Bush flying is one of the best experiences in the aviation field. I joined Air Kenya Express in 2018, flying the C208B and DHC 6- 300 ‘Twin Otter’. My first flight for the company was to the Maasai Mara. I didn’t know what to expect. We took off in our caravan EX and headed to the West.
We started our descent after thirty minutes and there we were, the great MARA. It was so green and beautiful, like something you would see straight out of a movie. Descending above each and every creature you could think of. Elephants, giraffes, wildebeests who stood firm in the middle of the runway like they didn’t want us to land. And we didn’t, we were in their territory. It was so beautiful to have a bird's eye view of such spectacular scenery. We did a low level fly by above the runway to scare the wildebeests away. On a normal day, we make several stops in the Maasai mara, dropping guests at different parts of the Mara. That kind of flying is beautiful. Low level flying to give our guests spectacular views of what our country has to offer, and no autopilot. All hands-on flying.
We depart from the first stop heading to our second stop. As we climb, we see so many wildebeests. So many that they looked like little ants. Such views are indescribable. It's far beyond amazing that I get to fly to such destinations almost everyday of my life.
Less than five minutes into our flight, we came close to crossing the mara river. What we saw here was by far the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen in my career. One of the seven wonders of the world. I was shocked, and almost forgot I was the pilot flying in that sector. We could spot the dust the wildebeests left behind them as they leaped into the river of death (as I call it). The splashing water, the crocs playing a patient game while hiding in the water, and the not so brave wildebeests that stood by the bank of the river as if they were contemplating the risk. It all happened so quickly as we flew to the side of all this action so that we didn’t scare the wildebeests even more.
The joy of experiencing this everyday, year after year is truly a blessing. This kind of flying makes me appreciate my job a lot more. Kenya really is beautiful and I would definitely recommend it to be in your bucket list if it’s not already there.