Updated log and map
Leg 64 - Mauritius (FIMP Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport) to Maputo, Mozambique (FQMA Maputo Airport)
This leg: 1,437Nm, 5:19 flying time
Total so far: 72,616Nm, 277:12 flying time
Today we are getting back on track by heading back to Africa. We’re going to take a straight line, high altitude flight from Mauritius to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. We’ll be flying over the top of Reunion Island again, although that will likely be far below us, and then over Madagascar again, before finally crossing the Mozambique channel, East to West this time, and landing in Maputo.
So what Mauritian delicacy can we find today? How about Bol Renverse? In English this translates to ‘Upside Down Bowl’ and is a rice-based dish, served with a stir-fry sauce, similar to chop suey. The thick sauce is made with soy sauce, oyster sauce and sautéed with a variety of vegetables, usually Bok Choi (Chinese cabbage), mushrooms and carrots. Chicken, shrimp, or thin strips of meat is then added to the chop suey, though chicken is the standard choice and finally an egg over easy tops the dish.
So let’s get going, then and see what the weather has in store for us in Mauritius this morning. Well we didn’t expect heavy rain and thunderstorms!
Turning West and climbing out of the heavy clouds and up over Reunion Island - better view of the vocanic nature of the island from this altitude
Heading to Madagscar at 32,000 feet
Approaching the coast of Madagascar - thick clouds making it hard to see anything from high up here - just some little glimpses through the could of the green lands below
But as we cross the heart of Madagascar, the clouds clear to reveal an amazing landscape below
There ahead is the West coast of Madagascar. The snaking river on the left is the Onilahy River, whilst on the right it looks like a dry gorge, but is actually a deep casm with the Fiherenana River flowing through it. Bteween them, on the coast itself, is the town of Toliara
And back out over the ocean heading towards Mozambique and approaching the East coast of Africa
Descending to start our approach pattern - just a few clouds about - flying past Maputo, so we can circle back around for the airport
Heading right over the top of the city now and past the airport that we are about to turn around and land at
Turning on to final approach
Cool. Enjoyed that - great views of Madagascar from 32,000 feet.
Leg 65 - Maputo, Mozambique (FQMA Maputo Airport) to Langebaanweg, South Africa (FALW Langebaanweg Airport)
This leg: 1,064Nm, 4:24 flying time
Total so far: 73,680Nm, 281:36 flying time
Today we are flying from Mozambique to Langebaaweg, a town just West of Cape Town in South Africa. On the way we are detouring over Pretoria and Johannesburg before flying straight across the middle of South Africa to Cape Town. There we will fly over the Cape of Good Hope itself where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll then head a few miles West to Langebaanweg.
So let’s get going - a bit cloudy and overcast here in Maputo this morning
Heading South West on the departure track before we’ll turn West towards Pretoria and straight into thick cloud
Finally, a little break in the cloud as we skim low over the higher ground to the West of Maputo on our way tp Pretoria - still lots of cloud and rain about
The weather has really cleared up a bit as we approach Pretoria
And on to the nearby Johannesburg
A long straight run now right across the heart of South Africa to Cape Town
Following alongside the Vaal River
Enormous areas of cultivated land here and then vast areas of scrub land
Approaching Cape Town over the mountains and rugged terrain to the North
Cape Town ahead with Table Mountain visible in the distance
Heading out over False Bay to the Cape of Good Hope with the Cape Peninsula on our left
Heading further West now towards Langebaaweg
Seems that Langebaaweg is quite a small place!
So circling around now to line up for runway 20L
Nice flight. Next, we start our journey up the West coast of Africa.
Leg 66 - South Africa (FALW Langebaanweg Airport) to Benguela, Angola (FNBG 17th of November Airport)
This leg: 1,314Nm, 5:10 flying time
Total so far: 74,994Nm, 286:46 flying time
Today we are heading up the West Coast of Africa, and I’ve decided to try to follow the coastline as much as possible using local airports as waypoints. So we’ve got a lot of waypoints! Our itinerary is then:
- Langebaanweg (FALW)
- Doringbaai Airstrip (FAVJ)
- Papendotp Airport (FAVQ)
- Hondeeklip Bay Airstrip (FAGE)
- Kleinsee (FAKZ)
- Port Nolloth Airport (FAQJ)
- Oranjemund (FYOG)
- Luderitz (FYLZ)
- Meod Bay Landing Site (FYMB)
- Walvis Bay (FYWB
- Swakopmund (FYSM)
- Terrace Bay Airport (FYTE)
- Opuwo Airport (FYPM)
- Opuwo Airport (FYPN)
- Namibe Airport (FNNM)
- Namibe (FNMO)
- Benguela (FNBG)
Lots to see hopefully on the way. We’ll keep it nice and low - about 4500 feet - and see how it goes. It’s interesting that there are some lengthy coastal areas without any kind of runway or even navigation aid, but our route is going to stay pretty close to the coast all the way. The furthest inland we will be is on our way to Namibe Aiport.
