Flying the Wilds in Kenya - An insight from WACO pilot Will Craig
Take a flight with Lewa Wilderness - A truly unique and exhilarating experience
27 Nov 2018
17 Nov 2020
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UPDATE MARCH 2019
WACO pilot Harry has decided to leave the Lewa Wilderness team to focus on other projects, which means that commercial WACO flights will be available on a limited basis due to regulatory reasons. For flying enthusiasts flights can still be arranged at the cost of the fuel.
Soaring above the treetops, through valleys and over herds of game; there is no better way to witness the vast expanses of Lewa Wilderness than from the air! If you are planning a safari to Kenya, then this is a real bucket-list experience!
Former crop-dusting pilot, and owner of Lewa Wilderness, Will Craig has years of flying experience and offers a truly ‘Out of Africa’ experience to guests, along with fellow WACO pilot Harry Dyer. The lodge owns one of the only open cockpit Waco biplanes in Africa and, while guided bush walks, game drives and horse rides are all great options for immersing yourself in nature, getting a bird’s eye view gives you the opportunity to fully appreciate the landscape in all its wild and wonderful glory.
We asked Will Craig a few questions to get a better understanding of what it's all about...
What makes Lewa such special place for a scenic safari?
The Lewa landscape provides for some spectacular scenic flying due to the terrain. Take off from the flat plains at Lewa Wilderness lodge, which are often dotted with Wildlife; elephant, rhino, buffalo and all the plains game. Straight away the aircraft climbs up into hilly country around Mount Kenya, then down through beautiful gorges and valleys. The flight continues in this vain for anywhere up to an hour or as long as you like. The early morning temperatures allow for a very smooth flight, and all turns are gradual but can be made as smooth or exciting as the guest would like!
Tell us more about the WACO, what makes it unique?
To fly in an open cockpit aircraft is very unusual for anybody but the WACO is the only modern safety conscious aircraft on the market which also has two passenger seats in the front cockpit with the pilot behind.
What can you see from the air that you can’t on the ground?
On the ground you have no idea about how varied and interesting the landscape is. From the air at low level (500 ft above ground level) you see the vallys the rivers, forests the Masai manyattas and also get to understand the real Africa outside of the parks.
Who has been your most memorable passenger?
What wildlife do you see from the WACO?
Everything that Lewa has to see by car, you can see by air! Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Galloping Giraffe or even sunbathing Lion!
Where’s the best location you’ve ever flown?
What’s been your most memorable WACO flight ?
Every flight is a new and exciting experience so no one has been better than the last!
Is each flight different from the last?
The route is pretty much the same for each flight but the scene changes all the time be it elephant migrating, the weather or even the pastoralists life.
Who can take part in a safari by WACO?
“Anyone with a free spirit and a care for adventure and fun.”
If you'd love to visit Kenya, or would like to find out how you can take a flight in the WACO for a airborne safari, just give one of our Far & Wild experts a call and we'll help you plan your next tailor-made adventure!