Exploring the world in the Beechcraft Bonanza

Leg 57, Sidi Bou Othmane, Morocco dipping back into Algeria to Lanzarote, Canary Islands

DAY10_18.PLN (5.2 KB)

10-18 Sidi Bou Othmane Airport GMSI 5:15 AM Jebel Irhoud about 53nm West, homo sapiens 315K years ago, 31.8801304,-8.8722705
10-18 Menara (Marakech) GMMX 5:57 AM
10-18 Ouarzazate GMMZ 6:55 AM
10-18 Agdz GMAB 7:29 AM
10-18 Zagora GMZA 7:51 AM
10-18 Mhamid (Fort Lofti) GMMG 8:40 AM
10-18 Tinfouchy DA13 9:22 AM
10-18 Tata GMTB 10:28 AM
10-18 Tindouf DAOF 11:13 AM
10-18 Al Mahbes Airstrip DATI 11:39 AM
10-18 Plage Blanche (Tantan) GMAT 12:43 PM
10-18 Tarfaya TFY 1:26 PM
10-18 Lanzarote GCRR 2:03 PM

Flight time 8:48 12 stops

I got back into the high detail band which I suspected would go on horizontally, hence I planned a bit of a detour back into Algeria for some more high detail desert landscapes. It was amazing! So much variation in desert landscapes.

First something truly amazing, Jebel Irhoud just North of Tlet Ighoud

Just an ordinary hill with some scratches on it, in reality an archeological dig site where the oldest known human remains have been found, dated back around 315 thousand years.

The first remains were found in the 60s, orginally thought to be off Neanderthals but later classified as Homo Sapiens. Additional exploration was done in the 90’s and since 2004. Google is more up to date with recent excavations.

However for such an important site, I could only find one picture!

This is what we might have looked like some 20 thousand generations ago

Onwards to Marakech

Jemaa el-Fna, landmark square in Marakech, happening place

Heading back into the Atlas mountains at Taourirte Ourika, much more detailed at this Latitude

Following the Ourika river, passing Asgaour

Oued Zat river joining in

I had to make an extra loop to climb high enough to get over the pass,

Flying over Tawalte on the other side

Agouim on a rather dry looking river (can’t find the name)

Following the river further to the East, a corridor of life, passing Tiourjdal

Amerzgane, closest place to this odd looking bowl

Ouarzazate, water is life

I now see there is a huge solar array just north of Ouarzazate, it wasn’t in the game (not on Bing)

Centrale Solaire Noor 3 Ouarzazate (solar tower) the sheer scale is mind boggling

Ground level view of the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant (510 MW)

Construction began in 2013, the solar tower came online in 2019

Tifoultoute Kasbah, hilltop fortress from the 17th and 18th century looking out onto the solar tower

Passing Ait Saoun, water is getting sparse

Crossing over another boundary at Al Fouggara, the landscape is a huge layer cake

Follpwing the Oued Draa over Ait Rahou (I guess Oued means river)

Running out of place names again, between Agdz and Zagora

Closer to Zagora

Zaouia De Sidi Elmokhtar Ben Ali, back along the river Draa

Closest place to here Oasis Amouger Camping, tree of life

Crossing the border into Algeria

Just a bit into Algeria I ran into this mysterious place

A long road to ruins? No info, it’s at 29.9919041, -4.9982142, called تابلبالة on Bing. However that leads to somewhere else. It does look like there is something there on Bing, less like ruins.

No clue, moving on to Fort Lofti, military base in Algeria. On the way there

Not much to see at Fort Lofti, onwards to Tinfouchy, along the way

Between Tinfouchy and Tata

I wonder what these straight lines are

Bing has much more detailed data here, the crossing is at 28.981227, -6.784295 looks like tire tracks, that’s some straight driving. There are a lot of these tracks etched into the landscape

Nisanian Pentagram near the bottom

This looks better on Google yet no info on it

Another shot of the river Draa

That ridge along the right side of the river is the border, I’m back in Morocco

Tata not far from the border

Heading to Tindouf next, back into Algeria

Ripples caused by tectonic plates running into each other? Looks unreal

This landscape is mesmerizing

I just passed river Draa again, the border ridge from the Algerian side

Oued El Maa ‘flowing’ through Algeria

Tindouf is home to Saharawi refugee camps

The Aiun refugee camps are huge, larger than Tindouf itself

They have been there since 1975 for Sahrawi refugees fleeing from Moroccan forces during the western Sahara war (Still disputed territory)

Population numbers are disputed as well, ranging from 50,000 to 165,000

A refugee city in the desert

Back into Morocco, I think I’m crossing a pipeline linking drill sites?