So let’s see what the weather has in store for us today in South Africa. Well it’s a beautiful sunny day here.
Heading North now, out over the Atlantic towards Doringbaai Airstrip and Papendotp Airport that are very close together and the mouth of the Olifants River
On to Hondeeklip Bay Airstrip - looks like a mining area
Kleinsee is just a little further up the coast, and still in pretty barren countryside and pretty flat really
Port Nolloth Airport is next up
On to our next wyapoint, Oranjemund - the mouth of the Orange River
Luderitz is next up, with some amazing sand dunes here
Meob Bay Landing Site is our next waypoint further along the coast with more stunning sand dunes on the way
Heading a little bit away from the coast and onwards to Walvis Bay…and more sand dunes!
And North again towards Swakopmund
Next stop Terrace Bay Airport
And on to the “first” Opuwo Airport
And the “second” Opuwo Airport
Our second last waypoint is Namibe Airport
And our last stop, Namibe
And finally on to Benguela, flying over the airport before making our left turns to approach from the West over the ocean
On our final approach, landing and parked up
Our next trip will continue our journey North through Africa
Leg 67 - Benguela, Angola (FNBG 17th of November Airport) to Bangui, Central African Republic (FEFF M’Poko Airport)
This leg: 1,094Nm, 4:17 flying time
Total so far: 76,088Nm, 291:03 flying time
Today we are heading North into central Africa - literally as we are going to Bangui in Central African Republic. On the way, we are flying over Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, and then we are flying roughly along the path of the River Congo, passing over Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then on to Impfondo, right on the border between the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo and finally on to Bangui in Central African Republic.
So let’s get going. Nice day in Angola today, with a few clouds about and not much wind
Heading North now, out over the Atlantic
Back over dry land and it’s time to head inland now all the way from here
The lush green around the Longa River as it snakes towards the coast
Coming up to Kinshasa
And across the Congo River to Brazzaville
Miles and miles of rainforest below us, with the Congo River meandering inbetween
Approaching Mbandaka and the cloud is thickening and there are flashes of lightning in the air and a lot of low cloud and rain
North towards Impfondo, and the Congo is vast here…and so many trees!
Impfondo is on the Ubangi River - still a big river, but just a small tributory of the Congo - can just about see Impfondo through the cloud - just
Heading North now to out destination, Bangui, following the Ubangi for a short way
And back into thick cloud - hoping this clears before we get to Bangui
Approaching Bangui through the cloud and on to final approach
And down and parked
So, next stage? North to the Sahara, or West to the Coast? Let’s see how we feel.
Updated map and log
Countries landed in
|45|Central African Republic|
Countries flown over
|9|Turks and Caicos|
|13|St Kitts & Nevis|
|14|Antigua & Barbuda|
|18|St Vincent and the Grenadines|
|42|Federated States of Micronesia|
|75|United Arab Emirates|
|91|Democratic Republic of Congo|
|92|Republic of Congo|
|93|Central African Republic|
This thread is amazing and was exactly what I’ve been looking for! You’ve inspired me to retrace your journey since it’s so well documented here. Thank you for sharing this with the community!
Leg 68 - Bangui, Central African Republic (FEFF M’Poko Airport) to Tombouctou, Mali (GATB Tombouctou Airport)
This leg: 1,470Nm, 5:41 flying time
Total so far: 77,558Nm, 296:44 flying time
For today’s flight, we are literally heading to Timbuktu - better known in the modern day as Tombouctou. This is in Mali in the Southern Sahara Desert. Why there? Well, we are close by, it’s on our rough direction and, well, you just have to go to Timbuktu don’t you?
Straight flight today, heading North West over central Africa and into the desert. Should be fun.Let’s see what the weather in Bangui has in store for us today - quite a nice morning!
