Exploring on foot does the job well, but when you have a serious thirst for adventure, the conventional methods just will not do. How about exploring from above? View the rolling landscapes from the skies – a view that only the privileged few will be privy to. From flight-seeing to air safaris, enjoy the thrill and excitement that comes with it. Or if you have an adventurous spirit, there are flying activities to whet that appetite. Would you like to float in weightlessness, in a plane that dives in the skies? Or experience realistic air combat? Here are out top flying adventures:
Alaskas Ultima Thule Lodge (USA)www.ultimathulelodge.com
Discover the raw and remote region of Alaska – and step foot on parts of the wilderness that cannot be reached on foot. Alaska holds the largest protected wilderness on earth, but it also holds stretches of untouched lands that have remained largely kept away from human presence. The Wrangell Mountains are dangerous and challenging to navigate on foot, and the Chitina river is a complex weave of streams, currents and sandbars. These were once out of reach, at least by adventurers venturing on foot.
But the Claus family, who own and run Ultima Thule Lodge, have mastered the precise skills required to fly and land in these parts of the wilderness, bringing you into places that are beyond anyone’s imagination.
Flight-seeing and Air Safaris
A stay at the Ultima Thule Lodge includes the adventures that they are known for – there is simply no other way of experiencing the wild Alaskan breadth. See the natural beauty of the Wrangell-St. Elias national park with her abundant and vibrant wildlife. It is so inaccessible, the only way in is by air.
Ultima Thule Lodge also offers climbing charters, where you will be flown to the Wrangell and St. Elias Mountain Ranges for a climbing experience like no other. Skiers can arrange to fly to untouched slopes rich with backcountry powder that promises an extraordinary skiing experience. You can also follow mushers by air from Anchorage to Nome.
No adventure with Ultima Thule Lodge is the same. Every adventure is unique and planned by experienced experts with nature leading the way. The Claus family have, amongst them, the best bush pilots who know the land like the back of their hand. They also have a fleet of aircraft best-suited for flying into the Alaskan landscape.
Ultima Thule Lodge is resplendent with luxury, comfort and all the niceties in life. Nestled on a hillside amongst beautiful wildlife, it boasts 5 private cabins and modern amenities. Part of the wonderful experience at Ultima Thule Lodge is the food, made fresh with the bountiful produce found all around in the wilderness. Even the water is from freshly-melted glacier in the cistern.
Tropic Air (Kenya)www.tropicairkenya.com
A Bird’s Eye View of Africa
Tropic Air specialises in helicopter and fixed-wing safaris, where you can explore the width and breadth of the spectacular continent of Africa. These safaris bring you a view unlike any other, allowing you to experience the wildlife and landscape from the skies. From the jagged mountain ranges to deep valleys, to lush forests and vast deserts – view it all from a unique and unconventional perspective.
Adventures by Helicopter
Tropic Air uses helicopters that ensure comfort and safety, and offers excursions by helicopters to Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, the Congo and Namibia. These excursions can last a few days, for a comprehensive exploration, or for just a day in the Northern African area. Get up close to a myriad of animals, enjoy the scenic views and experience the exhilaration of it all. Stop for a picnic and drinks. Meet the local tribal people where possible and take a look into their lives and how they thrive in a harsh environment.
Tropic Air brings you to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda on their Cessna planes – aircraft that are known for their reliability, safety and comfort. A flying safari will stretch over a few days, and includes cultural visits to local tribal villages, visits to historical sites and lodging. Enjoy the spectacular views that can only be afforded by flying over the terrain, and follow wildlife across the massive plains.
Tropic Air pilots are deeply knowledgeable, and possess years of experience. They are also the flight’s tour guides, sharing with guests their view and observations of the land of Africa.
Air Combat (USA)www.aircombat.com
Be a Fighter Pilot for a Day
Have an exhilarating experience of a lifetime with Air Combat USA – the original civilian dogfighting school. This is no relaxing retreat, but an extreme retreat that will satisfy even the most hard-core of thrill-seekers.
Fly real military fighter planes and battle it out in the skies. Perform manoeuvres and take down your opponents. Each mission is designed to be as real as possible (except the bullets, of course!) and a patented electronic tracking system, complete with sound effects, will tell you when you have hit an opponent. There will even be smoke trailing from the hit aircraft. The realism is astounding, from the flying to the sights and sounds. It is truly an experience like no other.
You will be fitted with a flight suit, helmet, and a parachute, and your adventure begins with ground school. Learn tactical manoeuvres and the necessary skills required. Depending on the package chosen, you will get to learn how to do moves like ‘g-pulling’, ‘high and low yo-yo’s’, and gunsight tracking. Ground school will also cover the essentials like safety, understanding of the aircraft, and rules of engagement.
Top Notch Aircraft
Air Combat USA uses specially selected aircraft, like the Marchetti SF260, a high-performance aircraft that is capable of withstanding high G, and is fully aerobatic. The instructors are highly-trained with years of experience. They will guide you throughout your adventure, ensuring your safety and that your flight is filled with lots of fun.
All aircraft are fitted with high-end digital cameras that will capture your experience in the cockpit, perfect for reliving the thrilling exploits. Once the mission is completed, guest-pilots will return to home base for a post-flight debrief. There, videos of the mission will be played and the instructor pilots will talk you through what had just happened, and give tips and insights.
Different levels are available, and people of all ages and walks of life are welcome. If you have ever dreamed of flying a fighter plane, or are constantly looking challenges, or just want to have some serious fun, Air Combat USA will deliver the goods. Each mission is tailored according to level of ability, aggressiveness and experience. There are several phases available, from beginner to advanced. For a group combat experience there is the Top Gun Challenge package, where you and your nine friends will fly a mission in pairs.