On the way to Tantan at 27.629667, -9.5046001

The landscape doesn’t let up yet

And then it switches to low detail a bit before reaching Tantan

Good old friend by now, river Draa finally reaches the Atlantic ocean a bit North of Tantan

River Chbika at Ben Khlil

Unfortunately the game looks like FSX along the coast

Tarfaya where La Casa Del Mar is sitting in the surf, build during the British ocupation in 1882

On the right Assalama ferry wreck, 2km South from Tarfaya, ran aground in 2008

It is on Bing, as well as the coast. I’m sure I was connected. Actually it said there was a connection problem and then “successfully connected” a few seconds later while flying along the coast. Perhaps letting the game run for 8 hours consecutively was too long.

I reloaded the area just now to check, looks the same still, not matching the detail on Bing maps. The game really needs an indication whether its streaming data or not. It’s hard to tell with how variable the data quality is and coastlines don’t look very good in general.

And finally arrival in Lanzarote

I’ll be exploring the Canary islands tomorrow


Thanks for the kind words. It’s not my first rodeo

I went into RP mode while exploring the galaxy because tbh, it became very repetitive. I see I have just passed my previous continuous ‘stint’ from Elite Dangerous where I ran out of steam on day 56. (Finished it half a year later)

No signs of slowing down here yet, Earth keeps surprising me every single day. I’ve always been interested in all the BBC Earth documentaries, this trip puts it all into perspective. So much history, culture, landscapes now tied to where it all is located on our planet.

I recently flew North from Abu Simbel to Cairo in Egypt (my RTW started in South Africa and has taken me up the East coast of Africa) and was struck by the amazing desert colours and textures - which, of course, can only really be appreciated fully from the air. Your shots from Algeria surpassed what I saw in Egypt, so I’ve made a mental note to give that area some time - some really amazing landscapes on your flights.

During leg 54 my jaw was pretty much on the floor most of the flight. I did not expect that kind of scenery. I’ll get to Egypt in a couple weeks. I’m slowly making my way down Africa in wide horizontal bands, currently flying towards Western Sahara from the Canary islands. Then East as far as Chad, carriage return, back West all the way to Cape Verde. Africa is huge.

The mainland is starting to come in sight, I wonder what detail level this part will be. I guess I could check on Bing but that would spoil the surprise!

I got a feel for the scale of Africa just from my initial flights round the coast and how far it was until I was out of South Africa. It’s taken quite a while to get as far as Egypt (though I did make side trips to Madagascar and Zanzibar).

Leg 58, Lanzarote, Canary islands via Western Sahara to Bir Moghrein, Mauritania

DAY10_19.PLN (5.1 KB)

A loop around the Canary islands then back into Africa

10-19 Lanzarote GCRR 5:14 AM
10-19 Fuerteventura GCFV 5:48 AM
10-19 Los Rodeos GCXO 6:47 AM
10-19 La Palma GCLA 7:33 AM
10-19 Hierro GCHI 8:21 AM
10-19 La Gomera GCGM 8:50 AM
10-19 Reina Sofia GCTS 9:19 AM
10-19 El Berriel GCLB 10:01 AM
10-19 Gran Canaria GCLP 10:09 AM
10-19 Hassan I (Laayoune) GMML 11:04 AM
10-19 Smara GMMA 11:44 AM
10-19 Tifariti Airstrip GSSM 12:15 PM
10-19 Bir Moghrein GQPT 12:50 PM

