The region were talking about includes South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. The region is politically stable and safe for visitors though not all areas may be open for tourism. As is the case anywhere in the world, there are sections of cities that visitors should avoid. Our safari itineraries tend to keep you out of the cities and in Africas dramatic wilderness, scenic rural areas, and coasts. Throughout the region youll find gracious hosts, friendly people, and an enthusiastic flying community. English is the official language throughout the region (except in Mozambique where Portuguese is spoken). ATC communications are always carried out in English.
SOUTH AFRICA: Hanks Aero Adventures is based in South Africa -- and for good reason. Far from being a Third World country, South Africa has a first world infrastructure and leads the nations of Africa in aviation resources and facilities. Many airlines throughout the continent look to South Africas private sector to manage and service their fleets. Standards for aircraft maintenance and pilot training are modeled on the US and British systems. Self-Fly SafarisŇ begin and end in South Africa, and its rules govern the operation.
BOTSWANA: Arguably Africas standard for western-style democracy, Botswana is largely a wilderness area that includes the semi-arid Kalahari Desert and the massive Okavango Delta. Some of the best game viewing in all Africa is found here.
ZAMBIA: The famous Victoria Falls, so named by Dr. David Livingstone, is a crossroads of southern Africa tourism on the northern side of the Zambezi River. Livingstone, Zambia is an excellent stop to view Victoria Falls. The rest of the country is a large area ranging from hilly, woodland bush in the eastern Luangwa Valley, to open savanna along the countrys western border with Angola. The Zambezi River provides some of the finest white-water rafting in the world. Fishing in the lower Zambezi. A deep safari to rarely visited areas.
NAMIBIA: One of the driest and least densely populated areas in the world. Distances between destinations demand an aircraft. Here youll find picture-book deserts with huge sand dunes, rugged volcanic terrain, canyons, and isolated coastlines. German is widely spoken in Namibia, though English is universally spoken.
MALAWI: Referred to as the Warm Heart of Africa with a benign climate, friendly local people, and lush vegetation that invites relaxation. Lake Malawi, part of the Great Rift Valley, is the focal point of activity surrounded by forest and mountain reserves ideal for walking.
MOZAMBIQUE: Indian Ocean tropical waters in this former Portuguese colony. Feast on prawns and enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and tranquil lagoons.
ZIMBABWE: Youll find abundant wildlife in Zimbabwes renowned wilderness areas. The capital, Harare, is a colorful and busy African city. Political uncertainty and sporadic fuel supplies put this country on the back burner in 2002. Its too bad. Visits remain possible if youre inclined to go but we suggest you circumvent Zimbabwe for the time being.
Hanks Aero Adventures will help you arrange an excellent itinerary. Were based in southern Africa and personally inspect the camps we recommend. Through e-mail and fax well develop an itinerary with you before you leave the United States.
We can suggest destinations to complement your special interests. The essence of the arrangement is to fly yourself and your party to destinations around southern Africa. Unique to this area is, of course, African wildlife and the African bush. So, we say, if youre going to do it, dont miss bush flying. But there are a lot of other things to do and many possibilities. We know a lot of places to go and were happy to make suggestions. What would you like to do? For example...
EXOTIC AIRCRAFT... would you like to fly for an hour or two in an open-cockpit Tiger Moth? Would you and a friend fly Tiger Moths in a formation flight of two? Would you like to do an aerobatic series in a vintage military jet? How about a supersonic ride? Hot air ballooning?
SPORTS Fresh-water fishing, deep-sea fishing, tasting South African wines, set out on foot for several days on a walking /camping safari? Perhaps a canoeing safari with bush camping at night along the riverbank; would you like the bumps and splashes of white water rafting? A swim with dolphins, or Great white sharks? A few days soaring? Sky diving, scuba diving. What else?
CONTEMPORARY AFRICA -- a night or two spent in an African city or town -- even a village -- afford an entirely different perspective of the African social and cultural landscape as it enters the 21st century. The real thing. No pretenses.
An individual Self-Fly SafariŇ is the quintessential bush flying experience flying Africa on your own! Do you know another pilot who would also enjoy flying in Africa? Flying with two or more aircraft in a loose formation with friends heightens the pleasure. Many clients have done it this way.
Put together a group (not more than 16 people and no more than 8 aircraft) and we will do the rest of the planning for you. The experience is most rewarding without an accompanying guide but Hanks Aero Adventures can provide a pilot/escort in your own aircraft or with a lead aircraft for your group. Call to discuss your specific ideas.
In the Southern Hemisphere, flying weather tends to be at its best from April through October. These are the autumn and winter months in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and most of South Africa. We recommend that you go on your Self-Fly SafariŇ during these months. These relatively cool and dry months are also considered the best season for game viewing. Foliage is less dense, and the scarcity of water helps concentrate the animals at water holes for more prolific game viewing.
