There is something wondrous about flying. Perhaps it’s from the innate desire in us to reach the heavens, and push our boundaries, or simply the allure of freedom of the endless blue.
Aviation engineering and technology have made this dream possible and available to the everyday person. A new airline, started late in 2012, called Aerolink Airways has began offering regular domestic flights within Uganda to all major National Parks. These mini aircrafts only carry a maximum of 11 people, but only require a minimum of 4 passengers to fly. As a domestic flight, you are able to skip the long lines and immigration procedure at the airport, and can even travel without a passport!
If you enjoy flying, then you must experience small charter flights. Unlike commercial Boeing flights, these smaller aircrafts provide a more intimate flight experience, as your able to see, and feel more. Being able to watch the pilots flip switches, turn dials and maneuver the plane during takeoff and landing brings out the childlike excitement of visiting the cockpit for the very first time.
The beauty of these smaller crafts is that you are able to feel every tilt, lift and drop as you sail through giant frothy clouds. For some, the sensation of their stomachs flipping and heart skipping a beat is terrifying, but for the more adventurous, it’s absolutely thrilling, like a swoop of a roller coaster in an amusement park, it an adrenaline rush!
On a clear day, the view of the landscape bellow is breathtaking! Due to the size of the plane, you are able to have a 180 degree window view from anywhere you sit, with windows on either side of the craft as well as the front screen window which is visible from the back of the craft.
For those who have driven through various National Parks, and up country routes countless times and have began to regard it as an endless boring journey, why not take a flight next time? A stretch of familiar landscape from 11 feet in the air can look quite different, almost new! My flight up country into the Acholi lands opened my eyes to a different side of Uganda. The glimmer of sunlight reflected off iron sheet rooftops to the coils of meandering rivers and road networks that led into the vast Savanna grass lands dotted with trees and grazing animals created an unforgettable sight.
It took only one hour to fly from Entebbe to Murchison Falls National Park, and yet that one hour in the sky was one of the highlights of my trip!
- Carry along some epic music to listen to on board, it will act as a soundtrack to your flight experience, making it all that more memorable.
- Make sure you use the toilet before departure because there are no toilets on board. The turbulence makes it all the more harder to simply ‘hold it in’, and you may have to be creative and find a new use for the inflight sick bags!