Flight time 7:56 12 stops

Costa Teguise, hotels and swimming pools. I wonder how they’re doing this year

Órzola on the Northern edge of the island Lanzarote

Los Volcanes natural park

The colors in real life

Timanfaya national park (next to Los Volcanes)

Montaña Cardón on Fuerteventura

Costa Calma South West end of Fuerteventura

Jandía Natural Park, looking down to the tip of the island

Looking back in the other direction, Playa de Cofete on the left side

The real deal, black rocks and a sandy beach

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, featuring buildings from the 1700s

And also some very new ones, Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín

Looking back towards Santa Cruz while climbing towards Mount Teide

Mount Teide sitting in its giant caldera

At 12,198 ft high, the highest point in Spain, quite a climb

Looking back at Tenerife while flying to La Palma

Santa Cruz de la Palma, there are at least 42 cities named Santa Cruz in the world

Roque de los Muchachos, great name for a rocky mountain peak

At a bit under 8,000 ft, great place for observatories

Caldera de Taburiente

A peak in the valley below, Barranco de las Angustias

South from La Palma is El Hierro, Pico de Malpaso sticking out the clouds

Coming in for a landing on La Gomera, North-East of El Hierro

Garajonay national park right in the middle of the circular island

The ancient laurel forest down below matches the weather

San Sebastián de la Gomera on a flat spot

Mirador de Tajeda, or lookout point at Tajeda, next to Rural del Nublo Park on Gran Canaria

Barranco de Siberio

A view from Pico de las Nieves in the center of Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Looking out over Plaza de Santa Ana from the 16th century Las Palmas Cathedral

August 2020 picture, empty plaza…

After the lush Canary islands, back to Africa. Laayoune in the disputed territory of Western Sahara

On approach to Samara the desert views start to become mesmerizing again

The sun is getting low already, time flies

From Samara to Tifariti

Sunset in the desert

The views keep on coming despite the sun moving on across the Atlantic

Tifariti is just North of the border with Mauritania, in the liberated territories or buffer zone according to Morocco. I barely made it down by the last remaining light, not much to see.

Onwards to Bir Moghrein, Mauritania. The desert by dusk

Great star gazing in the desert

Landing by synthetic vision, just a narrow dark landing strip

Great flight. Tomorrow I’ll be visiting the eye of the Sahara.

These are all some great flight plans with some very exciting screenshots. I’m trying to find some more contributors to help populate World Tour Flights and I think this would be great for sharing on there. Would you mind sharing some of these flight plans on the site? https://worldtour.flights

I’ve been thinking about adding some there (I have the site sitting open in a tab) just need to find some time to sort it out and cut off the ‘connector’ flights from my flight plans. Between flying, editing screenshots, reconstructing flight plans (I make them afterwards), updating this thread and planning the next leg, I’m amazed I still have time to eat :crazy_face: It’s all great fun and today I had a bit of a break, 600 miles of empty desert, so nice haha!

Leg 59, Bir Moghrein, Mauritania via Western Sahara to Niafunke, Mali

DAY10_20.PLN (3.4 KB)

10-20 Bir Moghrein GQPT 5:13 AM
10-20 Gueltat Zemmour GMGU 6:02 AM
10-20 Dakhla GMMH 7:06 AM
10-20 Tazadit GQPZ 8:31 AM
10-20 Atar GQPA 9:26 AM
10-20 Chinguetti CGT 9:53 AM Full tank Climb to 18K ft Eye of Sahara North-East, 580 nm to next stop
10-20 Niafunke GANF 2:30 PM Landed in drone view with high exposure

Only 6 stops today, not many airports in the desert! The last leg was about 4 hours of empty desert. Relaxing and some time for measurements.

