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Aerial Group Safari in Africa - Itinerary

Aerial Group Safari in Africa

An Adventure of a Lifetime!

Nick & Christina Hanks and Dave Vanderspuy of Hanks Aero Adventures and AfricanAeroSafari will be your tour hosts on the Pilot Getaways sponsored Aviator's Tour and Self-Fly Safari® through South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.

The Adventure Tour takes place August 30 through September 16, 2000.
Highlights of the itinerary follow (click on a link for details):

Day 1
Cape Town

Day 2
Cape Town and Stellenbosch

Day 3

Day 4
Cape Town to Johannesburg

Day 5 & 6
Pilots Validations/tours

Day 7 & 8
Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana

Day 9 & 10
Sandibe, Botswana

Day 11 & 12
Matetsi Game Lodge, Zimbabwe

Day 13
Sondelani Game Lodge, Zimbabwe

Day 14
Coach House Inn, South Africa

Day 15 & 16
Makalali, South Africa

Day 17
Rosebank Hotel, Return to Lanseria

Day 18
Return Home

  • Wed, Aug 30 - Cape Town, South Africa

    12:40 pm - Arrive Cape Town International Airport. African Aero Safari will meet you as you emerge from Customs and drive you to Villa Via - one of the only Cape Town hotels situated directly on the Atlantic Ocean with a back drop of Table Mountain. The afternoon is free. You may go up Table Mountain, walk to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront - home to hundreds of shops, an art & craft market, cinemas, and restaurants. The "Jet Riders" - individuals who've signed up for rides in the vintage British military jets - will spend the afternoon in briefings and intensive preparations.
    6:30 pm - A late afternoon briefing for the entire group is followed by sundowners and a welcome dinner at the Villa Via. Self-fly Safari pilots will receive their Cockpit Trip Kit and schedule for flight briefings for the coming days. Overnight Villa Via (B&B, D)
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  • Thur, Aug 31 - Cape Town and Stellenbosch, South Africa

    9 am - The Jet Riders leave early for a full day on the edge. Others can take optional airborne sightseeing rides over Table Mountain, Robben Island, and Cape Point according to the Flips schedule (which MUST be pre-booked). For the rest of the group, a tour along the Atlantic seaboard to Cape Point with a Dutch treat lunch. We return to pick-up the Jet Riders and/or aviators. Transfer to the Lanzerac Manor & Winery, a working wine farm & lodge. A group Airlaw test will be taken by Self-fly Safari pilots. Dinner and overnight at Lanzerac (B&B, D)
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  • Fri, Sep 1 - Stellenbosch, South Africa

    9 am - Vineyard tour with Dutch treat lunch at a wine estate. Afternoon at the Stellenbosch Airport. Airlaw lecture for pilots as part of their pilot validation exercises. Optional "flips" (rides) over the vineyards and over Walker Bay to seek out the whales will be offered by members of the Stellenbosch Flying Club. These flips must be pre-booked so that we can alert the owners of the aircraft to be prepared to give the rides. The Flying Club is the venue for another briefing in preparation for the cross-country check ride. A social evening with a South African Braai (barbecue) for the group with local pilots. Overnight Lanzerac (B&B, D)
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  • Sat, Sep 2 - Cape Town to Johannesburg in a vintage airliner

    7:30 am - Transfer to Cape Town International Airport to board DC-3
    9 am - Departure for Kimberley
    11:30 pm - Arrive Kimberley Airport. Visit to their restored antique military hanger to view the pre-WWI Patterson biplane. Lunch at the Air Force mess, afterwards a visit to the Big Hole, 19th Century diamond diggings, and other historic places of interest. Late afternoon departure on the DC-3 for Gauteng province to the northeast.
    6 pm - Arrival at the 1950's-era Rand Airport. You are transferred to the Indaba Hotel, Fourways, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The restaurant serves fine food and the pub is a great place for meeting other visitors and local folk. A good place to relax and focus on the safari ahead. Schedules will be handed out with details on license validation exercises that will begin on Sunday morning. Dinner on your own at the Indaba or nearby Fourways Mall. Overnight Indaba Hotel (B&B, L)
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  • Sun, Sep 3 - Pilots Validations and optional tours, flips, and ballooning

