Over the years flying commercial in the States has become a tiresome job. The labor of buying three ounce bottles for liquids, paying extra fees for checked bags, strip searches to go through security, figuring out where to park, getting dropped off or taking a train and/or bus to the airport has become quite cumbersome. Today, I had the chance to fly private and kicker is I’m going to Kruger Park for safari!
Federal Air, operating from Johannesburg International Airport would make this journey a seamless event. The check in counter resembled a hotel’s front desk. The waiting area had a guesthouse atmosphere with its leather sofas, chairs and complimentary sandwiches and drinks to enjoy before take off. Did I mention I didn’t have strip to go through security!
The ride in our 16 seat bird was pretty smooth at 15,000 feet hovering just above the clouds. We would land at Skukuza, a Sabi Sans airstrip and change planes to our final destination Singita. It was cool experience fly on two different planes. The second bird was smaller and exclusive to my group. Flying on the second leg, 10 seat bird, produced greater build up flying at a lower altitude that gave a birds eye views of the land. As we descended I saw an elephant drinking water and the Jurassic Park theme music keep playing in my head. I was moments away from planting my two feet in the bush and having a childhood dream come true!
The landing strip was a simple dirt road and the Federal Air pilot nailed the landing with ease. The entire Federal Air voyage was quick, surreal and first class; can’t wait to fly them again! Upon arrival we were greeted with a tasty welcome snack table filled with dried fruits, snacks drinks and a refreshing chilled towel. After the van was loaded with our luggage we were off to our final destination Singita Lebombo!!!!
Photo credit: Uncle Dave