in an activity which uses microlights, also known as ultra-lights, for short scenic flights over an area which is rich in wildlife with the specific intention of viewing animals.
A microlight is a very small aircraft which is usually comprised of a triangular cloth wing under which the pilot and a single passenger are seated, with a small rotary engine in behind.
In our opinion this is one of the very best safari experiences in Africa and we find it remarkable that it is so rarely offered.
Over the years there have been several microlight safari operations in various areas, but they tend to be quite short-lived ventures, partly because they tend not to be very profitable, but more commonly because the park authorities have closed them down due to the noise nuisance.
It has to be said that flying in a microlight is also a potentially hazardous activity, so concerns over safety and the ability of travellers to get suitable insurance has also been an issue.
The best microlight safaris are operated out of the superb Tafika Camp
in the South Luangwa area of Zambia, where your pilot is, more often than not, none other than camp owner and safari legend John Coppinger. Check the slideshow page for the camp. The only downside is that this is a relatively pricey camp and you do have to stay there to be able to go up in the microlight.
It is also possible to do microlight safaris in the Kruger area of South Africa, notably out of Garonga Safari Camp
and Little Garonga
Microlight flights are also offered over the Victoria Falls in the Livingstone
area of southern Zambia, where there is a good chance of seeing elephants and hippos as well.