African Aerial Safaris specializes in finding the road less traveled and taking you on a once-in-a-lifetime journey.

About African Aerial Safaris: We have travelled extensively through and over this magnificent continent and believe that a private aeroplane is an invaluable addition to any safari. It makes for a personal, intimate and unique experience that gives you the freedom to explore off the beaten path and see the immense beauty that lies between destinations.

Flying at lower altitudes, we give you a unique dimension. A bird’s-eye view, where you can see how river systems affect animal routes. How millions of years of erosion shape the earth below, and where you can experience the vastness of the Namib Desert and spot jackals looking for seal pups on the Skeleton Coast. Combining the up close and personal experience of wildlife on a game drive with the fascinating bigger picture from above makes for an extraordinary safari.


At African Aerial Safaris, we will plan your journey with the utmost care in order to minimize footprints, protect and preserve the natural world for future generations and make a positive contribution to surrounding communities. We only support companies that align with these values.

May we never lose our wonder of the natural world and take for granted the last true wildernesses on this extraordinary planet.

about african aerial safaris - MEET THE TEAM

As a little boy, whenever I heard an aeroplane passing overhead, I would point at the sky. The dream of becoming a pilot informed every step I took. My childhood hobby was building model aeroplanes, and the ceiling of my bedroom became the sky.

I was nineteen years of age when the dream became a reality. I finally stepped into my office in the sky at 43 Air School in Port Alfred (South Africa) and, in time, became a flight instructor.

My sky-office became significantly bigger when I joined South African Airways (SAA) at the age of twenty-three, and I’ve been living my dream for twenty-five years. I crewed international flights for seven years and regional flights – including Africa – for eighteen years. I furthermore pursued my passion for flight training by joining the training section of SAA in 1997. It was an honor to serve as the Head of Training of the SAA domestic and regional fleet for the last three years with SAA.

My journey at SAA came to an end in 2021, and I took up the permanent position of Director at African Aerial Safaris. Being a pilot goes hand-in-hand with my passion for traveling. For me, it culminated in organizing and leading several tour groups on vacation to Europe, and 4×4 trips in Southern Africa. These instilled a deep-rooted love for the wilderness, Africa and its people, as well as wildlife and landscape photography. African Aerial Safaris was a natural progression for me. It combines my passions – flying, people, photography, Africa and travel – into one magnificent journey. To share this life-altering journey with everyone who chooses to step onboard is a joy and a privilege.

Once the wings go on, they never come off – whether they can be seen or not. It fuses to the soul.

This is certainly true in my case, and at the age of 19, I qualified as a bush pilot in Botswana. Spending many nights in some of the most remote locations in Southern Africa exposed me to the incredible beauty of Africa and left a lasting impression on me.

Brian Jackman explains it well: “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same. But how do you begin to describe its magic to someone who has never felt it? How can you explain the fascination of this vast, dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths? Could it be because Africa is the place of all our beginnings, the cradle of mankind, where our species first stood upright on the savannahs of long ago?”

Since then, I have traveled extensively through and over Africa on safaris and camping trips. I have also been a commercial pilot for the last 22 years and currently fly the Boeing 747-8 internationally.

African Aerial Safaris is the culmination of years spent traveling through and over Africa. The incredible experiences I’ve had on safaris and camping trips, combined with the spectacular sights I’ve seen as a pilot, made me realize that there is no better way to experience this majestic continent and her breathtaking scenery than by private airplane on your own flying adventure.

African Aerial Safaris is listed as a South African-based, African specialist with Safari Bookings: www.safaribookings.com.

about african aerial safaris - OUR STORY

Flying through South Africa, Botswana and Namibia in a light two-seater aircraft in 2016 and at several late-night campfire chats, the idea for African Aerial Safaris began to form for Willem and Riaan.

“We had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly over some of the most incredible scenery in Southern Africa. Looking at the maps, we realised how important planning was going to be. There was so much to see, and the only way to make sure we didn’t miss anything was to methodically plot each place of interest on a map – and then connect the dots.”

The two friends, who share a deep passion for flying, southern Africa and nature, were blown away by what they discovered. Below them, breathtakingly beautiful landscapes unfolded like an everchanging canvas of nature’s masterpieces. They have been on several safaris before, but this trip made them realise that combining a wildlife safari on the ground with a scenic journey by air makes for an unparalleled and life altering experience. In the months that followed, African Aerial Safaris came into existence. Willem and Riaan want to share with you their discoveries. Join us on a truly once-in-a-lifetime journey.

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