An Air Safari is an unforgettable guided, self-fly adventure vacation. Up to 8 aircraft, flown by you and your fellow tour members, follow a pre-planned route with some great sightseeing along the way. As PIC, you choose the altitude at which you wish to fly and if you wish to make a minor diversion, that’s fine too. The entire group is supported by a Lead Pilot, a local CPL, and a Tour Director flying together in a lead plane. The Lead Pilot is responsible for the aviation aspects of the trip, and the Tour Director for the ground portion. Hotels, meals, ground tours and all logistics are taken care of so that you can relax and focus on enjoying the vacation of a lifetime.
The price of your Air Safari includes:
- Guidance and assistance in obtaining the necessary licence and clearances
- Accommodations and meals (a few meal exceptions are indicated in the itinerary)
- Ground tours and events as described in the itinerary
- Transportation to and from airports, hotels, and events
- C172 or equivalent as dry rental for the flying time as per the Flight Plan. Please note that avgas is not included.
- Standard check ride (1)
- ATC, landing and parking fees
- Tour Director and CPL Lead Pilot support
- Flight materials as needed (charts, airfield directory etc.)
- Waypoints for GPS navigation.
- Loan of emergency survival kit
- Airplane kits including tie-downs, windscreen cleaner, rags, oil, etc.
- For more detailed information on inclusions and exclusions, contact us
One of the unique aspects of our air safari vacations is that while we do log quite a bit of flight time, we also spend enough time on the ground to get a real appreciation of the people and the country.
A typical flying day starts with wheels up about 9:00am. After 2 ½ hours of flying we stop for a lunch, re-fuel and have a leg stretch. We then fly for another 2 1/2 hours to arrive at our overnight destination. We are usually in the hotel no later than mid-afternoon, which gives you time to settle in before joining the tours and events that we have scheduled.
In Europe the days tend to be single legs only, due to the shorter distances.
Unlike other flying trips you may have taken, we frequently have non-flying days so you can relax and spend more time enjoying the local points of interest. We’ve been told by many clients that not only do they like the chance to rest a bit, but the non-flying days spent on the ground greatly deepens their experience, understanding and appreciation for the country being visited.
Unfortunately bad weather can happen. If we are delayed, the action taken will depend upon a number of factors, but our goal will be to provide at least a comparable experience to the one planned. Fortunately our Lead Pilot, Tour Director and participants are creative and adventuresome, and some weather adjustments have turned into trip highlights! While we will make every effort to mitigate any extra costs arising from weather delays, some additional costs may have to be borne by the tour participants.
Each plane typically has 2 tour participants, one of whom is a pilot. If both are pilots they can share the flying as they wish.
For non-pilots, we have a number of options to consider, so please contact us to find out more.
If you want to have 3 or 4 in the same plane, we can arrange that too! Just let us know and we’ll provide you with aircraft and price information.
Definitely not! Our tours are ideal for anyone with a sense of adventure who enjoys getting off the beaten path and seeing the country from a unique perspective. The pacing of each tour has been established with the non-pilot in mind, and the ground tours and events have been selected to provide an amazing, possibly even life-changing, experience that is appreciated by everyone.
What if both you and your fellow travellers are non-pilots? No worries, we’ll provide you with your own pilot! Please contact us so that we can explain the options that are available.
It’s not a problem as we have a variety of options for you.
For example, we can match you up with another participant who is also travelling alone. Air Safari participants tend to be like-minded adventurers, so don’t be surprised if you and your flying partner become lifelong friends or vacation buddies!
Prior to departure from home, we can put you in touch with your new travel companion if you would like.
If you wish to fly alone or have your own room, please contact us to find out the additional costs for this arrangement.
Our standard aircraft is a C172 or equivalent. If you want to fly something other than a C172, just ask and we will do our best to find the type of plane that you want. Please note that an additional charge may apply.
The aircraft come from flight training organizations and private individuals. Most have a traditional 6-pack panel with a panel-mounted GPS. Some aircraft do have glass panels – please let us know if you would prefer this option.
A current PPL and medical is all that is legally needed. Both must have expiry dates after the last day of the tour.
Prior to the start of the tour, you will need have to pass a standard check ride on the aircraft you will be flying.
You will need a BFR or equivalent in your log book that is less than 24 months old. Additionally, if you don’t regularly fly the type of aircraft you will be flying on tour, you are strongly encouraged to get a logged checkout on the same type at home. Both of these recommendations will help ensure that you will only be required to do a basic check ride and not a full flight review.
If you are the sole pilot of the aircraft you will be flying, we recommend a minimum of 250 hours, ideally 500+.
As part of your trip preparation please be comfortable with short-field takeoffs and landings, non-towered airport procedures as well as landings and take-offs on grass and dirt strips.
As mentioned above, some cross country experience will enhance your enjoyment of the trip.
