Safari 2018, Post #13 Safari Air

by david on July 14, 2019

Once inside the very small Kasane airport, we found the Safari Air desk with no trouble.  The porter then came and checked in our bags for the flight and took the rest of our luggage into storage for the duration of our stay at Savute.  Lastly, he handed us our tickets for the flight and all we had to do was wait for the boarding call. When it was time to board, I headed to what I thought would be general aviation.  Silly me. It was a full-on security check with x-ray and metal detectors. Normally no problem, but since I had general aviation on the brain I was still wearing my Gerber multi-tool on my belt.  I have lost one of these before due to bone headedness and did not want to lose another. Not only were they somewhat expensive, but I still had almost three weeks in Africa and I did not want to be without my most versatile piece of gear.  I did a quick about-face and found the porter that helped check us in. I explained my mistake and asked him to please put it into my checked bag and pointed it out to him as it was still sitting on the tarmac. He was kind enough to agree to do so and I headed back to and through security.

It was not much of a wait until we headed out onto the tarmac ourselves and climbed aboard the Cessna Caravan.  The 12-seat aircraft was tight, to say the least, but we all managed get aboard and buckle in. Now for the interesting part.  The captain stuck his head into the aircraft asked, who’s Leatherman? Then held up my multi-tool. Rather than put it in the luggage, the porter gave it to the captain, and he gave it right back to me.  Nice to see some places still use a little common sense when it comes to security. It was hotter than southern Hades in the aircraft, even with the doors open. The September sun soaked into the black tarmac and quickly turned it into one large stove top.  Thank goodness the pilot got us in the air and winging our way towards Savute within minutes of boarding. The plane’s A/C did not work without the engine running at speed and the relief it provided was very welcome. The flight was about 35 minutes and was smooth as silk. Both of those combined to make my wife very happy.  She does not mind flying in the big jets but really does not like small planes at all. We approached the runway and made one pass as a safari vehicle drove down it. I found out later that the purpose of the quick trip down the runway was to make sure it was free of game animals while the plane was landing. Not something we think of too often here in the states.  One bounce later, we pulled over at the end of the runway and disembarked.

One side note here:  The Cessna is a turbo-prop plane and only has a limited number of times it can be started before it requires refurbishing or repair.  For that reason, it did not shut down while we got off and our luggage was unloaded. It was noisy but not really any trouble at all.

 

Safari Air Cessna Caravan Safari Air Cessna Caravan

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