Flying in South Africa

Flying.

There are loads of interesting flying opportunities to be had on a South African holiday, ranging from a quick scenic glider flight or a hot air balloon trip to an aerobatic flip or a supersonic dash in an ex military jet. Also, South Africa is a wonderful place to learn to fly - there are a number of dedicated flying schools, and the favourable exchange rate at the moment makes it very affordable. In many cases, your clients could fly to South Africa (as a passenger), do a full time course and finish up with a game-viewing or a beach holiday and spend about as much as they would just doing the course at home.

South Africa's sunny climate makes it an ideal destination for the flying enthusiast. Throughout most of the country rainfall is mainly concentrated between the months of October and March while in the Cape region 80% of rainfall occurs between June and August, so for the majority of the year conditions are ideal for private pilots. Clear blue skies means the visibility is excellent, affording great views of the beautiful landscapes below. Take to the skies to explore the great South African rugged mountains, wooded hills, vast farmlands, arid desert and thick bushveld as well as its scenic coastal regions.

Under South African aviation regulations, banking is only permitted after an altitude of 400ft is reached. Minimum altitude for flying over airports is 2,000 feet and for flying over open country, including National Parks, is 500 feet - so you can have great views of the flora and fauna below. Before being allowed to fly in South Africa, the Civil Aviation Authority requires that your Private Pilot's Licence be validated, a procedure involving a written test and a practical navigation flight.

One could also charter a plane - the classic South African circuit sets off from Johannesburg and covers Pretoria, Kruger National Park, Durban, Port Alfred, Oudtshoorn, Cape Town and back to Johannesburg. In addition to the pleasures of flying it offers the chance to see wildlife, whales, dolphins ostrich farms and one of the world's most beautiful cities - Cape Town. It is a quick way of seeing the whole country on South African holiday - but private aircraft can also be used to explore specific areas of South Africa or indeed, neighbouring countries in Southern Africa.

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