Regardless of your level of experience, please ensure that you are familiar with the type of aircraft you are going to fly. For experienced pilots this may require a few hours at home flying an aircraft that you haven’t flown for years.
Please note that it is your responsibility to do whatever training you require to be able to pass the check ride.
You are also encouraged to spend a little time refreshing your ground-to-map skills, short-field takeoffs and landings, non-towered airport procedures and landings and takeoffs on dirt and grass strips.
Because our tours are led and supported by an experienced local CPL and because we only fly under Day VFR conditions, even low-hour pilots can manage quite well. However, we do recommend that you take some extended cross country flights prior to arriving in country. While on tour there may be days where you have to fly up to 3 hours before lunch and another 3 hours after lunch before landing at an unfamiliar airport. If you have done this a few times at home, then you will be better prepared for it on tour. If you are the sole pilot, then we do recommend at least 250 hours of PIC time, ideally 500+.
Our Lead Pilots are independent CPLs contracted by Air Safaris on a tour by tour basis. They are based in the region where the tour is operating and are familiar with flying in the region.
The Lead Pilot is there to take on as much of the aviation workload as possible so that you can focus on the actual flying as well as sightseeing and exploring. For example, when you arrive for breakfast the Lead Pilot will already have checked the weather, prepared and submitted a flight plan and will give you a printed copy of the flight plan for your aircraft. He or she will also give you a briefing on the day’s flight. Then, after takeoff, the lead pilot is available to provide in-air assistance if requested.
If there are any equipment problems, they will be addressed by the Lead Pilot and the Tour Director while you relax.
If the weather is marginal, the Lead Pilot also has the final word on a “no-go” decision.
Unless you are advised otherwise, you can assume that your aircraft has a panel mounted GPS.
However, tablet-mounted nav apps are used throughout any of our trips so you will need to come with a tablet (preferably an iPad for compatibility) with the appropriate nav app pre-loaded. You will be told ahead of time which nav app is required for the trip, as it varies depending upon the region.
The answer to that depends on where we are flying of course. But since we are often flying in less populated areas Navaids can be few and far between. This situation is particularly common on the Australia trips.
For your trip you are expected to bring a tablet (iPad preferred) with the appropriate nav app pre-loaded. In addition you will have a panel-mounted GPS and you will be provided with a complete set of paper charts and airport information.
Please bring your own headset. If this will be a problem, please send us an email and we will try to make some arrangements for you.
Not much if you don’t want to. We generally do not expect aircraft to maintain visual contact throughout the flight.
As PIC you pick your cruise altitude and make deviations from the flight plan as you wish. However since all pilots are responsible for maintaining separation, it is important that you communicate any deviations from the plan that you wish to make so that everyone knows where you are and when you will arrive at the next waypoint.
If we do happen to have a day with less-than-ideal weather or a flight in an extremely remote area or in challenging conditions, the Lead Pilot may, in the interests of safety, make some suggestions and recommendations with regard to flying arrangements.
Yes – we will make every effort to accommodate these types of requests. If you wish to fly on a non-flying day, or if you wish to do a significant diversion from the planned route, please discuss it with the Lead Pilot ahead of time. He or she will go over the route with you to help avoid any unpleasant surprises. Please note that there will be an extra charge for this flying if your total time exceeds the budgeted hours for the trip.
The aircraft are insured under the owner’s policy. You will be liable for the deductible portion in the event of damage due to pilot-error. You may be asked to sign a form to this effect. If the plane is provided by a flying club, you may be required to become a member of that club to ensure that you are covered by the club insurance. This fee will be paid by Air Safaris International.
We recommend that you purchase appropriate personal medical and travel insurance. This is a good practice whenever traveling internationally.
It is important to travel light as you will be flying a single engine aircraft, sometimes over long distances with full fuel on takeoff. You may also be carrying an emergency kit which, on some trips, can add significant weight. Because of the variety of trips offered and the different dates, please contact us for more specific details.
If you have extra luggage with you, that you do not need on the tour itself, we can arrange for these extra items to be stored at the aeroclub until you return.
Each country we fly in has different requirements. We will guide you through the process and do follow-up as necessary to ensure that all your paperwork is in order.
You will be required to pass a check ride before being cleared to fly as pilot in command.
The tour schedule does not allow for re-training prior to launch. You are responsible for doing whatever preparation is needed to be able to pass a standard check ride of typically 1 to 2 hours.
To help ensure that only a standard check ride is needed and not a full flight review, you will need to have a BFR or flight test in your log book less than 24 months old. You are also encouraged to complete a check ride at home in a model similar to what you will fly on tour.
Unless advised otherwise, please bring your original logbook with the check ride entries, not a photocopy. Electronic logbooks are, however, generally acceptable. If in doubt, contact Air Safaris International.