Air Charters In Africa
Usually air charters in Africa are used to access remote hunting areas where road travel would take far too long or is just not possible.
Occasionally hunters will use air charters, preferring the convenience, speed and comfort, even in countries where there is good road infrastructure, like South Africa.
Air Charter Costs
- If an air charter is necessary for your hunt, it will be organised by the outfitter and either included in your overall hunt cost or itemised as an extra.
- The cost usually is based on the size of the aircraft necessary for the hunter(s) and the distance to be flown. The cost should be per aircraft not per passenger. Double check with your outfitter if you are given the air charter cost as per person.
- There are minimal surcharges for departure tax, navigation, safety and landing fees. These are charged per passenger and usually added to the hunt costs to avoid the inconvenience of payment at the airport.
- To reduce air charter costs, the outfitter may often run a 'schedule' of flights at regular intervals to match hunt lengths so an incoming hunter will tie in with an outgoing hunter. If your hunt dates don't fit this schedule or you decide to fly out early, it may be necessary to pay extra for a separate flight.
Air Charter Luggage Limitations
- It is important to travel as light as possible and use soft-sided luggage when you are going to be using an air charter.
- Decant your firearms into soft-sided gun cases for the flight. You can leave your big hard-sided gun case at your hotel (if you are returning there) or at the charter office.
- You may also leave any hard-sided suitcases at the hotel or charter office - transferring your hunting necessities into a soft bag.
- If there are especially big or bulky items (fishing rods, special camera equipment, etc.) that you need to take on board, it is important to give the charter company advance notice.
- It is also important that you inform your outfitter in advance, if your and/or others in your party, are above average weight and height. Despite everyone's best efforts, an extra large person may not fit the reserved aircraft size, so alternative arrangements will have to be made.
More About Air Charters In Africa
- At larger airports, charter flights usually depart from their own small terminal building where their office and waiting areas are located.
- When you arrive you are required to complete a form which is basically your name on the passenger list.
- Generally charter flights go when the aircraft is ready and the booked passengers are ready. There may be delays if an aircraft has a mechanical fault and a replacement has to be brought into service, if there is bad weather or has to wait for the camp supplies to arrive and be loaded.
- In the bush, your hunt team will have driven the airstrip to check it's condition and to shoo off any animals. They will then be waiting for the aircraft to land, to greet you and to help unload. The turn-round is pretty quick and everyone stays at the airstrip until the aircraft has taken off safely.
- Fresh camp supplies are usually flown in with the hunter in the same aircraft. Don't be surprised to be sharing your flight with a stack of egg trays or some lobsters.
- Air charters in Africa do not usually fly in the hours of darkness which is why hunters may need to overnight in the city before taking the charter flight the next morning. This really depends on the arrival time of your international flight.
- If you are at all prone to travel sickness, it is recommended to take some pills to prevent this, prior to departure. It can get quite turbulent at times in African skies.