Piloting your own airplane in kenya?

Mar 25th, 2005, 10:00 PM
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Piloting your own airplane in kenya?

we are planning a trip to kenya/tanzania in November 2005. One in our party is a licensed pilot and we want to rent our own airplane to fly around the game reserves (only need a small 4 seater plane). Has anyone done this? What are the costs? What are some good companies? Are there any problems flying to Tanzania (for example Masai Mara to Serengeti)?

lerasp is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 03:12 AM
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Now this is an exciting adventure! I've flown around the area in a 4-seater (single engine) charter plane but my plane came WITH a pilot friend!

For the most accurate info and insider tips, you can contact Leandro Margheri at www.kilimanjaroaeroclub.com. He is an instructor pilot in Moshi (Tanzania)and very knowledgable about East Africa charters.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 07:08 AM
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When in Botswana I was unofficially permitted to pilot a small cessna craft between two camps. Obviously the pilot did take off and landing and any adjustment of the rudders etc but I controlled by myself the height and direction, going around camps which we were not permitted to fly over and keeping to the course he requested. It was FANTASTIC!

It made me realise how much I'd love flying as a hobby BUT I just wouldn't be interested in doing it over the UK. Our skies are too crowded, our weather is crap and the views, whilst no doubt breathtaking in their own way, do not compare for me with the views over Africa.

I do recall reading a travel journalism article about a small group that chartered their own plane to do a self-fly trip around Southern Africa, I think mainly Namibia. Sounded amazing!
Kavey is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 01:23 PM
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Check out www.michna.com/privat.htm. Hans is a German citizen who travels to Kenya and does fly from Wilson to other sites. Once you get to his webpage arrow down to Kenya travel plans, GPS info and his trip reports. It would seem that though one is licensed, they still have to be checked out in a plane at the airport and put through the paces. Even if you are passed, flying in Kenya without having ever being there is iffy. Remember the plane crash of the Americans who's chartered southern African aircraft flew into Mt. Kenya about two years ago. There are also vultures that occasionally fly into planes. I have been on a plane landing in Amboseli where the buffalo had to be chased off the runway before we could land. A friend who flies reguarly in Kenya also had a zebra run in front of his plane as he was taxiing to his tie down and the propellor killed the zebra and flipped the plane over. Luckily the pilot and passenger were not seriously injured.

Personally I would think twice before renting a plane on my own. The regular flights between camps are great and reasonable, and those pilots have made the flights hundreds of times and know the dangers to watch out for.


JanGoss is offline  
Mar 30th, 2005, 10:01 AM
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My husbands secretary did this in Namibia about 2 years ago.

Her husband is a helicopter pilot in the military. They rented a small plane for about a week. It was just the two of them. They were able to fly to several different parks.

They said the hardest part was the rental. Even though her husband is a pilot by profession, he felt like he had to jump through many hoops before the rental was accepted.

For Namibia this made sense as the distances were so great. I dont know if the same holds true for Kenya.
Queenie is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 11:58 PM
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Just be sure your pilot is up to snuff. They have a higher skill requirement and it is a different type of flying and landing. A friend of mine had to take a few more 'lessons' b4 they let him fly.
luangwablondes is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 06:04 AM
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I completely agree - it is different than flying around northeast. Our guy is a former fighter pilot, so hoepfully he should be ok. it's more a question of how much "checking out" they have to do, and finding the right company.
lerasp is offline  
May 29th, 2005, 06:29 AM
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How is your planning going? My friend and myself (both new pilots) have decided to have a flying holiday in Kenya and would appreciate any new contacts to hire a plane (also need a foue seater).
Paul2B is offline  
May 30th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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To be honest, i think we are giving up on the idea. We got a few quotes, which were reasonable ($100-$200 per hour depending on plane size), but once we tried to ask some more detailed questions about paperwork, legalities, etc, no one would give us any answers. Emails go unanswered for weeks, no one picks up the phone, just very unresponsive overall. if you come across someone more responsive, post it here. our trip is not till November so we may be able to change things. But at this point, we are making our itinerary such that it is possible to do with schedules flights.
lerasp is offline  
May 30th, 2005, 06:03 AM
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If you change you tour starting out of South Africa to say Namibia and Botswana, you will find the operators eager and responsive.
luangwablondes is offline  
May 30th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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No pilot is any better than his/her ground crew. What knowledge do you have of how the aircraft was maintained? How sure are you that the fuel and lube are clean? As an old (not bold) pilot, I wouldn't so much as turn over the prop without complete knowledge of that kind of information.
USNR is offline  
May 30th, 2005, 05:15 PM
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Those are some of the questions we were trying to ask - and no response. I have heard that South Africa has more developed light aircraft industry. But for better or worse, we have chosen to go to Kenya nd Tanzania. When we plan a trip to So.Africa (tha'ts a given, just matter of time), then we'll look into it again. But for now, we probably need to pass as we couldn't even get the basic info abour airplanes from these companies.
lerasp is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 03:07 PM
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Why don't you contact these guys and see if they can recommend an operator in East Africa?www.bushair.co.za/articles.htm
luangwablondes is offline  

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