Getting the lowdown with Philip
Why flight hopping is the only way to do a safari in 2019
It may be a way of safariing that you’d previously ruled out for being exclusive to the rich and famous, but in 2019 we think that everyone deserves a spot of that VIP treatment. You only live once, right? Which is exactly why our East Africa expert, Phillip Adams, is bringing you all the facts about why a flying safari is the hottest way to travel this year.
Over to Philip…
“So, why do a flying safari?”, you ask. Well it’s a good question, because there are plenty more upsides than the obvious glitz and glamour that comes hand in hand with the mere mention of boarding a light aircraft. I, for one, am fully sold.
The scenic route
These flights – yep flights, plural – are an experience. And you’ll probably know by now how much we love an experience at Meraki Travel. Providing all the sweeping views of the African Savannah’s rolling grasslands that you’ve ever dreamt of, it’s impossible to express just how special flight hopping is with mere words. Which is precisely why I’ve got pictures to back up my claims. Travel during the Great Wildebeest Migration and your chance of seeing one of earth’s greatest phenomenons increases tenfold from the air. And if you don’t happen to spot wildebeest at large, as the age old saying goes, there’s plenty more fish in the sea. Well, in this case I mean big game, but you catch my drift.
And it’s not just the wildlife that you’ll be gawping at on these transfers. The landscapes provide the wow factor too. One of the best has to be looking out over Tanzania’s Lake Manyara – its flamingo speckled scenery makes for quite the aerial view.
All the thrills
It really doesn’t get much more exciting than boarding a small plane. Duffle bag in hand, sunglasses on and camera poised at the ready – you’ll very quickly pick up how to play the part. And yes, light aircrafts are designed to take off and land on small dirt strips, so they’re not going to be the smoothest of rides, but if anything that just makes the whole thing more authentic. Not to mention the fact that there’s rarely such a thing as a cockpit on these planes. Which means you’ll be flying with the pilot. Pretty cool.
Wave goodbye to lengthy transfer times
Forget the bumpy overland transfers, a flying safari will get you from camp to camp in a fraction of the time. Which means more time to kick back, relax and enjoy each respective destination.
More of the good stuff (game drives)
Heading off on a flying safari wouldn’t be quite so special if it didn’t come with all the VIP privileges now would it. Thanks to shorter transfer times and special packs arranged by each lodge, in many instances you’ll be off on two game drives a day rather than the standard one. And as you’ll be using the lodges’ own vehicles, you’ll experience a safari from a variety of different 4x4’s – think everything from standard and sturdy to open-sided a.k.a photo op heaven. But I think that the best bit about these game drives, is that you’ll be out spotting the Big Five with guides that know the local area like the back of their hand, making the whole experience a bit less of a guessing game.
Unique activities just for you
Believe it or not, safaris are about more than just the game drives and with our flying safari packages you’ll often get the additional special experience thrown in. Think everything from local community visits and guided bush walks, to sundowners in the wilderness and night game drives.
You can only flight hop between our premium and luxury hotels, so wherever you rest your head, it’s guaranteed to be pretty sweet. If I had to pick (and I do), my favourite would have to be Satao Elerai Camp in Amboseli, Kenya. Not only would a flying safari mean avoiding the city traffic and long return transfer from Nairobi, but gliding your way to this premium camp means taking the ultimate scenic route – you may even see Mount Kilimanjaro! And once you’re there, the array of activities range from sundowners in front of Kili to a visit to Elerai Cultural Boma, which will all be packed in with enough time to spare for you to make the most of the camp’s snazzy infinity pool. It’s a special one.
All in all a flying safari really is a winner as far as once in a lifetime holidays go. And with the ability to see Kenya, Tanzania or even both in this way, it’s practically a no brainer. I’m a fan – can you tell?