WESTERN SWING

NAMIBIA AND SOUTH AFRICA

 

...  When responding please feel free to comment on of the destinations we have suggested – particularly if there is a specific place you want to include on your itinerary or if typical activities at the camp we've identified don’t interest you. Also, if you can afford the time, we recommend that you make a three-night stop at one (or more) of the destinations on your itinerary. Clients who have done so comment that the extra night at camp allowed them a respite from flying considerations, which otherwise can seem relentless. Soley with two-night stops, they’ve commented, you are either flying or planning for a flight the following day. Clients who have done more than one Self-Fly Safari have invariably scheduled at least one three-night stop along their itinerary.

 

Price for two people sharing is approximately $14,000 per person assuming 1 pilot and 1 non-pilot sharing an aircraft and accommodation. Exact quote will be given when booking is placed with us subject to Rand/Dollar exchange rate and lodges chosen.

 

Price includes all accommodations; all meals, except only Bed and Breakfast where noted; local drinks except premium drinks at lodges, all road transfers from airports or airstrips; National Park entrance fees, where applicable; and a rental car while you are at Lanseria. It includes rental of a Cessna 182 dry for 26 hours (2 hrs per day for 13 days); Dual flight time with instructor for your validation; Excess insurance (hull deductible); landing, parking, enroute, and approach fees, license validation fees; an ATC briefing by a working controller on local airspace; Hanks Aero briefing, courier services, flight following by Hanks Aero and Cockpit Trip Kit and Advance Preparations Kit including charts, and airfields directory.

 

The Cockpit Trip Kit™ is an extensive and detailed flight planning aid. Use it also 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 CD with ATC, tower and pilot transmissions to familiarize you with accents and phrases used. This is transcribed. Also in the Kit is an Airlaw book, an Airfields Guide and other preparatory material for your validation.

 

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

 

Day 1 -Arrive Johannesburg International Airport. Met by Chris and Nick Hanks. You are transferred to the Hertford Hotel (www.hertford.co.za) or Toadbury Hall (www.toadburyhall.co.za) Lanseria, on the outskirts of Johannesburg for 3 nights while completing pilot validation exercises. You'll get an introductory briefing along with your Cockpit Trip Kit™. You’ll have the rest of the day to look over the material. (Bed & breakfast, transfer)

Day 2 – ATC briefing; Instructor’s briefing; review cross country flight planning and airlaw written exercise; handling check ride & cross country. You’ll get a chance to focus on some of the differences of flying in Africa. Professionals do all the briefings. You’ll get the lay of the land and a taste of how ATC works (and sounds) in Africa’s busiest airspace. Normally you’ll use the same aircraft you’ll take on safari and get a chance to see how it handles before your cross country exercise. Optional tours for non pilots can be arranged with Chris to do various activities such as visit the Lesedi Cultural Village, Museum Africa, Origins Center or Apartheid Museum, Soweto, Sterkfontein Caves, Cradle of Human Kind, Lion Park and Botanical Garden. (Bed & breakfast, rental car).

Day 3 – Morning for any additional flying for the validation. Lunch with us followed by an extensive afternoon briefing.  Optional tours for non pilots. (Bed & breakfast, rental car)

 

Day 4 – Lanseria to Upington (386 nm)  Fly the African Bush – We'll meet you early at the airport to assist in your Self-Fly Safari departure. You'll sign out the aircraft, load it, check the fuel, top off the tanks, and take care of all the last-minute details. Soon, you're away! Today's flight positions you for entering Namibia. (Bed & Breakfast). 

Day 5 – Canon Lodge -Fish River Canyon - (269 nm with one Immigration stop) Private Airstrip -1 night, Bed and Breakfast, Canyon drive and transfer from airstrip. Early morning fly west into Namibia then south down the Canyon. Situated near the Fish River Canyon, the Lodge consists of 20 thatched roof bungalows each having natural rock walls and full en-suite facilities. The architectural design combines rustic natural elements to offer a most comfortable stay. The Fish River Canyon forms part of the privately owned Gondwana Canyon Park that stretches over 520 km and offers every visitor a spectacular view. The Canon Lodge’s main attraction is the awe-inspiring view of the Canyon landscape. Client can book an additional drive and horseback riding when at lodge. Small game area. Great fun to over-fly the canyon. www.gondwana-desert-collection.com

Day 6 & 7 -SOSSUSVLEI, NAMIB NAUKLAUFT PARK –KULALA DESERT LODGE, OR SOSSUSVLEI DESERT LODGE (278 nm plus fuel stop) Private airstrip -2 nights, all meals, activities, transfers. Continue your flight west to the coast then north along the coast to Sossusvlei. Watch for shipwrecks, seals and flamingos while flying up the coast. This is your opportunity to experience Africa's desolate Atlantic coast - one of nature’s amazing wonders. Among Sossusvlei's dunes 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. We suggest three camps in the area. The Sossusvlei Desert Lodge www.andbeyond.com and Kulala Desert Lodge www.wilderness-safaris.com each have their own entrance to the Park but all lodges are only permitted to enter the park at sunrise. You will be taken on an early morning excursion to the dunes, have a packed breakfast there before returning at midday. Afternoon activities include drives to see the desert scenery and unique flora and fauna of the area. These afternoon drives are very interesting because you encounter another area of the desert other than the dunes and you have the opportunity to search for desert animals such as aardwolf, caracle, and gemsbok. At Sossusvlei Lodge as a special afternoon treat, the lodge uses quad bikes to take you out into the desert. We had a fantastic time. To top off the day, we went star gazing by using their high powered computerized telescope. This was the first time I saw the rings around Saturn! Accommodation is in suites built of stone. Each room has an open plan bedroom with lounge area complete with fireplace for the cold winter months. The rooms are luxurious. Glass fronts the rooms and sliding doors open to your own private patio. Kulala Desert Lodge is also tented with an outdoor sleeping platform.

