Does anybody have any recommendations for aircraft hire for self-flying safaris etc in South Africa and surrounding areas?
I have done it a couple of times in Namibia. First you need to validate your license. Check with the CAA beforehand what they need !!! They were slower and more bureaucratic than the local authority – by far! If you have one, validate the FAA license, much quicker. You then need to pass a written test (airlaw, comms and nav) that includes some very local-specific rules followed by a flight test. I’d suggest to allow for at least 4-5 days after your arrival to have all your ducks in a row. At the time I rented from HAPA Aircraft (the biggest regional Cessna mx shop). I know the then-owner has since retired, but the business is – to the best of my knowledge – still going. Most airfields are gravel in various states of repair. In general flying there is always ‘hot-and-high’, so get a C182 (which is what I did). Planning must include fuel availability, as the lodges generally do not sell you 100LL. Some do maintain a stock, but that’s typically reserved for the tour airplanes. Other than that, you’re in for a treat – it’s some of the most amazing flying you can do – anywhere !!
I usually start trips there from Eros and Westair was always a helpful partner and NCAA, Namib Civil Aviation Authority, is just a couple of buildings away for validation. keep in mind when wanting to fly Southern African Countries that National Authorities are quite restrictive and you may have to get validation on each and every. My choice was hopefully getting a N-reg aircraft and fly on FAA license when on vacation, but this only works for ‘aircraft on vacation’ as they don’t allow N-regs based in these countries, so only friends are your friends.
From personal experience – I can recommend Bushpilot Adventures based in Wonderboom near Johannesburg.
We have done multiple tours with them over the years and all of them were amazing not only (but also) flying-wise.
For our first trip, we skipped the validation and took a safety pilot along with us, which was great to get to know how things are done down there.
All other trips were then done solo, (but organized by Bushpilots) after they helped us obtain the South African Validation very quickly and effectively.
If you need any help with aircraft, licensing, hire , validation, where to fly , weather , SA flying app “ Easy Cockpit “ best app around a must for South Africa , I fly a Baron , R44 , you will not get a more experienced Flying School in Cape Town Airport “ 4 Aviators “ has C172’s , all types of Pipers , instructors, twins , speak to CEO Hans + 27827681754 direct , or Wats App or email [email protected]