Lots of trees and jungle and greenery here as we still head North
Crossing into Cameroon
Some mountains in Migeria to break up the terrain a bit
Starting to see more desert looking landscape now
Finally we reach the border and move into Niger and some serious desert
Entering Mali, on our final stage towards Tombouctou and proper desert here
Tracking along the River Niger as we start our approach to Tombouctou
Lined up for approach now
And landed - welcoem to Timbuktu!
Leg 69 - Tombouctou, Mali (GATB Tombouctou Airport) to Mosteiros, Cape Verde (GVMT mosteiros Airport)
This leg: 1,243Nm, 4:43 flying time
Total so far: 78,801Nm, 301:27 flying time
Well, we are about to reach 300 hours flying time on this tour, which feels like we need a celebration. So to celebrate, we are going to pop over to Cape Verde islands in the Atlantic Ocean, just West of Africa. On the way we will fly over Dakar in Senegal. Other than that, a pretty straight route. In Cape Verde, we are going to land at Mosteiros on Ilha do Fogo, one of the smaller islands, and an airport which is just a grass trip. Should be fun.
We are going for an early morning start today, and will be taking off with the sunrise behind us.
The sun beginning to light up the sky properly behind us now and some spectacular views over the desert as we cross into Mauritania
Still heading across miles of barren desert
Crossing into Sengal, actually literally crossing the Sengal River
And approaching the West coast of Africa and the city of Dakar - right on the very point of the furthest West point of the African mainland
And heading out over the Atlantic towards Cape Verde - with our first site of the islands through some low cloud - this is the island of Santiago
Approach Ilha do Fogo
We’re approaching dead in line with the runway, so should be good to land straight in - but windy though!
And down, but it’s tricky to keep the plane straight as we land and we get a little too lose to the water for comfort - but manage to swing around and park on the grass
Nice flight and Cape Verde looks amazing. I think before we head North on our next leg, we’ll take a spin around this island and have a look at the volcanic crator we could see on approach
Leg 70 - Mosteiros, Cape Verde (GVMT mosteiros Airport) to Lanzarote, Spain (GCRR Lanzarote Airport)
This leg: 1,166Nm, 4:46 flying time
Total so far: 79,967Nm, 306:13 flying time
Today we are flying North from Cape Verde, parallel to the West Coast of Africa up to the Canary Islands. We’ll do a little bit of a detour via La Palma, Tenerife (and via Mount Teide) and Gran Canaria before landing at Lanzarote. We are going to start with a little tour of Ilha do Fogo first to see what the volcanic crater looks like from the air.
So a nice day in Cape Verde
And starting the steep climb to the top of the island mountain
Too steep to go straight up, so we need to circle around to be able to climb up
Great lava flows in evidence
Cresting the crater and diving down for a closer look
And now climbing the secondary summit
Zooming back out maybe gives a better sense of the scale of the mountain and volcano
And an amazing view of the island as we head North on our flight plan
After a long stretch over the open ocean, we are approaching the Canaries. First up is El Hierro - which looks pretty uninhabited, but still spectacular
On to La Palma and flying right over La Palma Airport before turning East towards Tenerife
Approaching Tenerife, and we are going to divert inland to have a closer look at Mount Teide and the crater and high peak (Spain’s highest mountain)
Heading back to the flight plan and over Tenerife Airport
Gran Canaria is up next and we’ll overfly Gran Canaria Airport
So on to Lanzarote and our final destination wth the island of Fuerteventura to our right
Entering the approach pattern to Lanzarote
And lined up on approach now, but a strong crosswind from the left
And we’re down
I wonder where next? Gibralter seems like a nice idea if we can reach.
Leg 71 - Lanzarote, Spain (GCRR Lanzarote Airport) to Tunis, Tunisia (DTTA Tunis Carthage International Airport)
This leg: 1,352Nm, 4:58 flyng time
Total so far: 81,319Nm, 311:11 flying time
Today we are heading first to Gibralter, and then East along the Mediterranean Sea to Tunis in Tunisia. Flying quite a lot over water, but we should be able to see the African Coast most of the way and also, near Gibralter, we’ll fly right over Tanger in Morocco. We will do a short stop in Gibralter as well - just because, and we’ll probably do a little fly around the rock etc. Should be fun.
