September 2016 – To celebrate Botswana’s 50th anniversary of independence, Wilderness Air was proud to take part in the Gaborone International Air Show on Saturday 24 September, giving 39 children from underprivileged homes the special opportunity to enjoy a short flight over Gaborone.
“Wilderness Air has been operating in Botswana for over 25 years and we were therefore delighted to be part of this momentous occasion and to celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary at the show. Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) pulled out all the stops to ensure an extremely successful event, which included an all-out spectacle from the Botswana Defence Force complemented by displays from South Africa”, said Derek de la Harpe, Wilderness Safaris’ Commercial Director.
As Wilderness Air subscribes to the same sustainability values of Wilderness Safaris, and to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to making a difference to local communities, Wilderness Air was proud to take part in the Gaborone International Air Show by giving underprivileged children the opportunity to experience the joy of flying.
“As our main operations are based in Maun, we were happy to offer our services to BTO for the weekend and to fly to Gaborone for the show. We took three loads of children in the air, totalling 39; these included blind and deaf children. We were amazed at the sheer delight it evoked from them – with a few even telling us that they now wanted to become pilots in the future”, said Kago Paul and Kaone Masilonyane, Wilderness Air pilots. “These were perhaps the best flights I have ever done; you could see and feel the difference they made to the children. The experience was surreal”, Kago added.
“Kago’s first take-off occurred right in front of the crowd, which included the President, Minister and many other dignitaries, and attracted praise from the commentators. Both Kago and Kaone certainly did us proud”, added de la Harpe.
Botswana is Wilderness Air’s biggest and busiest operation, servicing over 20 camps and moving approximately 49 000 passengers per annum between the country’s most pristine wilderness areas. The company’s base is located at Maun International Airport, adjacent to the terminal building, which is where the daily operations are scheduled from. Kasane International Airport offers a smaller base for the fleet, offering guests an alternative entry point into Botswana, usually from Zimbabwe or Zambia.
For more images of the Gaborone Air Show, click here.