Why we love African flying safaris


When you take flight into the big blue on an African flying safari, you will get to experience all the adventure, exhilaration and fascination of the wilderness from a bird’s-eye view in a light charter plane. Flying safaris can simply mean transferring by plane to and from your various chosen safari destinations or having a guide onboard the flight to tell you about the world below as would be done on foot during a walking safari. It may just be one of the best ways of living out that wonderful notion that travel is not about the endpoint destination you have chosen to arrive at. Rather, it is about immersing yourself in the journey and all the experiences, encounters and emotions you have along the way.

Gain a unique perspective

Journeying across Africa by air unlocks a whole new world of discovery. It allows you to gain a real sense of the topography of different countries and regions so that once you land, you have the benefit of understanding and appreciating the on-the-ground details within this greater, large-scale perspective.

With big windows, personal headsets and intercom system installed to each seat, executive charter plane models used in flying safaris guarantee a comfortable, scenic and safe way to experience Africa from above. Once on board the plane, you will be able to look down and take in Africa’s most beautiful landscapes from a completely unique angle.

You will also have knowledgeable and personable guides with you that have an intimate understanding of the area both from the ground and sky. The aspect of learning and engaging with the more factual side of what is below you is balanced out by candid story-telling and chit-chat.

Explore wildest Africa

A flying safari gives you the freedom of the skies and takes you off the beaten track, in possibly the most truest sense of the phrase. This mode of transport not only gives you a distinct perspective of the landscape below you, it also grants you access to some of the most remote and pristine areas in Africa.

Stepping out of the charter plane and greeting the wilderness around you is a special moment that should be experienced at least once in your life. You realise that only by plane have you and the small party of people you are travelling with been able to touch this part of the continent. In most cases, you will get to traverse areas which are impossible to reach via overland game drive vehicles or motorized boats.

Some of Africa’s most outstanding safari destinations along with their wildest corners are opened up to you, affording you an exclusive safari far from the wheel-beaten roads and maddening crowds of tourists. There is amazing peace found when it is just you and your group of friends on safari, surrounded only by the bush and, for the most part, not another person in sight.

Experience more

Landing in and exploring an extraordinary country like Kenya, which hosts one of the world’s most celebrated wildlife spectacles, the great wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, is many a global traveler and wildlife enthusiast’s dream. Being able to visit the Maasai Mara – as well as other incredible safari destinations nearby – is made so much easier by a flying safari.

When you take a flight into the heart of your chosen reserve or park, you bypass the main entrances where the bulk of tourists will be waiting to get in and start their safari. For you, the experience starts while in the air, seeing so much from above and then, after disembarking, your traditional African safari on land will begin in earnest within the most untouched areas of the park.

Having ‘wings’ gives you the opportunity to witness more of Africa’s natural landscapes, biodiversity and wildlife, local cultures and community projects, and wildlife conservation initiatives. Once on the ground, you can enjoy sightings of large game from the safari vehicle, roam on foot to connect with the diverse landscapes and smaller creatures they home, and get up close to water birds while gently cruising in a boat.

Indulge in luxury for longer

The safari experience is as much about the quality of the accommodation you bed-down in as the fauna and flora that surrounds you. Flying into your destination maximises your time spent on the ground exploring the bush as well as relaxing in the comfort of your luxury safari camp.

Travelling on safari to countries in Africa might mean experiencing luxury within a different setting and accommodation to that which you are familiar. Hospitality and dining might be influenced by local culture, cooking traditions and seasonal fresh produce availability. A flying safari helps you to become immersed as much in nature as in the camp setting where you are staying.

During the day, you might get to head out into the bush to track Africa’s big cats as they follow large herds of grazing game, after which you will find yourself inspired by another culture while visiting with members of the local community. When the dusky colours of the sunset begin to creep across the sky, enjoy sumptuous Champagne sundowners, followed by a candlelit dinner under the stars. A bubble bath will get you ready to turn in for the night with just the noise of the nocturnal bush lulling you to sleep.

An African flying safari is a magnificent way to create lifelong memories throughout the journey to and on the ground at your special chosen location.

Calvin Cottar is Director and Owner at Cottar’s 1920s Safaris. Cottar’s 1920s Safaris is an award-winning luxury 1920s safari camp and private bush villa located in the famous ‘seventh’ natural wonder of the world, the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa.

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Comments (8)

  1. Jake says:

    Great idea not because of what’s happening now with travel restrictions, etc. But it’s also useful to have a way of avoiding touristy crowds. Getting a view of Africa from above is something I hadn’t really thought about. A change in perspective is often necessary to get through tough times.

    • Hey Jake

      Once the current situation changes and travel bans are all lifted, we will all likely need to get away to nature and gain some perspective.

      As long as you aren’t fearful of flying, this type of safari is an absolute thrill and something you will always remember.

      Take care!

  2. Claire Smith says:

    There really are advantages to flying. I’ve spent some dusty, gruelling and long hours in jolting vehicles getting to safari camps. Flying in would be a better use of scarce time.

  3. Jez says:

    You’ve got to think that flying over the millions of creatures taking part in the Great Migration would have to be the best way to see one of nature’s greatest shows. Surely the best seat in the house.

    • Hi Jez

      Front row seats to the greatest wildlife show on earth! Once you land, you can then also enjoy the more traditional view while on a game drive in the reserve. You get to enjoy the best of both.

      Take care!

  4. Saul Fletcher says:

    I think flying safaris take all the fun out of it. I mean, people visit safaris to experience the wildlife in person and to know what it’s like in their natural habitat. Tourists are supposed to feel the adrenaline pumping in their veins and to savour the thrill of seeing wild animals somewhat up close. Although, in these times it would be best to avoid getting contact with people, even with animals. Maybe it is a good idea to have a flying safari during this outbreak to avoid getting sick or having to spread sickness. However, it is best for now just to be safe. I would be very careful and picky in my travels.

    • Hey Saul

      We do certainly need to respect the travel bans and be mindful of our health and that of others at this time.

      A flying safari doesn’t cancel out your chance to get closer to wildlife on the ground. It allows you to see more and from different perspectives, and this includes a game drive.

      To be able to do both is a special experience.

      Take care!

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