Last month I had the opportunity to fly several clients through South Africa from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park, then via KwaZulu-Natal and the Wild Coast to The Karoo.
The Karoo is a semi-desert natural region of South Africa. There is no exact definition of what constitutes the Karoo. The Karoo has low rainfall, arid air, mostly cloudless skies, and extremes of heat and cold. It is situated in between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Our flight into The Karoo started earlier with a safari in Kruger National Park and a visit to Kwasizabantu in KwaZulu-Natal. That visit was special as my mother was there and I got to visit her there in Africa instead of visiting her in her home in Soest, The Netherlands.
In the video you see my arrival in the Cessna 206 at Kwasizabantu Airfield, which is situated about 100 km inland from Durban, South Africa. It is my mother that starts to walk to the aircraft right after we landed. It was great to meet her there.
Our Cessna 206 parked at the airfield and welcomed by some locals.
Getting fuel at Kwasizabantu Airfield, just north of Durban.
After departing early in the morning from Kwasizabantu Airfield, we flew towards the coast just north of Durban to then follow the coastline south-bound towards East-London. While following the coastline, we were treated with waterfalls, whales in the ocean and a great view of the coastline.
The Wild Coast of South Africa.
The weather was not the best along the coastline. The clouds were hanging at around 700 feet altitude with some parts lower clouds forcing us down to fly even lower over the sea.
After a good meal and fuel at Port East-London Airport, we set course inland towards the desert of The Karoo. We had to do a cloud break over the sea to climb on top. Reports indicated that our destination was clear sky!
We got permission to land at a farm strip that belongs to Neusberg Boerdery (Neusberg Farm). We made it just in time before dark. Just still had to drive next door to the cottage where we were staying, which took us about 45 minutes! A lot of empty space there in The Karoo.
Cessna 206 parked at Neusberg Boerdery in The Karoo.
View of the area just south of Middleburg (Cape).
In 2015 I created my first 360 degrees video and posted it here on my blog. This time, I have created one again and that while flying in The Karoo from Neusberg Boerdery to Graaff-Reinet. The reason was to get fuel for our Cessna 206 to be able to fly back home towards Johannesburg. Being so remote, we could not make it to the next fuel stop with the fuel on board, so we had to get some fuel from Graaff-Reinet, which was a flight of about 30 minutes.
The 360 video does not work for everyone and in every browser. Here it is. Enjoy the ride and notice the change in landscape while we fly through the Karoo. Great scenery. We had some trouble starting the engine and started with an external 24V jump starter. You probably would not notice it if I did not tell you, but right after starting the engine, you can see someone walking away from the aircraft on the other side of the aircraft. He was operating the lithium 24V jump starter. Without that jumpstarter we would have been stuck there in the Karoo for longer.
Move and drag your mouse around to change your view on this flight.
The cottage was situated far and away from any neighbour. All you could hear was the wind. Nothing else. There was enough to do for the guests as they selected this place because they wanted to do astrophotography. I did get an opportunity to try taking a picture of the Milky Way with my normal camera as well. The lens was open for 30 seconds and I used a fish-eye lens. The dark part at the bottom of the picture is a layer of clouds.
The guys I was flying around did a better job of the same Milky Way. See the below picture taken by one of the guests.