Day 8 & 9 - PALMWAG, NORTHWEST DAMARALAND, NAMIBIA. (274nm with fuel stop) Private airstrip, 2 nights, dinner bed & breakfast, 1 activity, transfers. Continue north along the coast and then inland to Palmwag. This is a very simple lodge with day excursions. A great place to search for desert elephant, to visit an area that has Namibia's greatest concentration of rock engravings, spend the day with on a patrol with trackers for Save the Rhino trust, visit the Ovahimba people at their village, or do a wildlife excursions. Sometimes you do not have to search for elephant. They are visiting the lodge. www.palmwag.com Or DAMARALAND CAMP – HUAB RIVER, NORTHERN NAMIBIA (260nm with fuel stop) Private airstrip, 2 nights, all meals, activities, transfers. Continue along the coast north to Damaraland. Damaraland Camp puts you in the midst of a starkly beautiful rugged and remote area about 50 miles inland from the Namibian coast. You’ll be fetched from the gravel airstrip by landrover and driven to the tented camp. Activities include searching for desert elephant, black rhinoceros, oryx and other antelope that somehow manages to survice in this dry land. Wonderful area for star gazing. This was one of my favorite places because of the scenery and the feeling I had of being far from everything and everyone! www.wilderness-safaris.com

Day 10 & 11  - ONGAVA LODGE, ETOSHA PAN, NAMIBIA - (120 nm ) Private airstrip, 2 nights, all meals, activities. Continue flying north and then inland to the Etosha Pan. Ongava Lodge is located next to the Etosha National Park - Namibia’s premier wildlife area with elephant, lion, leopard, black rhino, antelope, and excellent bird life. You'll see the famous Etosha Pan in this area but game drives also explore perripheral areas with more water and vegetation than the stark dry Pan. Drives to the edge of Etosha Pan and other activities are arranged by client when at lodge. You will also have a chance to fly along the edge of this vast salt pan. Each of Ongava’s ten ensuite thatched chalets has a private elevated deck that overlooks the Reserve. Night drives and nature walks are done on Ongava’s private game reserve but day-long trips are made to the Etosha Park. Airstrip near lodge -Big Game viewing.

www.wilderness-safaris.com

Day 12 & 13– Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city (206nm) Windhoek Airport. 2 nights Bed & Breakfast, transfer. Now your route turns east, back towards South Africa. Your first stop is at Windhoek, the Namibian capital city. It is a pleasant and welcoming African city.  There are Museums to visit and tours of the city. Hotel Heinitzburg – Commissioned by Count von Schwerin for his fiance, Margarethe von Heinitz in 1914. The Heinitzburg is now an enchanting castle hotel overlooking Windhoek. It combines 19th century European charm with modern comforts. What makes Heinitzburg special is its elegant design, from four-poster beds and Italian ceramic tiles to custom fittings and specially created, hand-made wood furnishings. Centrally located, Hotel Heinitzburg is a two-minute drive from the city center. There are numerous other places to stay in Windhoek. We also recommend OLIVE GROVE

www.olivegrove-namibia.com

Day 14 & 15 - TSWALU PRIVATE DESERT RESERVE – KALAHARI DESERT, SOUTH AFRICA (508 nm with Immigration & fuel stop) Private airfield, 2 nights, all meals, all activities, transfers. The black tarred strip, built to accommodate corporate jets, is just the first of many surprises to be found here in the stark, southern fringes of the Kalahari Desert. Tswalu Lodge --elegant and luxurious --lies at the heart of this arid wilderness. You'll discover a world of antelope, black rhino, hyena, lion, cheetah, leopard, mountain zebra, wildebeest, Cape buffalo and other creatures amidst waving grasslands, acacia bush, sweeping sand dunes and spectacular sunsets. A visit to the meerkat colony - documented by film makers with underground cameras - is an absolute delight. Sitting in a landrover, close to their burrow, clients can watch their daily rituals of sunbathing, foraging, or playing. You'll stay in a spacious suite, large bed, private deck, air-conditioning for the heat, and a fireplace for the cold desert night. Swimming pool, sundeck, library. Game drives whenever you wish. Meals: superbly prepared and served in the elegant central lounge or, at set-tables served in the bush. A satisfying stay. One of the few destinations for an experience of the Kalahari Desert. www.tswalu.com

Day 16 Return to Lanseria (220 nm west) 1 night, Bed & Breakfast, transfer. We will meet you at Lanseria Airport, debrief you at dinner and return you for a good nights sleep at Southern Sun in Fourways Johannesburg suburb. Call home and tell them you are back in civilization!

Day 17 A chance to do last minute shopping at a nearby African market and repack your bags. Transfer to Johannesburg International airport for an evening flight home. Let the stories be told!

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