The Best of Namibia - Sept. 2018

An Escorted Self-Fly Safari®

18-days, with 14 days flying

Sept. 10 - 27, 2018

A flying safari focused on dramatic landscapes with excellent animal viewing at two locations. Fly from South Africa to the spectacular Fish River Canyon of Namibia (rivals the Grand Canyon). Next north along  the  Atlantic coastline to the Sossusvlei Dunes. Fly over the dunes to see the incredible colors of the sunrise reflected on the dunes. Fly along the Skeleton coast seeing ship wrecks to the land of the desert elephant - Damaraland. End your flying safari with two destinations focused on Africa’s wild life - the Etosha Pan of Namibia and Okavango Delta of Botswana. 

Parked on airstip at Damarland, Namibia

This Self-Fly Safari® is escorted. We will brief the group before departure about each day’s flying.  We can help with radio work, assist pilots at airports paying fees, refueling, filing flight plans, etc. On the ground, at overnight destinations, game viewing and activities are led by the lodge’s own rangers.

Price for this Self-Fly Safari®   is $13,500 per person sharing assuming 1 pilot and 1 passenger in a Cessna 182. Price includes all accommodations; all meals, except only Bed and Breakfast where noted; activities as noted, all road transfers from airports or airstrips; National Park entrance fees, where applicable; and a rental car while you are at Lanseria - shared with another couple in the group.  It includes rental of a Cessna 182 dry for 28 hours; Excess insurance (hull deductible); landing, parking, enroute, and approach fees, license validation fees, Pilot’s Advance Preparations Kit including charts, airfields directory and all expenses of the escort. an ATC briefing by a working controller on local airspace; Hanks Aero briefing, courier services, flight following by Hanks Aero, Cockpit Trip Kit©, Easy Cockpit for your tablet.

 

    The Cockpit Trip Kit© is an extensive and detailed flight planning aid. Use it in the cockpit enroute. It contains information on the airports or strips including photographs, suggested routes to your destinations, Nav logs tailored to your itinerary, alerts on significant airspace, communication and Nav aid frequencies enroute, reporting points, and other notes which are useful aids for pilots who've never flown in southern Africa. Further, it details procedures for operating in Johannesburg's own airspace. We go over the entire Kit with you in our own briefings prior to your departure on safari. 

 

    The Pilot’s Advance Preparation Kit© includes a jump drive stick with ATC, tower and pilot transmissions to familiarize you with accents and phrases used. This is transcribed. Also in the Kit are an Air law book and other preparatory material for your validation.

 

Not included: Fuel for aircraft, which is approximately $7.00 per gallon, airfare to South Africa and return, curios, tips and drinks, items of a personal nature, and conservation or tourist levy fees charged at some of the lodges (about $1-$5 per person).

 

Sept. 10, Mon.  –  Arrive AM Johannesburg International Airport.  You are met by a driver and transferred to the Hertford Hotel www.hertford.co.za Lanseria, on the outskirts of Johannesburg for 3 nights while completing pilot validations.  We'll meet you at the Hertford. We will give you the introductory briefing along with your Cockpit Trip Kit™. In the afternoon you will be briefed by an ATC controller. If you have already been validated, you can attend the briefing or join in on a tour. Optional tours for non-pilots can be arranged with Shana to do various activities such as visit the Museum Africa, Origins Center or Apartheid Museum, Soweto, Sterkfontein Caves, Cradle of Humankind, Lion Park and Botanical Garden. Hertford Hotel  (Bed & breakfast, transfer)

 

Sept 11, Tues. -  Instructor’s briefing; review cross country flight planning and air law written exercise; handling check ride.  You’ll get a chance to focus on some of the differences between flying in your home country and Africa.  You’ll get the lay of the land and a taste of how ATC works (and sounds) in Africa’s busiest airspace.  You’ll use the same aircraft you’ll take on safari and get a chance to see how it handles on your cross country. Non pilots can attend all the validation exercises. If you already have your validated license you will have to do 3 touch-and- go’s for the benefit of the insurance company and owners.  Optional tours for non-pilots and validated pilots can be arranged with Shana to do various activities such as visit the Museum Africa, Origins Center or Apartheid Museum, Soweto, Sterkfontein Caves, Cradle of Humankind, Lion Park and Botanical Garden. Hertford Hotel (Bed & breakfast, rental car)

 

Sept. 12. Wed. Morning on your own or additional time for validation flight checks.  Lunch with us followed by an extensive afternoon briefing.  Hertford Hotel (Bed & breakfast, rental car) 

 

Sept. 13, Thurs. - Fly the African Bush – 

We'll meet you early at the airport to facilitate your Self-Fly Safari departure. You'll sign out the aircraft, load it, top off the fuel tanks and soon, we are away!

 

Sept. 13, Thurs.

BAINS HOUSE, UPINGTON, SOUTH AFRICA (385 nm west)

1 night, Bed & Breakfast, transfer.    

Your first flight is to Upington. The flight to Namibia is long and often on your first day, a short flight is best.  This is only a 1 night so just pack an overnight bag for this stop.

 

Sept. 14, Fri.

CANON LODGE - FISH RIVER CANYON - (270 nm west and south with 1 stop for fuel and Customs & Immigration (C&I).

Private Airstrip - 1 night, Bed and Breakfast & Dinner, Sundowner Drive, transfer.