Safety is paramount so you can be assured that all aircraft are maintained to the highest standards, and that the personnel are all comprehensively trained. No pilot’s license is necessary as you will be in the presence of licensed fighter pilots in the cockpit.
Air Combat USA experiences are available at various locations across the United States.
All aircraft are outfitted with high-end digital multi-camera systems to capture your fighter pilot experience. No pilot’s license is required for the guest.
Zero-G Experience (USA)
Float, Flip and Soar
Ever wondered what is like to be completely weightless, and to float and glide in the air? Ever wondered what it feels like to be an astronaut floating in space? Wonder no more. With the ZERO-G Experience ® you can find out exactly how it is like, without ever needing to leave Earth.
Forget wind tunnels that merely mimic the sensation of mid-air floating – this is the real deal. ZERO-G is the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless airline flights for the public. ZERO-G uses a specially modified Boeing 727, called the G-FORCE ONE, to create a state of weightlessness that is equivalent to what an astronaut experiences. Specially-trained pilots perform aerobatic maneuvers known as parabolas, and the result is true weightlessness and the amazing ability to float, hover and glide in the air.
An Incredible, All-Round Experience
The ZERO-G Experience ® begins with a pre-flight orientation, where you will find out all that you will need to know before the journey to weightlessness begins. You will also have your questions covered by the Team Coaches, so you can step into your adventure with confidence. After boarding the plane, and once the appropriate altitude has been reached, let the sense of wonder and excitement take over as you find yourself floating like a feather in zero gravity. It is truly an out-of-this-world experience. Take it all in, savour every moment. Do the salsa, if that takes your fancy. For the inner space geek you will be pleased to know that you will get to experience weightlessness that simulates lunar (one-sixth Earth) and Martian (one-third Earth) gravity.
The ZERO-G Experience ® does not just end there. When your feet are back on the ground, you can enjoy refreshments and revel in what had just taken place. To cap it all off, photos and certificates will be handed out to help remember and relive the unique experience.
You do not have to fly solo. You can charter a flight and fill it with friends and family – the more the merrier! Share in this unusual experience that promises to be a treat for all. A special note for couples planning to tie the knot – why settle for the normal wedding ceremony when you can say ‘I do’ in weightlessness? ZERO-G Experience ® offers ‘Weightless Weddings’, the perfect and unique way of celebrating your special day.
Available at several locations across the United States: Cape Canaveral and Ft. Lauderdale (Florida), Las Vegas (Nevada) and San Jose (California). Other locations are possible upon request.
The ZERO-G Experience® does not only give you the feeling and experience of being in space, it also provides your very own ZERO-G flight suit, a selection of ZERO-G merchandise, a Regravitation Celebration, and a certificate of weightless completion plus photos and video of your special experience.
If you are looking for an incredible and fulfilling experience like nothing else in this world, the ZERO-G Experience® is just the thing for you.
Ndege Kidogo Project Expeditions (Namibia)www.nkprojects.net
Discover Africa from another view – from above the ground! Ndege Kidogo Project (NKP) Expeditions lets you do just that. NKP Expeditions is an experienced organisation that creates unique bush flying expeditions via Paramotor (PPG) Flying in Africa and other parts of the world. If you are an avid traveller with an insatiable thirst for adventure, or if you are always chasing after the next thrill, or simply want to experience something out of the ordinary, then this is for you.
Fly over Africa and take in the stunning landscapes and wildlife, and watch the people of the land in their element. Some of the exclusive services that NKP Expedition offers are bush expeditions, paramotor flying and flying expeditions.
Unique Expeditions Like No Other
NKP Expedition offers amazing expeditions for the active & adventurous traveller. You can go on the training expedition and learn how to paramotor fly over the Namib desert, while surrounding yourself with breath-taking scenery. Follow herds of oryx, girrafes and elephants. Camp in the middle of nowhere, with only the animals as companions. Go where very few others have been.
Glide the Skies Over Parts of Africa
Or go bush flying. Fly over Namibia and along the Kunene river, and see the remote wilderness of Kaokoland. NKP guides will bring you to the remote secret corners, and feast your eyes on the landscape. Catch sight of the elusive Desert Elephants, and walk on the trail, and in the footsteps, of the first Westerner to reach the Kunene River.
Or take a 12-day flying expedition to around Tanzania, where the topography is a sight to behold. From vast lakes to grasslands to savannahs, and volcanoes and lava formations, it is a feast for the eyes and the senses.
Explore the wild remote areas of Zambia. Canoe over 600km down one of Africa’s wildest rivers. Then explore from the air via paramotor the length of the Luangwa River. Experience camping in the bush (but with all the comforts you need). Discover Mozambique via canoe and paramotor – watch the hippos and crocodiles and fly over spectacular sand dunes. End the trip at Bazaruto Island, where you can dive, unwind and bask in tropical paradise.
Camp in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, right in the middle of the remote wilderness, and experience African bush camping. Explore the swamps and rivers, and view the dense wildlife population. Fly over Kenya, and visit Tsavo East National Park. Interact with the Masai people, and learnt their way of life and age-old customs. Have Kilimanjaro as your backdrop as you fly. Watch herds of wildebeest, buffaloes and zebras cross the plains.
Included in these expeditions are accommodation in hotels or in camps, camping equipment, meals, drinks (soft and a selection of wines & beers), transport, transfers, staff, vehicles, park fees, and petrol or oil for paramotors.
NKP Expeditions is spearheaded by a team of professionals who are experts in their fields. All share a love and passion for Africa. NKP Expeditions is also equipped with an amazing range of equipment and fleet of vehicles – all to make your African adventure come true.