The things we do to see the world. Long arduous flights that feel never ending. Scrimping and saving, going without to save for the next trip. Pushing through the comfort boundaries. Learning foreign languages. Eating food we never knew existed. How about climbing aboard a teeny tiny plane?
To see the wilds of the Okavango Delta in Africa’s Botswana I had to climb into the smallest plane I’ve ever been on. We were told to cut our baggage down to a small light carry-on only, which was promptly shoved under the plane as cargo. Then we ducked our heads low to acrobatically climb inside the pilots plane. I sat shoulder to shoulder with the hot metal side of the plane pressing against one side of me and a nervous flier beside me on the other.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t nervous at all, I was excited actually, but at the same time I could not help but think how tiny this plane was and of the isolation that lay ahead of us.
The benefits of a small plane like this, is that the pilot can swoop down low and get you close to the action. We watched herds of elephants stampeding through the watery reeds, giraffes lazily gazed up at us and warthogs scattered into the cover of nearby bushes. It was incredible.
And then the pilot decided to land in the middle of no where. Or so we thought. He swooped down low and explained he had to do a quick sweep to clear the runway of any animals. Seriously, there were wild animals mindlessly wandering around on our runway. I don’t blame them though, it was a short strip of dusty land in the middle of their oasis.
We landed safely, no animals were harmed and neither were we. The airport was a wooden bench under a tree, it was like a local bus stop. It was here that our guide, complete with a gun slung over his shoulder, met us and walked us to camp.
If you want to read more about what adventures happened next after my tiny planes & airports experience, please follow through to My Botswana and you can find out.
Have you got a tiny planes & airports story to share?
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