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On Safari in Tanzania: Hopping Around by Cessna

Where: Tanzania
March 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM | by | Comment (1)

The reasons we could give for making a trip out to Tanzania are almost too many to count: the staggering beauty of the landscape, the vastness of the sky, the richness of the wildlife, and the friendliness of the people are just a few.

Given the country’s size, if you’re planning on covering major distances in a short space of time, or wanting to see different parts of the country (the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Selous, Zanzibar), you’ll have to resort to flying to get from A to B at one point or another.

Rather than a practical necessity you have to deal with, we’d almost urge you to find a way to fit one leg by air into your itinerary, as it’s bound to be from dirt strip to dirt strip by small Cessna aircraft, like the Cessna C208B Grand Caravan above; a totally different – and pretty cool – flight experience.

Without the pressurized cabin found in a normal airliner, you’ll fly at relatively low altitude, giving you a bird’s eye view of the wilderness, Out of Africa-style.

Seating only a dozen passengers, you can get a view not just out the side windows, but straight ahead too, watching the pilot line up to the runway (in the above shot of actual tarmac at Dar Es Salaam, the business capital).

Being this close, you can let out the avgeek in you and study the wizzy instruments in the cockpit.

Take-off and landing is much more of a sensory experience, and rather than control tower giving you the all-clear, you may just have to wait for the herd of elephants to clear the runway.

These kind of dirt strip to dirt strip flights run on a schedule, but there can be surprise changes on the day; you’ll likely be advised to pre-pack the evening before departure from your safari lodge so that you can be ready within ten minutes’ notice. It happened to us more than once that we were enjoying breakfast with still a few hours to go before scheduled departure time, and the lodge was radioed to get us over to the airstrip but quick for an earlier take-off.

Some airlines have online booking engines for you to book your own trip, but a knowledgeable travel agent can be handy when trying to decide which areas to visit within the time frame you have, and which services will suit best.

[Photos: JasonD]

Comment (1)

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Tanzania is the best safariland in the world

I completely agree with you, Tanzania is like no other place on earth, and you have the possibility to experience so many different animals, a very impressive country. I have only been on safari on land, and was wondering if there is a huge difference to see the landscpae and animals from the sky or? Really enjoyed your article, and happy that there is other Tanzania enthusiast besides me out there.

Best regards

Sonja Hansen
Consultant
<a href="http://safaritanzania.dk/">http://safaritanzania.dk/</a>

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