Simon Ball of Scenic Air Safaris, recently talked to us about what they have been up to in 2013 and what makes the experience of an air safari more memorable.
“The last six months of 2013 saw us fully integrate our Northern Circuit – Wings over the Great Rift Valley, an 8 day guided trip over some of the most beautiful places in Africa,” he said, in an email to Kenya Geographic.
Scenic Air Safaris runs guided air tours to some of Kenya’s finest tourist locations. They also run executive charters around East Africa.
“With locations in Laikipia, Loisaba, Chui Lodge in the Rift Valley overlooking Lake Naivasha and also at Karen Blixen Camp in the Mara, we treat our guests to exceptional scenic flying over areas not normally observed at such close quarters,” he added. The bird’s eye view of some of these locations can be an unforgettable experience you can never have by road.
Sadly, he tells us, a bush fire at Loisaba Lodge in November brought this stunning area to its demise causing severe damage to the Lodge and the Private House. As a result, the lodge remains closed until further notice.
“Very fortunately,” he adds, “we have been able to rearrange this Northern circuit by including the outstanding Joy’s Camp in Shaba, in place of Loisaba.” This 10-bedroom luxury camp is an oasis in this hauntingly beautiful northern frontier district. There is a natural spring and waterhole frequented by big game.
“Our Southern circuit – the Out of Africa trip – has continued to impress guests with stays at Karen Blixen, Mara – Satao Elerai, Amboseli – Severin Safari Camp in Tsavo West and Satao Camp in Tsavo East,” he indicates.
Scenic Air Safaris regularly organise low-level flights to provide guests with magnificent views of the millions of Flamingos on Lake Natron in the very heart of the Rift Valley as the luxury Cessna traverses from the Mara along the Tanzania border to Amboseli with its elephants and the snow-capped Massif of Kilimanjaro. “The views up there are like nothing you have experienced,” he says.
“Guests who booked on our weekly trips were escorted by a professional guide on board throughout each trip as well as our experienced bush pilots. Those who did the Out of Africa 8 day trip the last half of 2013, were also treated to fabulous interior room renovations in all tents at Satao Camp – once again raising the bar for superior bush stays,” he remembers.
The private charters start either from Wilson Airport in Nairobi or from Scenic Air Safaris’ base at Vipingo on the Kenya Coast. From either of the 2 locations, guests are flown in stylish comfort, not just around Kenya but to several far-flung locations in East and Southern Africa.
Simon also mentions that during the last 6 months their Charter flights included trips to Rwanda and the Mahale Mountains in Western Tanzania and down to the beautiful Qurimbas Island archipelago in Northern Mozambique.
“With two Cessna Grand Caravans and a smaller Cessna 206 at the coast, we are perfectly positioned to offer professional charter services at competitive rates to all corners of East and Central Southern Africa,” he concludes.
Comparing a road safari to air tours, which ones have you found more interesting?