Approaching Guelta Zemmur after crossing a lot of empty desert

A bit of elevation in the terrain and the spectacle is there again

Guelta Zemmur just a small village in the Moroccan administered part of Western Sahara

The guelta, meaning oasis, was a camp site for the Sahrawi nomads of the area for hundreds of years

On approach to Dakhla, the Atlantic ocean on the left

Dakhla, in the distance, in the middle of this long peninsula

Dakhla is a popular kite surfing destination with many resorts and kite surfing schools

After a lot more empty desert, approaching Tazadit

Cross your t’s and dot your i’s, it looks like something is written there

Tazadit also known as Zouérat

It lies next to a huge iron ore mine, Guelb el Rhein

No depth data for the pits in FS2020, this is what it looks like

Flying on to Atar, the colors of the desert

Approaching Atar

It almost looks like patches of silver lying on the ground

Atar at the base of the Adrar Plateau

Approaching the Adrar Plateau

It’s quite a step up, new ground level incoming

On top the Adrar plateau

A quick stop at Chinguetti, a medieval trading center near the eye of the Sahara

Pictures of the old center

After Chinguetti I set a course North-East at a steep climb, for the first time seeing the desert from higher up. The Adrar plateau at 6,000 ft

Oudane at the bottom right with the eye of the Sahara already in sight

Oudane old quarter

The town was a staging post in the trans-Saharan trade and for caravans transporting slabs of salt from the mines at Idjil.

Getting closer to the eye at 16k ft altitude

17k ft, enough to still fit it in frame

From straight above with wide angle lens at 17.5K ft up

One more looking back while slowly descending to 15K ft

Cruising at 15K ft altitude, nothing but empty desert ahead

I did some measurements while descending 1,000 ft at a time to figure out the cruise speed at max throttle and propeller

My heading 131 to Niafunke
15k ft IAS 113 TAS 142 GS 145 Wind North (359) 5 knots
14k ft IAS 117 TAS 145 GS 148 Wind North (352) 4 knots
13k ft IAS 121 TAS 147 GS 150 Wind North (351) 3 knots
12k ft IAS 124 TAS 149 GS 150 Wind North (005) 2 knots
11k ft IAS 127 TAS 151 GS 152 Wind No Data
10k ft IAS 130 TAS 152 GS 151 Wind North (019) 2 knots
09K ft IAS 133 TAS 153 GS 155 Wind North (302) 2 knots
08K ft IAS 136 TAS 154 GS 156 Wind North (287) 1 knot
07K ft IAS 138 TAS 155 GS 157 Wind North (340) 1 knot
06K ft IAS 142 TAS 157 GS 158 Wind North (005) 3 knots

Quite a bit short of the 176 listed TKAS cruise speed. To climb to 18K ft IAS has to drop to 100 knots.

600 miles of empty desert, the sun starts to set

The landing at Niafunke was a challenge. It was very dark, dirt strip no lights and no data in the G1000 to use virtual vision to land. I didn’t have time (and running low on fuel) to divert to another airport which might be the same anyway. Thus a new approach, landing in drone view with the exposure cranked up enough to make out the runway. It is tricky, switching between plane and drone controls to keep the camera pointing in the right direction, but it worked. Soft touchdown, all safe.

My plane is the green light at the bottom.

The eye of the Sahara / Guelb er Richât / Richat Structure was amazing. Definitely worth a visit.


Leg 60, Niafunke, Mali to Agadez, Niger

DAY10_21.PLN (3.1 KB)

More desert, really there is a lot of it

10-21 Niafunke GANF 5:10 AM
10-21 Goundam GAGM 5:27 AM
10-21 Tombouctou GATB 5:46 AM
10-21 Kidal GAKL 7:40 AM
10-21 In Guezzam DATG 9:23 AM
10-21 Arlit DRZL 10:07 AM
10-21 Manu Dayak (Agadez) DRZA 10:59 AM

Flight time 5:49, 5 stops

There are not many airports in the desert, long flights.

