Safari on Lake Kariba

First full day on Lake Kariba.
  • Boat trip, Lake Kariba.
  • Boat trip to Antelope Island.
  • Optional: Tiger Fish fishing.
  • Optional: visit a local village.

Big crocodile at Lake Kariba.


Day 12: Boat Safari on Lake Kariba

Continuation of our safari on Lake Kariba.
  • Game drive, Lake Kariba shore.
  • Walking safari, Lake Kariba shore.
  • Lakeshore braai.


Day 13: Flight to Victoria Falls

Flight from the Gachi Gachi airstrip to Victoria Falls Airport.
  • Flight from Gachi Gachi airstrip via Kariba Airport for refuelling to Victoria Falls Airport.
  • An overflight of the Victoria Falls before arrival at Victoria Falls Airport.
  • Visit Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side across the Victoria Falls bridge to view the waterfalls from the most impressive side.
  • Overnight at the Anantara Royal Livingstone Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zambia

The Victoria Falls.


Day 14: Devil's Pool or relax time at the hotel

Visit Livingstone Island and the waterfalls early in the morning and, for the daredevils perhaps, take a plunge into the deep with a swim in the Devil’s Pool or stay at the hotel on the waterfront and enjoy and relax a bit.
  • Optional: Early morning swim in the Devil’s Pool. The boat to Livingstone Island and the Devil’s Pool leaves directly from our hotel.
  • Optional: Bungee jump overhead the Zambezi River from Victoria Falls bridge which marks the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  • Optional: Elephant or Lion encounter event.

Swim to the edge of the Victoria Falls: Devil’s Pool.


Day 15: Flight into Maun, Botswana

Flight from Victoria Falls to Maun in Botswana. In Maun, we will park our aircraft for a few days and exchange the aircraft for 4×4 vehicles for another kind of adventure where we will drive through the Moremi Nature Reserve in the Okavango Delta with 4×4 jeeps.
  • Early morning flight Flight Victoria Falls (FVFA) to Maun, Botswana (FBMN)
  • Afternoon 4×4 driving training course
  • Dinner at Marc’s Eatery, Maun.
  • Overnight stay the South Gate to Moremi National Park.

Day 16: Start of a 3-day 4x4Drive adventure in the Okavango Delta

Explore the bush while driving a 4×4 vehicle.
  • 4x4Drive safari through the bush in the Okavango Delta.
  • Overnight stay in rooftop-tents on top of our 4x4Drive vehicles in small bushcamps


Day 17: 4x4Drive Safari in Okavango Delta

Second full day of adventures and explorations driving through the Okavango Delta and Moremi Nature Reserve in 4×4 vehicles.


Day 18: 4x4Drive Safari in Okavango Delta

Last full day of adventures and explorations driving through the Okavango Delta and Moremi Nature Reserve in 4×4 vehicles.


Day 19: Drive back to Maun and flight to Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game Reserve

We will make an early morning drive back to Maun and exchange the 4×4 vehicles again for our aircraft to fly to the south of Botswana to the Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game Reserve located in the Tuli Block, Botswana
  • Drive back to Maun
  • Flight from Maun over the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans to Limpopo-Lipadi Private Airfield
  • Afternoon game drive in Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game Reserve
  • Overnight stay in a private lodge in the reserve.

The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. This time we will be flying over it.


Day 20: Game Drives in Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game Reserve

Full day stay with early morning and late afternoon classical game drives with a local professional safari field guide.


The main building of the private lodge (repairs going on while last visited in Oct 2018).

  • Early morning hot-air balloon flight
  • Late afternoon game drive
  • Sundowner at the Limpopo River.
  • Evening Braai

Day 21: Flight back to Johannesburg

The trip ends by flying from Limpopo airfield to Lanseria Airport near Johannesburg to clear customs/immigration.
  • Early morning game drive on the last day of the trip.
  • Flight back from Limpopo Lipadi Airfield to Lanseria to clear customs/immigration.
  • Delivery of aircraft to respective owners at Lanseria Airport (FALA).
  • End of the 3-week self-fly safari trip.
  • Transport to O.R. Tambo International Airport
  • Optional: an additional overnight stay at Cradle Boutique Hotel next to Lanseria Airport if your departure back home is the next morning.

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  • The October-November 2019 Tour starts in Johannesburg on Friday the 11th of September at 18:00 local time in South Africa.
  • We can do flight following during the trip of your aircraft if you own one of the following satellite trackers. Alternative, you can rent a tracker from us.
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This 3-week Air Safari Tour will be guided and supported all along.

Welmien Foster is our reservations desk manager responsible for all the bookings and the logistics. She operates from our base in Cape Town and will also monitor all our flights during the whole tour through a satellite link connecting each aircraft to our systems. Any questions you have related to lodging, generic questions related to the trip, what to bring, customs, luggage or what to wear can be addressed to her. Welmien comes from Hoedspruit, which is situated right next to Kruger National Park and is grown up with the bush and African wildlife.

Left: Welmien | Right: Sjoerd Jan & Johan

Johan van Rensburg is responsible for the logistics around the participating aircraft. Johan got a major at the University of Stellenbosch in Forestry and worked as a forester in South Africa for some years before starting his own construction company specialized in mining construction. As a hobby, he enjoys flying his planes and riding his motorbikes during enduro adventures. Johan is the direct contact with the aircraft owners of the aircraft we fly during this tour and will check the maintenance status of each rented aircraft before it is delivered to you as a participating pilot.  He is responsible for the availability of the needed aircraft, its logistics in getting them to our trip starting location and back to the aircraft owner, the fuel logistics en route and will be coming along as one of the embedded guides on this trip to assist with any issues which might arise.

Sjoerd Jan ter Welle is overall responsible for the trip and will also be coming along as one of the safari tour guides. He enjoys flying aircraft and has been flying aircraft throughout the African continent and Europe and wrote a book about his flying adventures which you can buy at Amazon.  Sjoerd Jan will manage the flight logistics involved such as the filing of flight plans and getting the required permits to fly through the African continent and to the bush airstrips. Apart from flying, he also enjoys the African bush and is a qualified “game ranger/field guide.”

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