are usually short scenic flights over areas which are rich in wildlife which have the specific intention of viewing animals. But they can also be short flights which are primarily interested in viewing landscape rather than animals.
Helicopters are particularly useful for accessing locations which cannot otherwise be reached, so really can get you beyond the range of the vast majority of other people.
Many people have a natural aversion to the use of helicopters in wildlife areas. In the majority of cases we would rather not see them deployed, especially where pilots swoop low and disturb the peace, both for other visitors and, of course, for the animals themselves.
However there are times when helicopters can be legitimately deployed, especially when accessing camps which have become temporarily inaccessible by other means due to seasonal floods.
Outside wildlife areas, helicopters can be used to explore remote desert and mountain scenery without disturbing the peace for anyone on the ground, so the ethical considerations are reduced to the cost and fuel consumption.
The only place we know where helicopters are used as the standard mode of transfers is on the Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park
in western Zambia, where the floodwaters make it otherwise impossible to get between camps.
In Botswana, there is often a helicopter based in the Linyanti Chobe Enclave
area in order to make the long transfers between the camps and the airstrip less painful, but also providing the chance for some superb scenic flying.
Helicopters are also commonly used for scenic flying in Central Kenya
, from where they can access the lower slopes of Mount Kenya
and remote areas to the north.
Short scenic helicopter rides are available in a number of town locations, most notably Cape Town
, from where you can view Table Mountain and even go as far as the Cape of Good Hope
Short flights are also available at Livingstone
in southern Zambia for scenic excursions over the Victoria Falls.