Microlighting is a wonderful, safe, controlled method of spotting game in the bush or zooming up over the spectacular Blyde Canyon. The runway in Hoedspruit is perfectly situated to offer some of the best flying in the world. The weather is near-perfect year round, and the scenery within a short flight of the airfield very diverse. We organise morning flights of 10, 20, 30 minutes or an hour. As well as taking in Big Five areas, you can be flown over the largest open pit in Africa or over the Blyde River Canyon. To see wild Africa from the sky, low-level, is something not to be missed.
We also offer a longer excursion where you fly to the other end of the Panorama Route to Graskop for brunch at Harrie's Pancakes and then back over the canyon. The longer flights to the canyon and Graskop should preferably be early morning or late afternoon as the weather is better then to go over the Drakensberg. Having said that, microlighting is more flexible than ballooning enables you to see exactly what you want rather than be at the mercy of the prevailing wind.
Hoedspruit town is home to the Leading Edge Flight School. The Bantams and Raptor trikes buzz the Spar supermarket as they take off and land from the adjacent grass runway! The airfield that we operate from is Hoedspruit Civil which is the only airfield in the country situated in the middle of the town.
Introductory flights are also offered by the School to allow you the experience of flying a microlight. You have the option to sit, experience the flight and view the game or you can have hands-on experience from the first flight should you be considering formal training to fly.
We can arrange microlight flights from most of the Hoedspruit area Lodges with an early morning transfer to the airstrip. Larger groups staying at certain Lodges with their own runways can be catered for using bush landing strips.
The school is registered with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (ATO No. CAA/0141) and the Microlight Association of South Africa (MISASA). They operate two types of microlight: Bantam 3-axis microlights (a sturdy craft resembling a small fixed-wing plane) and Raptor weight-shift trikes (the real thing!).
At least two pilots/instructors are available, seven days a week. Mornings or evenings are preferred for flips, particularly on the lighter aircraft (before/after the winds get up).
Pilot licences on these two types of microlight are offered by the school on a full and part time basis. Full-time qualification will take you between 14 and 21 days. A minimum of 20 hours must be flown, 5 of which must be dual and 15 solo. However, it normally takes at least 10 hours to go solo. The minimum age requirement is 17 years.
You will be required to get a radio licence and a flying medical, both of which can be obtained in Hoedspruit.
- Microlighting is an option on our African Adrenalin Safari, and can be added to many of the other organised tours
- Our "Royal Indulgence" and "Of Kings and Beasts" itineraries both include a helicopter-powered picnic with glorious views of the Escarpment on either side