    5 am - Balloonists Depart. Return around noontime.
    7:45 am - Transfer of all pilots and interested passengers to Lanseria Airport.
    8:30 am - ATC briefing by Andre Kemp, chief controller at Lanseria Airport.
    10 am - Instructor's Briefing: "Flying in Africa"
    10:30 am - Optional Tours and Rides for non-pilots depart from hotel. Lesedi Village Cultural Tour - an authentic recreation of four African villages, showing non-urbanized cultures and traditions of present day rural tribes. Or SOWETO tour to learn about black townships during the Apartheid era and about the continued struggles of today.
    Once it is known who and how many want to do the flips and tours, we will coordinate schedules so that pilots can take advantage of these optional activities. Pilots, please note that you may not be able to participate because of license validation schedule conflict, but we will try to accommodate you.
    11 am - Meet your instructors and begin your cross-country and handling check ride. Pilots will return to hotel in late afternoon. Lunch on your own at airport eatery.
    3 pm - Hanks Aero Briefing: Flight Plans, General DEC's, etc. Dinner and evening on your own. Overnight Indaba Hotel (B&B)
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  • Mon, Sep 4 - Pilots Validations and optional tours, flips, and ballooning

    We expect that by Monday all the flight tests will have been completed. If not, they will continue on this day. Optional ballooning, flips, and tours will begin as per the schedule noted for Sunday. In the afternoon, a pilots and navigators pre-departure briefing on the next day's route will include a review of procedures, preparation of flight plans, etc. Overnight at Indaba Hotel (B&B, D)
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  • Tue & Wed, Sep 5 & 6 - Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana - Leg: 234 nm

    Private airstrip, gravel, 3200 ft, elevation 2050 ft, S22°11' E029°07' Customs, fuel in drums
    11 am - Begin flying the African Bush! Departure from Lanseria Airport - En route approximately 2:30 - You've jumped the international border to Botswana and found the dusty, well-used gravel strip just north of the Limpopo River. You've landed on the Tuli Block - an 18,000-acre private game reserve. Desolate to the casual glance, the burned sand and scrub is the domain of elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, eland, and other antelope. We take shelter this evening at Mashatu Lodge - meaning "amongst giants" - in humble respect to elephant and massive baobab trees that inhabit the area. Evening and early morning game drives with walks in between. Relax at the "Gin Trap" Bar overlooking a busy water hole. Dine at set tables around a warm fire in the boma. Finally, a comfortable sleep in your twin-bedded thatched chalet. Overnight Mashatu - 2 nights, meals, activities, transfers.
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  • Thur & Fri, Sep 7 & 8 - Sandibe, Okavango Delta, Botswana - Leg: 400 nm

    Private airstrip, gravel, 3300 ft, S19°28' E023°22.4', Fuel stop en route
    9 am Departure from Mashatu - Arrival approximately 3 pm, fuel stop in Francistown. It's going to be a long day in the air with at least one fuel stop. After a taste of Tuli's desert-like surroundings, today's destination is the vast, fertile, wetland wilds in Botswana's prime wilderness area - the Okavango Delta. Life here depends on rains that fall a thousand miles away in Angola, flows to Botswana, and spreads over tens-of-thousands of square miles bringing life to the desert. Then it evaporates - a river with no mouth. Game viewing by Mokoro and Land Rover; excellent birding. After a scrumptious meal, we're off to bed in our lovely thatched room with en suite dressing room and open-air shower. Each room has a veranda overlooking the flood plain. Overnight Sandibe - 2 nights, meals, activities, transfers.
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  • Sat & Sun, Sep 9 & 10 - Matetsi Game Lodge, Zimbabwe - Leg: 180 nm

