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Africa By Air - Tracing the Great Rift Valley
Nadia Eckhardt, April 2001
As those who know me can attest, my enthusiasm for my native Africa never wanes; I simply love sharing this incredibly diverse continent with Zegrahm and Eco-Expeditions' passengers. It was such a thrill for me to co-lead last year's Africa by Air program, one of the most exciting African expeditions ever designed. The itinerary, tracing the Great Rift Valley from South Africa to Ethiopia, provided travelers an ideal way to experience the wonders of this rich and varied continent-from the comfort of a vintage Douglas propliner.
In September 2001, we will repeat this fantastic journey, traveling aboard a nostalgic DC-6. Refurbished and operated by South African Historic Flight, the DC-6 is the perfect vehicle for our journey. This propeller-driven aircraft recalls an era when events proceeded at a more measured pace. A well-appointed cabin with generous legroom ensures passengers' comfort. Our flight crew, who will remain with us throughout the trip, includes some of the most experienced propliner pilots in the world. They, along with the engineers and flight attendants, convey an infectious zeal for the joys of classic air travel. This was more than apparent on last year's journey where the crew became an integral part of our staff, involving passengers in the nostalgic flight experience, from providing route maps to their ever-professional service and attention to detail.
Using the plane as a base of operations, the expedition will depart from Johannesburg and fly north to Ethiopia, our ultimate destination. Along the way, we stop at some of Africa's famous wildlife reserves in Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, and Uganda.
Our planned itinerary includes Chobe National Park, home to the planet's largest elephant herds, and the Luangwa National Park in Zambia, famous for its large population of leopards. Further north, we will witness the great plains game migration of the Serengeti, and then we move on to the "Pearl of Africa," Uganda.
Africa by Air journeys across time as well as distance. The Great Rift Valley contains a fossil record that stretches back millions of years, revealing insights into humanity's origins. We shall visit such famous hominid sites as South Africa's Sterkfontein Caves, as well as Ethiopia's National and Ethnographic Museum.
Departing 22 September 2001, Africa by Air offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore Africa's staggering array of landscapes and biodiversity from the vantage of a DC-6. I hope you will join Peter Harrison, Shirley Metz, and me on this one-of-a-kind adventure to experience Africa's wonder and romance.