Here we are ready to go
Heading onto the flight plan now, and turning North to cross Lanzarote itself after our South facing take off. By day, Lanzarote seems much flatter than the other Canary Islands
And North East now out over the Atlantic on our way to Gibraltar
Morocco and El Jadida and Sari to our right
Gotta love the Global Shipping mod - that’s us way up in the sky there in the distance behind the container ship off the coast of Morocco
About 80Nm South of Gibraltar and the Moroccon Coast is in sight on our right with Tanger up ahead
Passing over Tanger
A great view here of the Straights of Gibraltar - Europe on the left, Africa on the right
Approaching Gibraltar - we’re going to refuel here. I’m finding the latest SU4 has reduced the range of the TBM slightly from the old performance mod I was using. So we are struggling, flying at only 7,500ft to get 1,300Nm range. Flying over Gibraltar first, then looping back to approach visually from the other side
Here we are, ready to take off again and continue our journey, but first, let’s take a little spin around the rock and see how it looks
Straight West now across the Mediterranean towards Tunis - we’ll hit the North Coast of Africa right around Algiers, so we can have a look at that before heading on to Tunis. Here is Algiers and the Bay of Algiers
Onward and along the North Coast of Algeria - with some Spectacular mountains to the South
The city of Bejaia to our right on the coast and the Bay of Bejaia
Crossing over the city of Annaba
And cross country from here to Tunis - and a bit cloudy and rainy here as we near Tunis - with some flashes of lightning - and heavy rain. Circling over the city to get lined up for final approach
And down and parked
Next time - North into Europe I think!
Updated map and log book
Rather interestingly Leg 71 has ended up setting a few milestones:
- I’ve now landed in exactly 50 different countries so far
- I’ve now flown over more than 100 countries (Cape Verde was the 100th) - 105 in all now I;ve flown over Tunisia
- More than 80,000Nm flown so far
Still pretty much the whole of Europe to go!
Leg 72 - Tunis, Tunisia (DTTA Tunis Carthage International Airport) to Athens, Greece (LGAV Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport)
This leg: 928Nm, 3:39 flying time
Total so far: 82,247Nm, 314:50 flying time
Today we are flying to Athens in Greece, via Sicily and across the Mediterranean Sea and over Crete. Shortish flight - just under 1,000Nm. We are going to fly over Palermo and Catania in Sicily as we cross Southern Italy.
Lovely day in Tunis today
Climbing to 7,500 feet for our cruise altitude today
Passing the island of Zembra and leaving Africa now to head out over the Mediterrarean
Approaching the South West tip of Siciliy and the town of Marsala
Alongside the Golfo do Castellammare and the towns of Alcamo and Partinico
Palermo, on the Northern Coast of Sicily - and spectacular views on the mountains in Sicily to our right
We take a quick spin around to fly low over the seafront
Heading East towards Catania
Lake Pozzillo and Mount Etna to our left at 10,900 feet
Here’s Catania on the East Coast of Sicily - a town in the shadow of Mount Etna
Back out over the Med on our way to Crete this time
Passing the island of Skariana just before Crete - not a breath of wind by the looks of it
We are flying along the Northern Coast of Crete
Turning North now and heading towards Athens acros the sea of Crete
The islands of Milos, Serifos, Kithnos and Kea in the setting sun
Starting our approach pattern into Athens
Lined up on final
Parked. And a beautiful approach in the setting sun into Athens Airport.
Leg 73 - Athens, Greece (LGAV Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport) to Nice, France (LFMN Nice/Cote d’Azur)
This leg: 1,110Nm, 4:23 flying time
Total so far: 83,357Nm, 319:13 flying time
Today we are heading back to Italy from Greece, to head up North through the country, seeing the main sites, before heading West to the South of France and Nice. So we are going via Bari, Naples, Rome, Bologne, Venice, Verona and Milan.
Bit cloudy in Athens this afternoon and some spots of rain
Straight over the top of Athens but catching some of the low cloud
Crossing the heart of mainland Greece - stunning views and rugged hills
Views out over the Ionian Sea
And out over water where Ionian Sea meets the Adriatic Sea on our way to Italy
Approaching Bari on Italy’s East Coast
Turning West and crossing Southern Italy towards Naples, passing Monte Vulture on the way on our left
Nearing Naples, with Vesuvius rising up on our left - let’s take a little detour over the top of it before arcing around low over the seafront
Climbing away from Naples towards Rome
Heading North again now towards Florence - plenty of clearly volcanic craters and mountain ridges
Flying over Florence
And on to Venice over the Laguna di Venezia