First up, Tombouctou aka Timbuktu

Home of the Djinguereber Mosque, build from earth (banco) mixed with straw in 1327

Regular maintenance keeps it looking great, scaffolding is build into the design

Following the river Niger passing Bamba down there on the left

It’s not supposed to be this full, I guess they had heavy rains up stream

Kidal at the end of the road RN18

More desert views between Kidal and In Guezzam

Soothing colors, very relaxing

It goes on and on and on

Plenty time to add the good parts of earlier flights to https://worldtour.flights/

In Guezzam, brief hop into Algeria on the border with Niger

Niger is 10 miles left of the airport

View down below

There are pictures of the streets flooding, though not often, it can rain pretty hard here

Into Niger, on the way to Arlit

Arlit is a big industrial town next to a huge Uranium mine (Arlit Mine) It looks kinda ugly in FS 2020, a mess on google as well. Ugly mine, so a nice colorful picture of the surroundings instead

However this is what keeps the lights on if your country uses Nuclear power

Continuing on towards Agadez

Better detail here, the awesome landscape is back

Aïr Mountains on the horizon

So much color in the desert

One more before reaching Agadez

Agadez on the rather dry river Teloua

Another town made with banco, mud bricks

As well as the 16th century Grande Mosquée d’Agadez

Tomorrow back North a bit, into the Aïr Mountains

Leg 61, Agadez, Niger to Ati, Chad

DAY10_22.PLN (3.5 KB)

More deserts, mountains and some really weird landscape

10-22 Manu Dayak (Agadez) DRZA 4:28 AM
10-22 Iferouane DRZI 5:26 AM
10-22 Dirkou DRZD 7:18 AM
10-22 Nguigmi DRNG 8:37 AM Oddly nothing there on Google

10-22 Nguigmi DRNG 9:58 AM
10-22 N’Guigmi DRZN 10:38 AM
10-22 Berim FTTL 11:27 AM
10-22 Hassan Djamous FTTJ 12:07 PM
10-22 Ati FTTI 1:35 PM Syntethic vision landing

Flight time 7:46, 7 stops

Setting out towards the Aïr Mountains

Iferouane, picture taken from the bugged airport on a runway shaped hill sticking out the terrain

Into the Aïr Mountains

Climbing up through one of the valleys

On the other side, more desert!

Looking back at Aïr Mountains from the Eastern side

And out onto the vast sand planes, it’s a long way until the next airport

The sand hasn’t buried everything yet

Here it has, not even halfway to Dirkou

I’m guessing this is the ‘road’ to Dirkou, lot of tracks on the ground

Dirkou in Eastern Niger

There is not a lot of info on this town, but it does have a picture of a pink sandstorm!

Traveling on towards Nguigmi

That’s it, all of Nguigmi

It must be newish, there is nothing there on Google. On Bing it looks like a brand new compound.

Flying from Nguigmi to N’Guigmi

N’Guigmi on the shore of lake Chad before the lake retreated

The lake retreating explains the bizarre landscape that follows next

But first, a view from the ground in N’Guigmi

No bridges to go under, stack it up!

Onwards to Berim, flying over the bottom of lake Chad

Lake Chad is a terminal basin (endorheic basin) meaning water only flows in, evaporates out

The lake varies in size over the centuries as rainfall patterns shift over time

Lake Chad shrunk by as much as 95% since 1963 but is currently growing again

People live on these ‘islands’ yet the place seem to have no name

This is at 13°57’50.3"N 13°41’45.5"E, lot of tracks going and leaving, no name or other info available

I’m moving further way from the center, drier land

Koulgouma … maybe. No info other than ‘island’. Chad is a mysterious place

Berim also had no info, just a single 4 star rating on Google. Place not found on Bing (unnamed)

Flying on from Berim to N’Djamena, back to the wetter parts of the old shore

Green here

One minute later

Arrival in N’Djama the capital of Chad

That colorful part near the bottom right is Place de la Nation

N’Djama is a huge city, with very little info again

The national museum does have quite a few pictures for impressions of Chad and this cool new statue

Onwards to Ati while the sun sets behind me

Oi, keep your eyes on the road driver lady

Peaceful at night, the light fades fast at this latitude

Ati, another mystery with hardly any info. I found this picture for the only POI a market

And a couple random videos only adding to the mystery

Tomorrow, a bit further East than heading for greener pastures in Central African Republic

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Leg 62, Ati, Chad through Central African Republic to Doba oilfield, Chad

DAY10_23.PLN (4.1 KB)

I’m leaving the desert behind for a while. South to greener pastures and back West to explore the next section of Western Africa.

