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Trip from UK to S. Africa

A great account of his trip in a Twin Comanche has been very kindly contributed by Robert Limb.

Last Edited by Peter at 11 Nov 08:40
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

What a grand trip this was to read about. Thanks for sharing. It brought back a flood of memories. My most amazing holiday as a child was when Mum flew us around Namibia (in them days South West Africa) in her beloved P32-300 and seeing your pictures brought it back like it was yesterday. I remember Mum putting down on one of the diamond strips (highly illegal) to sort out a popped door and then the Six getting stuck in soft sand at the end of the runway at Swakopmund and the wind storms at Luderitz. Luderitz was the town I first tasted crayfish – YUM. Wow, you have evoked memories. Loved the view of East London, many happy memories. I could ramble on for hours but will spare everyone. Hahaha.

You have an absolutely beautiful aircraft. They seem to be such good value speed vs economy and so forth. One day when I am all grown up……..hahahaha. I wish I had deep pockets, truly, this type of flying hits every button for me. Wonderful.

Again, thanks for sharing. I shall probably read it a few more times to digest fully the content.

Last Edited by Bloomer at 11 Nov 19:07
Always looking for adventure

I also read it earlier today, and I had to skim read parts due to the amount of time I had earlier today, but I have to say it is a fantastic read, and an awesome level of interesting detail. I need to go back and read through the parts I missed.

Shocking to me (me, poor naive little thing..?) that such a trip is THAT expensive. As I read the report the cost is on three fronts, and all three overdone IMHO:

-) Fuel would, at first sight, be the heaviest cost factor – flying such a trip on Mogas would be a major economy. But I would have my reserves about the quality of MoGas at certain places.

-) But as I read the report, a very large part of the cost is in airport handling fees. While one can understand and accept these at the larger airports, I can’t help wondering whether the use of more modest airfields, with a correspondingly more modest plane, would not avoid this handling cost. It would perhaps also remove the need for uniforms with gold bars here and there? Then again, I have heard terrible stories of bakshish requirements at “less official” places in the so-called third world

-) A third factor of expense is hotels – I was taught to camp under the wing, for budget distance flying. Would that be an option, legally and practically, in Africa? I can’t help having some doubts, there. And of course one wants a shower at least once per day in hot climate, so a hotel would be required anyway?

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

BTW there recently was a story of a couple of Dutchmen flying from their Heinsberg base to South Africa (and back again, presumably?) in a Rotax-powered microlight but I did not read their report, if indeed there was one. Would be nice to compare total cost – total journey time must certainly have been against them.

Last Edited by at 11 Nov 19:33
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Personally, for me, as appealing as it may be to sleep under a wing I would not risk it these days in Africa. Also, on these types of flights I think a hotel would be most welcome. When I flew around the Alps I spent one night in a tent and my aging bones complained for the rest of the day PLUS the tent leaked so added to the discomfort.

Always looking for adventure

Jan, mogas east of Poland and south of Spain is not an option. Quality of the fuel is just the tip of the iceberg. Transport from the from fuel station is also a major issue and never forget that getting the fuel inside the airport will mean handing over some green 100 to the airport security personnel.

You cannot land in small airfields when you are crossing borders. Customs and border checks are typically only available at major international airports. Well, some green 100 could also help getting things done if you really need to. So at the end, no economy and for sure more hassle than landing at the international airport.


I am planning myself a trip to South Afrika with a Piper Archer III to be done in February next year. Great article.

EDLE, Netherlands

That has to be just about the best trip report I have read in a long time. Well done. The challenges you faced made our North Atlantic crossing look like child’s play. But it just goes to show that aviation is a pretty friendly community even in a difficult place like Africa.

EGTK Oxford

Nice report. A lot of reading, but definitely worth it.

We had this pilot in The Netherlands who flew from Lelystad to Nairobi in his self build aircraft. (maybe a book for you to read Jan Olieslagers?).
Unfortunately for the majority of this forum it’s is Dutch. It’s quite a good read.

Some footage to view the plane he flew (in Dutch):
I hope the url is not blocked for other than Dutch IP addresses. (which the BBC frequently does for other than UK IP addresses)
Another video of him on TEDxRotterdam in English (watch from minute 13:30):

The book De piloot van goed en kwaad

Last Edited by 0fficer at 12 Nov 10:33
Bushpilot C208/C182
FMMI/EHRD, Madagascar
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