  

Early morning fly west then south through the Fish River Canyon. It is a spectacular sight. The Fish River Canyon forms part of the privately owned Gondwana Canon Park that stretches over 520 km and offers every visitor a unique spectacle. The Canon Lodge consists of 20 thatched roof bungalows each having natural rock walls and full ensuite facilities. The Canon Lodge’s main attraction is an awe-inspiring view of the Canyon landscape. This is only a 1-night stop so just pack an overnight bag for this stop.  www.gondwana-desert-collection.com 

 

Sept. 15, & 16, Sat. & Sun. 

KULALA DESERT LODGE, SOSSUSVLEI, NAMIBIA (250 nm west and north with 1 fuel stop)

Private airstrip – 2 nights, all meals, activities, transfers


From the Canyon you will fly west and then north along the coast to Sossusvlei. Look out for shipwrecks, seals and flamingos while flying up the coast. Flying over the dunes is an incredible sight.  For miles there is just an undulating landscape broken by islands of rock and the occasional road. This is your opportunity to experience one of nature’s amazing wonders. On the ground you’ll marvel at the ever-shifting ridges of sand, reaching over 950 ft. into the desert skies and perhaps glimpse some of the amazing varieties of wildlife living in this desert wilderness. You will be taken on an early morning excursion to the dunes.  Afternoon activities include drives to see the desert scenery and unique flora and fauna of the area and perhaps an aardwolf and caracal.  Kulala Desert Lodge is located within the arid Namib Desert and is close to the iconic dunes of the Sossusvlei. Accommodation at Kulala Lodge comprises 25 thatched and canvas "kulalas" (meaning "to sleep" in the local language) with ensuite bathrooms and verandas. Each has a deck on the flat rooftop where guests can sleep on bed rolls watching the shifting stars so clear in the Namibian skies. Www.wilderness-safaris.com 

 

Sept. 17 & 18, Mon. & Tues. 

DAMARALAND CAMP, DAMARALAND, NAMIBIA - (280 nm north)

Private airstrip, 2 nights, all meals, scenic and night drive and star gazing activities.

 

You continue north enjoying a flight along the skeleton coast to the 1,006,425-acre Doro Nawas Conservancy - the prime territory for the desert-adapted elephant - where herds traverse the Aba-Huab riverbed seasonally in search of water and vegetation. Wildlife viewing focusses along the riverbed and valleys. While there are no large concentrations of wildlife, this arid environment is home to gemsbok, springbok and variety of other species, including occasional cheetah. Birdlife is excellent. A special excursion will be to see Africa’s largest collection of petroglyphs (prehistoric rock engravings) and San rock art at Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site.  Accommodation is in large safari tents with a veranda facing the valley with wonderful views of the flood plains.  Www.wilderness-safaris.com

Sept. 19, 20 & 21   Wed., Thurs., & Fri  

HOBATERE, ETOSHA PAN AREA, NAMIBIA - (67 nm north)

Private airstrip, 3nights, all meals, activities, 

 

Hobatere Lodge is strategically located on the western border of Etosha National Park. They traverse a very large concession area of 8,808 ha which is home to a wide selection of game, including elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, eland, and Hartmann’s zebra. Early morning and night drives are part of the activities on offer where many nocturnal animals, such as aardvark, cape fox, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, genet and many more are encountered. Guests can relax at a hide overlooking a nearby waterhole or on the sundeck with panoramic views. Accommodation is in chalets with verandahs. www.hobatere-lodge.com.

 

Sept. 22, Sat.

TAMBUTI LODGE, RUNDU, NAMIBIA (315nm east)

 

Tambuti is a small lodge beautifully perched above the Kavango River overlooking the floodplain. 

From Hobatere you will fly past the Etosha Pan on your way to Botswana (overflights not permitted). You will overnight along the Kavango River before proceeding the next day to Botswana. If time permits you can visit the Mbunza Living Museums or just relax before having dinner at their restaurant that specializes in serving African food and drink. www.tambuti-lodge.com.na

 

Sept. 23, 24 & 25, Sun., Mon. & Tues.

GOMOTI PLAINS CAMP, OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA (289 nm south and east 1 fuel & immigration stop)

Private airfield, 3 nights, all meals, activities, transfers

 

The camp is situated along the Gomoti River system, an area known for its large concentrations of wildlife which thrive on the Gomoti plains and waterways. Wild dog frequents the area, as well as 

some of the larger predators, herds of elephant and buffalo and all the plains animals that occur here. Night drives are conducted in the early evening offering one a chance to see the smaller more nocturnal animals with spotlights. Polers take you in mokoros (dugout canoes) in the morning to appreciate the stillness of the delta waters, or guided walks in the morning focus on the plants and smaller creatures such as dung beetles or ant elephants.  www.gomotiplains.co.za.

Sept. 26, Wed.

Return to Lanseria (481 nm south with one immigration and fuel stop)

1 night, Bed & Breakfast, transfer.    

After landing at Lanseria Airport you’ll be driven to the Southern Sun Hotel, Fourways. Call home and tell them you are back in civilization! We’ll share a final dinner together and allow you a well-earned sleep.

 

Sept. 27, Thurs.

A chance to do last minute shopping and repack your bags. Transfer to Johannesburg International airport for your flight home. Let the stories be told!

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