Charter Flight in 4-Seater Cessna or Jet?

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Mar 7th, 2006, 02:34 PM
  #1
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Charter Flight in 4-Seater Cessna or Jet?

We have been given a choice of a regular jet from JRO to the Serengeti or a 4-seater Cessna from Arusha to the Serengeti (no wait time or travel time to JRO once we arrive in Arusha). It looks pretty scary because it's a really small plane, but it'll save us 4 hours on our first day coming in from Nairobi. Has anyone taken one of these?

We usually don't get airsick on airlines, but I'm a little wary about that on a small plane. 'Any advice?
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Mar 7th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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There are airstrips in the Serengeti that can accomodate a jet aircraft?
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Mar 9th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Hello,

I wouldn't worry too much about the small plane. I've travelled on lots of small planes in Botswana, where they're basically the only way of getting around, and never had any problems. I've shared planes with people who were concerned about air-sickness, and thus far I've never seen anyone throw up...but that's not to say that people never do. I think it probably depends quite a bit on the weather when you fly -- if it's bumpy, you might get queasy, and the bumps are more obvious in a small plane.

I've even helped fly one (not in Botswana -- it belonged to a friend of mine!) which was a lot of fun.

Cheers,
Julian
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Mar 9th, 2006, 11:46 AM
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Small Cessna's can be very bumpy if the weather is warm. It is usually better to fly earlier in the day if possible. I would take any and all travel sickness remedies you can think of if you're susceptible.

Personally I don't like the flights much, but accept them as part of the deal in Bots.

A big tip would be to sit in the front next to the pilot, less bumpy up there, avoid the very back seat if possible.

How long is the flight?
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Mar 9th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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Mairsey,

It's so very embarassing to throw up on the pilot. If you're worried, take some Dramamine.

I think the flight is about an hour, maybe an hour and fifteen if you mean the Seronera airstrip.

To Sassy Patty: no, no airstrip that accommodates a big ole jet airliner.
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Mar 9th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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No jets that I've every seen.
Just little (4-seater) Cessna 182s.
And these little ones are usually only for private charter at stiff prices.

There are flights out of Arusha early (8am) and again about 2pm heading to the Serengti. Flight time w/o stops is about an hour or a bit longer.
 
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Mar 9th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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For what's its worth:

I find the little four seaters pretty scary. The first time was not pleasant -- it was bumby, but just too small for me.

I only take them when they are really unavoidable, and then just grin and bear it. If I can avoid them at all (even by hiring a car and driver at substanitall cost!) I will.

So if you really think they might make you anxious, they probably will! You know how uncomfiortable you'll be, so weight the four hours saved against that. But if you are a nervous flier like me, assume it will be scary, and work from there.

In any case, you're sure to have a wonderful time!
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Mar 10th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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Thanks everyone! The travel time on the Cessna is 1.5 hours. We'd fly in from Nairobi on the 8am flight and then take off at 9 from Arusha in the small plane, arriving Serengeti at 10:30am Otherwise, the alternative is driving to JRO and waiting for a 12:30 flight and getting in around 2:15 or so. We're leaning toward the Dramamine and the small plane just because of the time element.
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Mar 10th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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I agree with whoever said "grit my teeth and bear it" re: flying in the little planes - especially over uninhabited areas where you could either get eaten or would never be found even if you survived a crash! My dad was a commercial pilot (and flew the little planes for "fun") and he always said that you were safer in a plane than in a car. I try to remember that every time I get into one of those toy airplanes. Dramamine will work well for the airsickness, but some of the other motion sickness pills work better for nerves (the ones that make you sleepy tend to work the best for me, since they relax me). The other really good way to beat nerves is a good tranquilizer Have a great trip and happy landings!
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Mar 10th, 2006, 06:31 PM
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I'm totally fine with the idea of a tranquilizer! I have heard that those accupressure bracelets (SeaBands, I think) help, too. The tour operater has assured us that the flight in the little toy plane will be the highlight of our trip. He said to tell the pilot not to "swoop down" to see the flamingos, but rather to head straight for the airstrip--no swooping or diving. We're going to give it a try and hope for the best. It's going to be just one of many first-times for us!
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Mar 11th, 2006, 03:07 AM
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Mairseydotes:

We just returned from a month in Africa, where from the time we left until we returned to the states, we took a total of 21 flights, including both the jets and LOTS of the little planes. The "jet" flight from JRO may be on something like a 12 seater, so really not that much different than the smaller cessna. We LOVED the little planes. At times, it almost felt like a game drive in the plane, because you can literally see the animals on the ground as your flying in. We saw elephants and giraffes and wildebeests and zebra and....you get the picture. And for some reason, the turbulence on the smaller planes is easier for me to handle than on the big jets - maybe because you can see your pilot just dealing with it, no big deal to him, and I really wasn't affected in terms of airsickness. My vote is the little plane.

Cyn
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Mar 13th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Hi Cyn
Thanks so much for your post! You have really given us confidence in our decision to try the little Cessna. I figure this is our dream vacation--we should be adventurous and make lots of memories! Your trip sounds wonderful!!! Did you fly to all of your destinations rather than drive?
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Mar 13th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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Welcome back cyn:
Lookign forward to your report.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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A couple of suggestions:

- travel during a cool part of the day as napamatt suggests
- take the air sickness pill as directed (generally an hour or so before flight)
- sit as far forward as possible
- if the flight is bumpy, focus on the horizon (not straight down on the ground no matter how many lovely creatures are down there)

I almost threw up on a Botswana flight because I was rubber-necking.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 04:54 PM
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One more:

- have food in your stomach
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Mar 16th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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Mairseydotes:
Yes, we flew to all destinations except one, and for us it was the best way. The places we went were a little too far apart to try and drive them. The one drive was from the central serengeti to the Ngorongoro crater, and it was fun to do that.

Bat - yes, I'm working on the report. It actually is harder to do than I thought. Your trip looked fantastic - congrats! I haven't looked recently - have you posted photos yet?

Cyn
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Mar 16th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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Off topic:

cynstalker, even a brief report, a half-a**ed report, a liost, whatever, is better than no report.

I never even finished my last one. I looked at my journal and realized that less than halfway through the trip I just stoppped writing in it, too. Spent my free time just gazing out at the horizon. I really wanted to *be* there rather than record it.

So, for my next trip I'm delegating. The girls can do the journal. After all, I made all the arrangements. Only fair, right?
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Mar 16th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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Leely:
I was very good about writing while gone - that's my problem now - my report will be a BOOK by the time I get done. And, sure -delegation sounds fair to me! Unfortunatly, DH will NOT adhere to this new rule, so...I plan, I book, I schedule, I journal, I photo, I report. He just follows. (And truly, it works for us!)

Cyn
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Mar 16th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Welcome back Cyn.
No need for a book, just let us all know how your trip was and that you made it back.
Sherry

Sorry for the hijack mairsey!
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Mar 16th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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Thanks for the advice, Cyn. I know I'll need all of those precautions, but I feel it's worth it to save 4 hours or driving and waiting and flying from JRO. After flying all day and night and getting up for a 8am flight from Nairobi, I'll probably be half in the bag anyway, so a little Dramamine should go a long way.
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