10-23 Ati FTTI 4:31 AM
10-23 Oum Hadjer OUM 5:06 AM
10-23 Goz-Beida FTTG 6:01 AM
10-23 Birao FEFI 6:59 AM
10-23 Birao FEBI 7:31 AM
10-23 Gordil FEGL 7:52 AM
10-23 N’dele FEFN 8:35 AM
CTD shortly after departure, restart
10-23 N’Dele FEFN 8:47 AM
10-23 Kabo FEKA 9:43 AM
10-23 Batangafo FEGF 9:58 AM
10-23 Doba Airport FTDB 10:47 AM

Flight time 6:04 9 stops

I flew around Central African Republic today and ended back in Chad. Central African Republic is even more mysterious, hardly any info or pictures on google maps. Undestandable since it’s one of the 10 poorest countries in the world and still plagued by civil war.

From the air it looks quite lovely. First Oum Hadjer on the Batha river, still in Chad

The pictures online show a lot more green, I guess this was from the dry season

Following the Batha river, patches of green along the dried up river

Passing Kotro down below

Kouroukoul, no info on this town

Gaz-Beida a little further, about 70km West from the border with Sudan

However I’m going South, Sudan will have to wait. Otw to Birao

This is (one of the places called) Birao, the town in the distance

Only this sad fact available: In March 2007, the town was almost completely burnt down in the fighting between rebels and government troops in the area. On to Birao airport, which is actually near Tiroungoulou.

Passing by Reserve de Faune de la Ouandja Vakaga, savannah

It’s getting greener, Parc National st Floris

Gordil, that is an airport down there, the green dot is my plane. Also zero info.

N’Délé, a market town (in the distance) in the North-East of the country

Looks nice

Bamingui-Bangoran Parker, national park and biosphere reserve

Reserve de Faune du Gribingui Bamingui

They do have a lot of nature reserves in Central African Republic

Coming in for a landing at Kabo, I love these kind of airstrips

Batangafo on the Ouham river, signs of agriculture

The info for this town: There is an airport in Batangafo. Thx.

Following the Ouham river for a bit

Straight road to Koldega, back in Chad

Doba, my final landing spot for today, has no info either. The airport is next to Doba oilfield and a town called Dildo. It’s also referred to as Dildo airport. There is no further info.

I’ll be passing by the capital of Central African Republic on my next lower (altitude) pass through Africa, for now I’m heading back West all the way to Cape Verde.

Leg 63, Doba oilfield, Chad via Cameroon to Gusau, Nigeria

DAY10_24.PLN (4.8 KB)

10-24 Doba Airport FTDB 5:17 AM
10-24 Moundou FTTD 5:36 AM
10-24 Touboro FTBE 6:06 AM
10-24 Lere FTMB 7:05 AM
10-24 Garoua FKKR 7:33 AM
10-24 Yola DNYO 8:03 AM
10-24 Jalingo DNJA 8:37 AM

10-24 Jalingo DNJA 9:01 AM
10-24 Makurdi DNMK 10:18 AM
10-24 Lokoja Airstrip DNLO 11:14 AM
10-24 Nnamdi Azikiwe Intl (Abuja) DNAA 11:53 AM
10-24 Shiroro DN50 12:18 PM
10-24 Gusau DNGU 1:13 PM Landing strip is the dark stretch in the middle of town

Flight time 7:32 11 stops

Mostly low detail terrain today yet also some parts with better coverage. The trees help.

First Moundou, not much from the air, but has some sights available online

On the way to Touboro into Cameroon

Touboro is still pretty dry

Touboro houses thousands of refugees fleeing armed violence

A market in Touboro

Bouba Ndjida National Park over the hills

Bouba Ndjida National Park, one of the few places the painted hunting dog can still be seen

Lac Léré

Lere, not much info, 89K population, has an airport, situated on Lac Léré, no pictures

Flying by Djaloumi

Garoua on the Benue river

Cameroon is great at soccer and shows its passion for it

Roumdé Adjia Stadium, build in 1978 and will be part of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations

Looking at the date of the picture it was fully renovated / upgraded in 2018

Crossing the Faro River

I’m using my plane here to cover up the worst of the low detail center river line imposed on top. I wish you could turn that off, no clue why it’s there.