    FVFA, Victoria Falls Airport, tar, 7500 ft, elevation 3490 ft, customs and fuel
    10 am Departure from Sandibe - Arrival approximately 1 pm. After clearing Botswana Customs at Maun, we continue to Victoria Falls. We are cleared to over fly the famous Falls. A great photo opportunity. We will be staying at Matetsi Game Lodge, home to herds of animals that range freely between Botswana and Zimbabwe. The setting occupies 120,000 acres along the Zambezi River and with its ten-mile river frontage offers both a river experience and the features of a vast seasonal wetland where herds of elephant, zebra, and buffalo congregate along side water birds of every description. The Lodge sits at the edge of grassland, where an abundance of carnivores - from wild dog to lion, cheetah, leopard, and hyena - compete in life-and-death struggles for prey and the spoils. Your room is dramatic and unusual: wall-to-wall glass under a canvas roof. From large teak decks guests watch game in front of the camp. Game drives in a land rover, sundowners in a riverboat. We will visit the town of Victoria Falls on our second day. Activities here center on the Zambezi River, the Falls, and the 600' deep gorge. Those who wish may do white water rafting or bungi jumping. 2 nights, meals, activities, transfers.
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  • Mon, Sep 11 - Sondelani Game Lodge, Zimbabwe - Leg: 287nm

    Private airstrip, grass, 3700 ft. elevation S21°17' E029°36'
    8 am Departure from Matetsi - Arrival approximately 2 pm. We make a fuel stop in the town of Bulawayo before continuing to our destination - Sondelani Game Lodge. Sondelani is situated on a private 60,000 acre preserve. Unique to Sondelani is elephant riding as well as horse riding, rhino tracking and fishing. A great place to photograph you, your airplane, and a herd of elephant on the runway. This is a game farm with eland and buffalo, leopard, cheetah, and hyena. Twin bedded chalets with en suite bathroom, electricity, and views of the waterhole. Overnight Sondelani - 1 night. meals, drinks, activities, transfers.
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  • Tue, Sep 12 - Coach House Inn, Tzaneen, South Africa - Leg: 121 nm

    Tzaneen Airfield, tar, 4659 ft, elevation 1914 ft, S23° 49' E030°19.4'
    8 am Departure from Sondelani - Arrival approximately 3 pm After a stop at Beit Bridge for customs out and another stop at Gateway, South Africa for fuel and customs in, we fly to a high, cool oasis of lush greenery in a mountain setting. Tea plantations, mango and avocado groves. The Coach House Inn provides a welcoming spirit in its lively pub after a short day of flying and African custom stops. It is noted for it's excellent kitchen and wine cellar . Wednesday morning tour of the area on the way to the Airport. Overnight Coach House - 1 night, transfers, activities (B&B, D).
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  • Wed & Thur, Sep 13 & 14 - Makalali, Mpumalanga, South Africa - Leg: 65 nm

    Private airstrip, gravel, 2625 ft, elevation 1600 ft, S24°10.03' E030°39.67'
    9 am Tour Departure from Coach House - Arrival at airstrip by 1 pm. Arrival at Makalali by 2:30 pm. The variety of game is extraordinary. Here's where I saw a Sable antelope for the first time. But the thing about the accommodation itself is the architecture. This place is unique in the world. Nothing like it. Nothing like the menu either. Luxury accommodation in unique African-style thatched chalets. This is the place to relax in exotic privacy, to read a book, listen to the sounds of the bush, or to lounge on your private raised verandah viewing birds and other wildlife that wanders by. Game drives and walks. Some of the tastiest and most creatively thought out menus of all bush lodges - and a well-stocked wine cellar. 2 nights - meals, transfers, activities.
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  • Fri, Sept 15 - Rosebank Hotel, Rosebank, Return to Lanseria - Leg: 183 nm

    Public airport, tarmac. 10,000 ft. Elevation 4517 ft.
    10 am Departure from Makalali - Arrival approximately 1 pm. Sadly leave your trusty and dusty flying machine and transfer to your hotel. 4:45 pm departure for your Cocktail party at the Military Museum to rejoin your instructors and meet other African aviators including VIP's from the Aero Club of South Africa and various local aviators who have been part of our expedition. Overnight Rosebank (B&B, D)
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  • Sat, Sep 16 - Return Home

    Repack, last minute shopping, boxing and shipping the overflow of souvenirs. Mid-afternoon transfer to Johannesburg International Airport.
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