Insider's Choice: Africa By Air

Nearly two thousand years ago, the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder wrote, "There is always something new out of Africa." He could have written those words but yesterday; the continent's vastness holds nearly inexhaustible varieties of landscapes, cultures, and wildlife. No matter how many times one visits Africa, the discoveries are incredibly exciting -- and always different.

This presents a challenge when we design a safari to Africa: how do we best showcase the continent's wonders? Our solution was Africa by Air, a program that spanned the eastern coast of Africa aboard a privately chartered propliner -- a first-ever. We first operated this expedition in 2000; the unanimous, enthusiastic response from the participants proved that we had hit upon the perfect combination of mode of travel and itinerary.

Join us, then, in February 2004 when we explore six countries, from South Africa to Ethiopia, on an air safari that travels nearly the entire length of the Great Rift Valley and includes some of Africa's most impressive wildlife reserves. At Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, we will witness the annual wildebeest and zebra migration. This seemingly endless parade also draws large numbers of predators: leopards, lions, cheetahs, and, lurking in the rivers, crocodiles. Murchison Falls in Uganda is home to Africa's largest population of hippos and six species of primates, and Botswana and Zambia provide additional photo opportunities of antelopes, giraffes, swimming elephants, and hundreds of species of birds.

Africa by Air is also about millions of years of human evolution and history. South Africa's Sterkfontein Caves are one of the continent's finest hominid sites, and Ethiopia's National and Ethnographic museums house "Lucy," the 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis skeleton.

Our vintage DC-4 is a destination unto itself. This aircraft recalls a bygone era, and its operational features allow landings at outposts far from civilization. The propliner flies at a less-hurried pace, and lower altitude, than modern jets, so the continent's varied landscapes -- savannas, rain forests, deserts -- unfold as if turning the pages of an exquisite photo album. From the green oasis of the Chobe floodplain to the thunder of Victoria Falls, the world below commands your attention.

Each of our previous African air itineraries has sold out. Please don't miss this opportunity to see Africa at its finest; contact Alicia at our Seattle office to enroll in Africa by Air.