Flying in Kenya
Due to the challenging nature of the flying, paperwork requirements and the scarcity of airplanes (and spare parts) in Kenya, it is extremely difficult for American pilots to rent planes in Kenya or fly themselves around the country. But there are still ways for pilots to get some flying time there and see both wildlife and the diverse Kenyan landscape from the air. Flying in Kenya is more expensive than in the United States (a Cessna 206 runs about $300 per hour, for example), but it can be an extraordinary experience that is well worth the investment. Below are a few companies to contact for more information.
Uncharted Outposts, International
There are several small, intimate lodges in Kenya that have their own airstrips and whose owners are not only avid pilots but also encourage visiting pilots to fly with them. Will Craig’s Lewa Downs guesthouse is one of these. Other locations include Rekero, in the Masai Mara, and Ol Donyo Wuas in the lush, green chyulu hills. Uncharted Outposts can set up packages that include meals and lodging, transportation to and from Nairobi and safari adventures both in the air and on the ground. For more information, visit: www.unchartedoutposts.com
Tropic Air is a charter company based in Nanyuki, Kenya, on the north slopes of Mount Kenya. While Tropic Air also provides point-to-point air transportation for visitors to Kenya, it’s an enthusiastic and flexible operation that is very happy to set up opportunities for visiting pilots to fly with Tropic Air pilots in the company’s Cessna 182 and 206. Pilots can fly direct to whatever lodges or guesthouses they want to visit, do some scenic touring of the wildlife and countryside or set up a combination of both. For more information, visit: www.tropicairkenya.com
Governor’s Family of Camps
The Governor’s Family of Camps runs Governor’s Camp, Loldia House and several other classic, beautiful lodgings where guests can revisit a time and place in Kenya when aviation was young. Most locations, including a small camp on Mfangano Island in Lake Victoria, have airstrips adjacent to them, so they can be easily reached by air (Tropic Air or Governor’s Camp can arrange transportation). Staff at each location can also arrange wildlife drives and other ground activities. For more information, visit: www.governorscamp.com