In 2014 I flew with a friend in a Piper Archer II single-engine aircraft from The Netherlands via the African west coast to South Africa and back home again via eastern Africa and the Middle East. A travel blog of this trip can be found on www.acrossafricachallenge.com.
Once we arrived in South Africa, I was introduced to a family that owned a family lodge in the Timbavati area just west of Kruger National Park. The land has open connections with this National Park so animals can go in and out freely.
By now, the family lodge has been made commercial, but the picture above is still the old style lodge. A central area (boma) was a place where you could get together to relax after having been on an early morning or late afternoon game drive.
The boma is the area where you get together in the evening after the afternoon safari drive as well to enjoy a South African Braai or BBQ together. We have good memories of this place overlooking the dry riverbed below the tree you see at the other end of the boma and where the fence is seen low.
The rondavels were equipped with a private bathroom and one or two bedrooms. The shower was outside, but if you look good you can see the smoke coming out of the chimney so the water was heated.
Flying in southern Africa
From flying through Africa and several times revisiting the southern part of Africa to fly in that area with friends, the idea was born to share my experiences and to write a book, which was published at Amazon.com called “Crossing Boundaries.” After that, it was not a very big step to start organising self-fly safaris for pilots from Europe and the US.
Above you see a picture taken of the lodge jeep on a bush airstrip in the Kruger area.
The rich wildlife is right there in Africa and you can experience it in a way you normally cannot experience it when you just visit one area or when you drive around.
P.S. I am still involved in organising flying trips to South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. If you are interested, have a look at the African Flying Adventures website.