Temperatures are cooler. Night and early morning temperatures can drop to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. July is a time when you'll need a down parka, gloves, a scarf, and a hat during early morning and evening game drives. Midday temperatures are comfortable in shirtsleeves. From August onward, the temperatures begin to rise. October can be a sweltering month. It is just before the rains come. The rains tend to begin by the end of October and end in March, but isolated rainy days occur throughout the year.
Cape Town and Coastal regions: During the months April through October, Atlantic storms often bring wind, rain, and chilly weather to the Cape Town area and all along the South African coast. Coastal flying during these months can be problematic. IMC conditions often prevail along the south and west coasts. The Indian ocean coast is somewhat better, as a rule, but not immune from frontal weather systems.
The months of November through March are the Southern Hemisphere's SPRING and SUMMER. Temperature and humidity rises. Very hot temperatures -- sometimes over 100 degrees Fahrenheit -- prevail over many of the prime game viewing areas of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and much of South Africa. Some game lodges close during this season. Severe afternoon thunderstorms often build up over the Johannesburg area. Sometimes overcast conditions prevail for days at a time.
Between November and March, we can arrange an Explorer package for you through a local flight school. We, however, are not in South Africa and cannot provide the personalized service associated with a Self-Fly Safari®.
Hanks Aero Adventures can provide a pilot/escort in your own aircraft or a lead aircraft for your group.
Charter: Families or groups interested in flying together may prefer to charter an aircraft large enough to accommodate the whole group such as a C-208 (Cessna Caravan) or a Beech KingAir. Contact us to discuss your specific ideas and requirements.
INFANTS and CHILDREN under 12 are not allowed at some bush camps. Policies vary. Reasons include the danger of wild animals and the tone of the establishment. If you plan to bring children please advise us early in discussions so we can develop a suitable itinerary.
|TENTED ACCOMMODATION: Walk-in British officer tents set on a cement or raised-wooden platform. Canvas sides and roof with screened window and tent flaps, often shaded. Lighted by 12-volt lamps, candles or kerosene lanterns. Small free-standing closet. Private flush toilet, shower, basin, hot and cold running water. Most tented accommodations are really luxury rooms surrounded by canvas.|
Solid walls and roof. May be round
(rondavel), or cabin, or A-frame; set on a foundation, or on a raised platform, or in a
tree. Screened windows. Lighted by 12-volt lamps, candles, or kerosene
lanterns. Sometimes powered by mainline electricity (220V).
Sometimes air-conditioned; sometimes with room or ceiling fans. Private flush toilet, shower, basin, hot
and cold running water. Some chalets have air-conditioning and/or ceiling fans. Standards range from simple to luxurious.
|HOUSEBOAT: Solid walls, screens, moored, or anchored. Accessed by canoe or motor launch. Lighted by 12-volt lamps, candles, or kerosene lanterns. Private flush toilet, shower, basin, hot and cold running water.|
GOVERNMENT RESORTS: We use these when no better alternative is available in the area. Meals at restaurants are available at normal eating times. Rooms often have self-catering facilities including a refrigerator, hot plate and wash basin. Some comestibles are available but clients should plan to eat at restaurants since buying, carrying and storing fresh food in a small aircraft presents problems. Usually, area sightseeing arrangements have to be made by you with local tour guides after your arrival at the establishment.
HOTEL: a larger establishment with facilities normally expected including private bath or shower, mainline electricity (220V), air conditioning or ceiling fans, telephone, fax, restaurant. Standards range from simple to luxurious. Hotel accommodation is more likely available in cities and towns and rarely available at prime game viewing destinations.
CAMPING: Some destinations provide guided walking or canoe safaris in which fly camps are set up at the end of the day. Clients taking this option will spend three or four days away from any fixed camp and should expect more rugged conditions. Camps usually will not cater for shorter camping or canoeing expeditions. Clients are encouraged to spend at least one day at the beginning or end of their visit to such a destination at its base camp. If this is of interest, please let us know as early as possible in the planning stage of your Self-Fly SafariŇ. The idea of camping under the wing trips are not presently available. This is due both to the presence of predators in game viewing areas, and the logistic and weight issues associated with camping gear and small aircraft. Storing food without refrigeration in a small aircraft is not a good idea in wilderness areas.
MOBILE SAFARI, in which ground-based crews set up, operate, dismantle, and move private, full tented safari camps at changing locations in the bush, can be arranged. In these instances, the pilot flies to a designated bush strip where he and his passengers are met by guides and escorted to exclusive, fully served camps. After a few days, the entire camp is moved to a new location. Pilot and passengers fly the next leg and again are met at the airstrip and taken to the new location. Interested clients should ask for further information.