Private Charter flights within South Africa

Jul 13th, 2011, 02:24 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 174
Private Charter flights within South Africa

We, a group of 8, are planning a trip to SA next July and are trying to get an idea of flight options. Some of the flights we are looking at are:
Cape Town to Phinda (is Durban as close as we can get?)
Phinda to Sabi Sands area, probably Londolozi or Singita
Londolozi or Singita to Victoria Falls and
Victoria Falls to Joburg
I'm assuming there are probably commercial flights on a couple of the legs, maybe Cape Town to Durban and Victoria Falls to Joburg, but what about the other flights?

What are the closest airports that service Singita and Londolozi?
When people posting refer to Private Charters what exactly does that mean? Are they scheduled flights or are you hiring a pilot and his plane?
Any ideas as to how much these Non-commercial flights would cost? I can look up fares on the South African Airways website to get an idea of what a couple of the commercial flights would be but I have no idea about the others.
agswimmer is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 03:01 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,995
The closest airports to Singita and Londolozzi are airstrips on their respective reserves. Typically, you have an agent arrange both your camp stays and your transfers, which include the charter flights. Many of the charter flights are done by Federal Air, but there are also other outfits. Some camps will arrange for charters. Also keep in mind that there are two types of charters: most people use shared charters, which means that you'll share the plane with others, and that you might make a few stops en route (sort of like a shared shuttle to the airport). However, and this might be more appropriate for your group, there's also a true private charter, where your group has exclusive use of the aircraft, and you will fly non-stop to your destinations.

Finally, the closest commercial airport to Londo & Singita is Nelspruit (MQP, also called Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport/KMIA), and SAA has scheduled flights to MQP, primarily from Joburg.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 05:09 PM
  #3  
 
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Richard's Bay is closer to Phinda than Durban, but I believe you have to go through JNB to get there. From CPT, you can go directly to Durban, I think.

Back in 2008, I was quoted a land transfer cost of $100 USD per person between Richard's Bay and Phinda. The land transfer cost was more for Durban, but I don't remember how much.

To get to Victoria Falls, you're going to have to go through JNB, which isn't too bad. You can get a flight from Sabi Sands to JNB. There's also a land transfer option all the way to JNB that takes a scenic route. And, as noted by Dontopaz, there's an option to do a land transfer to Nelspruit and then take a scheduled flight to JNB. You'll have to juggle the time/money trade offs for the various options.

Here's the quote I got from CC Africa when I researched this back in 2008 (http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...h-africa.cfm):

Meet & Greet on arrival at the Johannesburg International Airport, hand over to you your personalized travel documents and to escort to the Federal Air lounge for your flight to Phinda.

ZAR 931.00 per single guest

Federal Air Scheduled shuttle flight from Johannesburg to Phinda [One Way]

ZAR 3,827.00 per single guest

Inter-lodge Air transfer from Phinda to Exeter River Lodge [One Way]

ZAR 8,100.00 per single guest

13h30. Federal Air Scheduled shuttle flight from Exeter River Lodge to Johannesburg [One Way]

ZAR 2,090.00 per single guest

Total: ZAR 19, 948.

Note that I was a single traveler, so they charged me for two seats on my flights between JNB and Phinda, and Phinda and Exeter River Lodge. I basically had a private charter for those flights since I was the only passenger and had to pay for at least two seats in order for the plane to fly. Since there are 8 of you, this won't be a problem. Just halve my quotes for JNB-Phinda and Phinda-Sabi Sands to get the per person cost.

Btw, I had them drop the meet and greet at JNB which saved me $100.

If you're doing a chartered flight, you're basically hiring the pilot and plane. With 8 passengers, you'd be taking up the whole plane anyway. Fed Air flies fairly small planes and they don't have that many seats. You shouldn't be charged more than the regularly scheduled flights they have, and you sort of get to dictate the schedule.

When you've settled on an agent, you can have them break down the transport costs and do your trade off analysis. That's what I did. They shouldn't have any problems telling you what each flight is going to cost and give you a number of options.
lifelist is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 06:11 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 343
You can also contact Bateleur Air, they do charter flights and lately I prefer them to Fedair.

http://www.bateleurcharter.co.za/

They may or may not be able to accommodate you, but I would certainly send them an email.


Mike
mytmoss is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 09:22 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Charters, there's also -
General Airways - http://tinyurl.com/5wuf2c9
Chillipepper Air Charters - http://www.chillipeppercharters.com/

I've no idea as to cost for destinations you mention.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2011, 06:43 PM
  #6  
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Posts: 174
Thanks for the replies! That is very, very helpful information! And I'm using it to research. I discovered there is a direct flight from Kruger to Victoria Falls (Livingstone airport) without having to go thru JNB. So that should save us some time. I am just blown away at how expensive these internal flights are. The flight between Phinda and Sabi Sands is ZAR 6000 p.p.
Thanks again for the info!
agswimmer is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 02:57 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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KMIA is an intnl airport, but I'm still surprised there's a non-stop to LVI. I'm also surprised the Sabin Sands - Phinda flight is so expensive. 6000 ZAR per person is a 50% increase from the quote I got in 2008.
lifelist is offline  
Jul 19th, 2011, 05:30 AM
  #8  
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Ya, I was quoted $5,900 ZAR from the travel agent. But maybe that's where the old travel agent dilema comes in.
agswimmer is offline  

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