While you can drive from Johannesburg out to Madikwe Game Reserve, it will take around 5 hours. A flight with Federal Air is just over 1 hour, allowing more time for your African safari experience.
It is important to note that these flights are a shuttle service and not a scheduled service therefore times and routes may vary from day-to-day depending on actual bookings.
There are also strict luggage allowances, with a max weight of 20kg in a soft (all-sides) luggage/duffel bags with no rigid sides.
Kate Webster recently flew to Madikwe Airstrip in South Africa with Federal Air. Here is the verdict.
Flight: Johannesburg to Madikwe Airstrip (Flight 103)
When: 3 May 2018
Aircraft: Cesna Caravan
Class: All seats are the same class
Seat: No seat allocations. Sit where you can find space.
Flight time: Approx. 1 hour
CHECK IN: The African bush safari adventure starts with Federal Airline’s departure lounge, which is an oasis of peace and tranquillity situated outside under the warm African sun exclusively for Federal Airline guests. The lounge is decorated in the style of a luxury safari lodge making you feel as though your safari experience has already started. There is complimentary food and drinks available. For travellers who have too much luggage, you are able to leave luggage here in secure lock up and collect on return.
THE SEAT: The configuration is 1 seat, skinny aisle, 2 seats.
FOOD AND WINE: There is certainly no room for an air host to get a food and drinks trolley down the aisle in these planes. For such a short flight there is no meals needed. Water and snacks are available to grab as you board however and are complimentary.
ENTERTAINMENT: There is no inflight entertainment, however if you keep your eyes peeled outside the window, you can often spot wildlife upon arrival in the game reserve. To just soak up the excitement and atmosphere on this flight is all the entertainment you need. If you do get bored on flights, even the shorter ones, I suggest taking a book.
THE VERDICT: If you are a nervous flyer, you may struggle, as the plane is small, with lots of noises and the flight is quite bumpy. All this is worth it however, as you get the thrill and excitement of a bush landing strip and seeing the spectacular scenery and wildlife from your window. It is like a game safari experience from the air.