No Turning Back
I am down to my last 8 hours before this adventure truly begins. It has been a long road getting to this point and I am sure all of the hard work will pay off, on this flying Safari. I was successful in obtaining my Kenyan Validation, I can officially fly Kenyan registered airplanes for the next year. It was not as easy of a process as I thought it would be and I had to take an English Proficiency test, even though that is the only language I speak, but it’s done. Tomorrow we fly.
Tomorrows flight takes us from Campi Ya Kanzi in the Chyulu Hills to Mombasa where we will clear customs out of Kenya, a leg of 128 nautical miles. From there we fly to Dar Es Salaam to clear customs into and out of Tanzania, a leg of 172 nautical miles. We are continuing on to Mzuzu to clear customs into Malawi, a leg of 412 nautical miles. Then one more leg to reach our destination of Likoma Island Malawi, a leg of just 57 nautical miles. The day is scheduled for a 5am breakfast and briefing, a 30 minute safari to the airport and then wheels up at 6:15am. We have 768 nautical miles and 3 countries to cover in one day.
Flying in Kenya
I have learned a few things since I started flying in Kenya. First, they love paperwork here. You have to file a flight plan for everything and you have to go to the tower to do it. Flying from one airport to another you need to have a passenger manifest. Want to pay for something at a government office??? Take these two pieces of paper, pay that guy over there with some paper, bring back a stamped piece of paper. Next I learned that with every piece of paper comes a fee. Landing fee, parking fee, airspace fee, flight plan fee, etc….. Finally I learned that Kenya is a stunningly beautiful place to fly. 100 miles to the left you see open space, 100 miles to the right you see open space, 100 miles in front you see open space. And much of this open space is filled with wildlife galore. On the one hour flight from Nairobi to Kenya, I saw Zebras, Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Giraffe, Gazelles, Impalas and many other animals I don’t remember the names of. I don’t think all of the paperwork is efficient, nor do I believe it helps the local community, but I do believe it is all worth it.
I am excited to get up in the morning to see some more of this huge continent.