JAN 26 – 08 MARCH 2014

Enroute to Entebbe

The next leg was from the falls to Entebbe in Uganda. In Uganda we would pay a visit to the MAF, Mission Aviation Fellowship, and go into the mountains near border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda to search for the mountain gorillas. In Mali we already visited Sahel Aviation, which was a commercial operator flying to the mines in the Sahel area. Now we would visit the Mission pilots and hear from them how they operate in this part of Africa.

First we had to fly through Zambia and clear customs before starting on our long flight through Tanzania over remote bush lands.

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After passing customs, immigration and refueling we took off to fly to Tabora in Tanzania to stay the night. We did not manage to book any hotel in Tabora and had to land before sunset as the airfield was not open anymore after that time.

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Flying over Tanzania we hit some isolated rain showers, but we managed to circumvent them and arrive in time in Tabora.

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We were taken by a local taxi to a very simple (really simple) hotel in town. It is here that I even encountered cockroaches on my breakfast table next to a simple breakfast of bread and soup.

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Enroute to the local hotel.

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The Tabora airfield. The runway was paved, but the rest was not. The next morning we paid a short visit to the local weather station which was manned 24 hours a day and 7 days per week. We asked for a weather update. The observer was surprised that we asked and walked outside, lookup up in the sky and  said “it is good weather to fly”.

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Lex in the left seat flying through the rift valley and over the African nature in Tanzania.

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Some rain falling down.

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Forests until the horizon and this for hours and hours. We did wander what would happen if the engine would fail and our aircraft would disappear under the treetops. After all, there was no radio contact as well for hours until just about 15 minutes before arriving at our destination.

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Just before arriving at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, we flew for about 2 hours over Lake Victoria. The weather there was not great with threatening weather and buildups of dark clouds.

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Finally we arrived at the Entebbe airport. Again, just like in Bamako, the airport was full with United Nations aircraft, soldiers and UN staff.

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