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Can I do it?

It’s not all that difficult, although we believe (and clients confirm) it is not a trip for novice pilots.  South African flight rules govern Self-Fly Safaris.  You’ve got to be at least a private pilot with a current medical and BFR.

Although a Self-Fly Safari must, by government regulation, be conducted only in VMC and daylight hours, an instrument-rated pilot will be more comfortable.  We impose no minimum level of experience (flight time) but aircraft owners and insurance companies may impose minimum experience (time in type) requirements on the use of specific aircraft.  You should be comfortable flying cross-country in an environment of no radar and spotty radio coverage.  You should be comfortable landing and taking off from 1000-yard bush strips.



African Aero Adventures prepares you for your Self-Fly Safari with an organized program that unfolds between the time you first book your safari, through your arrival in Johannesburg and your departure on your Self-Fly Safari.   No other safari outfitter begins your preparations before you leave home.   None offer comparable flight planning material.

Upon booking you’ll be given access to our  “Pilot’s Advance Preparation Kit©”.  This contains important information on what to bring, as well as study material with homework for your pilot license validation requirements. On arrival in Johannesburg you’ll have an introductory briefing - after we’ve met you and delivered you to your hotel.  Later, you’ll also have an extensive pre-departure safari briefing that can take a full afternoon.

Time consuming flight planning is done for you.  What you need is contained in your extensive “Cockpit Trip Kit©” This is a comprehensive guide to African flying tailored to your specific route.  It is a preflight planning aid for each leg of your safari.  It is also an in-flight cockpit resource.  Reading it and using it gives you perspective and suggestions on flying in Africa.  It gives you more time to enjoy what you’ve come for - a vacation safari and flying the African bush!   You’ll receive your Cockpit Trip Kit© on arrival.  You should begin to read it right away.  We’ll review it with you in your pre-departure briefing.

The flight instructor who oversees your license validation exercises will brief you on important aspects of African bush flying.  He will answer any questions you have. Pick his brain.

Safari Dispatch: Your safari launch can be hectic with last minute details.   We are with you at the airport on departure day.  We hand-deliver your validated South African pilot license.  We assist with pre-departure paperwork, fueling, filing a flight plan, returning your rental car, and assist as required.

Flight monitoring: As a safety practice, African Aero Adventures contacts destination camps after your scheduled arrival time (ETA) to make certain you have arrived as expected.  Failure to arrive on schedule may result in additional search attempts.  This is a customary practice of African Aero Adventures. We are always available to provide advice and optional logistic support as required.


African Aero’s Exclusive


Other safari companies exist. None other supplies these or comparable materials.


PILOT’S ADVANCE PREPARATION KIT© We produce a substantial packet of material designed to familiarize pilots with southern African air space, rules of the air, and other information important to your Self-Fly Safari. The materials are made available online on a complementary basis to each Self-Fly Safari pilot. Pilots should study the material before arriving in South Africa. Homework should be done before arrival in South Africa. Included in the packet’s contents are:  Private Pilot’s Aviation Law. This booklet is a summary of South African flight rules. You’ll refer to this booklet when completing the Air Law written exercise that is part of the pilot license validation process. Dull reading but a necessary reference; Glossary of Flying in southern Africa. This alphabetical listing of terms used by aviators throughout southern Africa is compiled by African Aero Adventures. It is also a useful reference for the Air Law written exercise. - Guide to visual landmarks. Some audio with actual radio transmissions used in areas where you’ll need to know what’s being said and how to respond. Pilots and ATC personnel often speak heavily accented English. This essential guide includes a written transcript of the audio. You’ll also have a guide to landmarks for position reporting in Johannesburg’s congested airspace.

COCKPIT TRIP KIT© We prepare an extensive detailed flight guide, tailored to the route you will fly. The flight planning for a Self-Fly Safari is done for you. It is detailed in the Cockpit Trip Kit©. No two guides are identical. Each is divided into several sections contained in a buffalo-hide folder with clip, in a loose-leaf format. One section includes flight planning information, route checkpoints, distances, significant airspace, navigation and communication frequencies, a progressive list of alternates, descriptive enroute and destination notes and photographs or Google images of destination airstrips. Another section, a glossary, defines terms and phrases used in Southern African aviation. Others deal with using telephones in the region, filling out ICAO flight plans and more. The guide is intended as a practical aid for pilots flying in this unfamiliar environment. It does not substitute for thorough flight planning by the PIC.


* We can also supply electronic charts compatible with iPad or Android tablets.


“We started reading it half way along. We should have looked at it before we left. It’s all in there. Study the Cockpit Trip Kit.” J. Fulton, II, March 1997.

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