Helicopter Flights Over AfricaWhirlywinging over Africa’s Gorgeous Landscapes
Helicoptering is an increasingly popular—and immensely fun—safari option, available in many Micato destinations. When you talk with our safari experts, they’ll fill you in on helicopter possibilities almost as vast as Africa’s limitless skies. Rare opportunities to experience places fully appreciated only from those skies, to picnic on remote mountainsides, to look down at bomas and massive crocodiles weaving through watercourses and elephant clans pacing “as if they had an appointment at the end of the world,” as Isak Dinesen wrote. Africa’s landscapes always tell a story, and it’s an exhilarating one.
Here are some sample helicopter jaunts (and be sure to scroll down to the last, and most unusual of them all):
- The famed Flight of Angels over the world’s most astonishing and grandest cataract, Victoria Falls. The flight takes its name from something David Livingstone—the first, albeit earthbound Westerner to see the Falls—wrote in 1855: “A scene so lovely [it] must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” As we angelically helicopter over the falls, we’re treated to tectonically exciting views of one of Earth’s natural masterpieces. (We’re fond of saying that Victoria Falls is more than the world’s most magnificent waterfall…it’s one of the world’s most magnificent anythings.)
- The broad and lush lower slopes of Mount Kenya are watered by streams flowing down from the majestic peak’s 17,000-foot, glaciated heights. Those streams—and beautiful, 9,400-foot Lake Alice—were stocked decades ago with big rainbow trout, making a helicopter sojourn to the mountain an angler’s dream. And if you’re not a fisher, just taking guided walks in this ecologically and scenically unique place will be supermemorable.
- One of our most popular and revelatory helicopter excursions: wafting over the wild Cape Peninsula and its sparkling cynosure, Cape Town itself. Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautifully and interestingly placed cities; flying over it fully reveals that sublime placement in all its intricacy. And half a millennium ago Sir Francis Drake called the imposing southern tip of the Cape Region “the most stately thing and the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.” (That fair Cape, the Cape of Good Hope, a mere 31 miles south of the city, was for centuries a pivot around much of world history revolved.)
- Soaring over, and landing in Kenya’s Northern Frontier engages us with details huge, small, and amazing. Spindly Lake Turkana, the Jade Sea, one of the great Rift Lakes that mark the beginnings of a new ocean; architecturally wondrous, air-conditioned termite mounds twenty feet tall, built by creatures a third of an inch long; Turkana tribespeople, walking north, as their and our ancestors did a few hundred thousand years ago; a horizon that seems to stretch beyond time and space. An eye-popping geologic, biologic, and scenically stupendous helicopter excursion.
- We lift off from any one of a number of camps and lodges to the upper slopes of the Laikipia Plateau’s Ol Donyo (“large mountain”) Lolgurugi, for vast views of the classic game lands below, and to the south, talismanic Mount Kenya and the 13,000-foot Abedares. Quite a place to enjoy a sumptuous picnic in the bright air of the African highlands that Isak Dinesen wrote “went to my head like wine…I was all the time slightly drunk with it.”
- The Blyde River Canyon—one of the planet’s most dramatic—cuts through South Africa’s epic Drakensberg Escarpment. Its name comes from the Dutch, for “glad” or “happy,” which—albeit inadvertently— points to the fact that in addition to its theatricality, the canyon is probably the greenest of all the world’s great trenches, which makes helicoptering over it—and landing for a nosh on a pinnacle overlooking exuberant waterfalls and sheer cliffs—a particularly uncommon and uplifting experience.
- Helicopter flights from one camp, lodge, or private villa to another. We normally use fixed-wing bush flights on these transfers, and they are invariably scenic, but helicopters are ultra-convenient and equally fun.
- Helicoptering down from the world’s most extreme golf hole (a fanciful, 400-yard par three) after teeing off from South Africa’s Legend Golf and Safari Club’s 19th hole, set atop spindly Hanglip Mountain, 1,200 feet above the Africa-shaped green far, far below. It’s a short flight, probably far shorter than the time it will take to find out if one of your six shots is a tredecuple or a unvigintuple bogey.
Pricing is available on request.