Arriving at Yola, which means great plain or vast land, massive city on the Benue river

Yola airport

Crossing an unnamed mystery river

Bing to the rescue, it’s the Mayo Ini. The part joining remains unnamed.

Next crossing the Belwa river

Jalingo Airport with part of the city behind.

Most of Jalingo is on the other side of the river Lamurde

Jalingo, maybe on Barbe way

Interestingly most of the shops have pictures what they’re selling yet landmarks are not marked

Following the Benue river

Lokoja on the left 2 where the Benue river (coming from the right) joins the river Niger

Lokoja from the ground

Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, Aso rock dominating the sky line

It’s a proper rock to build a city next to

Flying past Shiroro Hydro-Electric Power Station

Last picture of the day, Kwiambana Game Reserve

Can’t spot and Elephants or Lions. It seems only Northern Ethiopia has fauna in the game so far. It will be a while until I get there.

I was ready for another night time landing by Drone view in Gusau since the air strip has no data in the G1000. However the landing strip turned out to be in the middle of the town. Aim for the long dark rectangle! It says Gussau old airport online but still seems to be in use. It’s just old.

Leg 64, Gusau, Nigeria via Benin to Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso

DAY10_25.PLN (6.1 KB)

10-25 Gusau DNGU 5:15 AM
10-25 Saddiq Abubakar Lii Intl DNSO 5:51 AM
10-25 Sir Ahmadu Bello DNBK 6:13 AM
CTD on touchdown, restart
10-25 Sir Ahmadu Bello DNBK 6:19 AM
10-25 Gaya DRRG 6:44 AM Follow Niger River
10-25 Kainji DNIX 7:51 AM
10-25 Jebba DNJE 8:29 AM
10-25 Ilorin DNIL 8:47 AM
10-25 Tankaro DBPA 9:54 AM
10-25 Djougou DBBD 10:17 AM
10-25 Natitingou DBBN 10:40 AM
10-25 Kandi DBBK 11:25 AM
10-25 La Tapoa DRRP 11:59 AM CTD 2 minutes out
CTD on approach, restart close to La Tapoa
10-25 La Tapoa proximity 12:07 PM
10-25 La Tapoa DRRP 12:12 PM
10-25 Diapaga DFED 12:30 PM
10-25 Arly DFER 12:48 PM
10-25 Pama DFEP 1:13 PM
10-25 Tenkodogo DFET 1:45 PM

Flight time 8:16 15 stops

Long flights with a lot of flat terrain going from national park to national park.

First up Sokoto in the North-West end of Nigeria. The name means ‘market’

Sultan Palace hall in Sokoto. No info other than a picture

The big area with a track going around is for horse races, Sokoto race course

Some info in video form, mini Durbar for Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar in 2016

Flying on to Gaya which is actually in Niger, right on top of the border with Benin

Following the river Niger, the border between Benin and Niger, back into Nigeria

The land is pretty flat, the river seems to shift often

A wide green stain on the dry desert

Kainji Hudro Power plant at the end of Kanji reservoir

Lake Jeba

Jeba hydro electric power plant

The town of Jebba in the opposite direction

The paper mill is the biggest feature in Jebba

HRH KABIYESI OBA Adebola Adebara the first Oba (local chief in Nigeria) of Jebba, 1897

Local festival at Oba’s palace

Onwards to Parakou, Benin

Djougou, an important market town in the North-West of Benin

Grand Mosque in Djougou

Festival of dancing horses in Benin, no clue where this is in Benim

Flying over one of the many national parks in Benin, Foret de Birni

View from the runway at Natitingou, also known as Nati

Natitingou Grande Mosque

Forêt l’Alibori Supérieur

Parque Nacional W de Níger, right on the border between Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso

It has one picture, two elephants, they must be down there

Harvest time in La Tapoa, Niger

Arriving in Arly, Burkina Faso

A faded airstrip near a road, nothing else there

Pama, no info

About 9 miles from Pama, on lake Compienga is this 4 star hotel, Refuge de Thialy

If you want peace and quiet, go here!

Arriving in Tenkodogo at sunset

I was just watching this amazing video about Benin, fun to recognize all the place names I flew over

Leg 65, Tenkodogo, Burkino Faso via Ghana and Togo to Bocanda, Côte d’Ivoire

DAY10_26.PLN (6.0 KB)

10-26 Tenkodogo DFET 4:25 AM
10-26 Ouagadougou DFFD 4:59 AM
10-26 Poura DFCR 5:38 AM
10-26 Wa DGLW 6:21 AM 261 nm next
10-26 Kpalime DXKA 8:07 AM

10-26 Kpalime DXKA 8:23 AM
10-26 Kumasi DGSI 9:25 AM
10-26 Sunyani DGSN 9:55 AM
10-26 Soko (Bondoukou) DIBU 10:16 AM
10-26 Tehini DIBN 10:49 AM
10-26 Bobo-Dioulasso DFOO 11:44 AM CTD less than 10 minutes out
CTD while turning the camera, restart
10-26 Bobo-Dioulasso proximity 11:51 AM
10-26 Bobo-Dioulasso DFOO 12:02 PM
10-26 Orodara DFOR 12:20 PM
10-26 Korhogo DIKR 12:53 PM
10-26 Korhogo DIKO 1:12 PM
10-26 Katiola KTC 1:44 PM
10-26 Bouake DIBK 1:56 PM
Autopilot broken (active pause mistake) 100% up trim, unrecoverable, restart
10-26 Bouake DIBK 2:20 PM
Terrible performance sub 5fps, restart, game lockup on exit, delete rolling cache
10-26 Bouake DIBK 2:50 PM
10-26 Bocanda DIBC 3:18 PM Drone cam landing with blinding lightning, grass strip

Flight time: 9:36 15 stops

Detail is kinda patchy in this area with many places where color grading and detail levels change on sharp boundaries and also cloud shaped ‘holes’ in the terrain filled in with default farmland textures that don’t fit in at all with the surrounding scenery. Lakes and rivers also have very low polygon data but it was still possible to get some decent impressions.

First up Ouagadougou, awesome name for the capital of Burkina Faso

Monument des Héros Nationaux

Grande Mosquée and Cathédrale in Ouagadougou

The cathedral is from the 1930s, no info on the mosque

Flying over Nago

Poura, dirt landing strip below

Wa, Ghana. Easy to spell city name, useless when searching

Interesting restaurant names, eg God is king fast food, Mummy’s kitchen and Prisoners canteen

Mole national park, Ghana’s largest wildlife resort

Elephants, antelopes and over 90 other species on savanna and forest terrain

Lake Volta or rather the start of lake Volta

Largest man made reservoir in surface area

3,283 sq mi total, 3,000 sq mi were flooded with the completion of the Akosombo dam in 1965

Looking at the border with Togo near WoraWora

Forêt de Missahohoe in Togo

What it really looks like

Kpalime, Togo

Bandai Hills Forest Reserve

Near Agogo, Ghana

Kumasi, capital of the Ashanti region

Barekese dam

Sunyani, capital of the Bono region

Tehini, Côte d’Ivoire

Between Tehini and Bobo-Dioulasso

Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkino Faso’s second largest city

Home to this amazing Grande Mosquée, possibly the largest example of Sudano-Sahelian architecture

Made with mud brick and white washed regularly.

Construction started as early as 1812, later enlarged. A view from inside

Tongon Gold mine, Côte d’Ivoire

Apparently it is (or was) for sale, producing about 250K ounces of gold yearly

Bouake, second largst city in Côte d’Ivoire

My last flight was cursed today. It was on auto pilot, not much to see in the dark anyway. But I paused, turned up the gain with drone cam to take a look and didn’t realize I used active pause with auto pilot on. That put AP into an unrecoverable state. I tried to get out of it but AP only wanted to pull the nose up 100% into a stall.

So I restarted, let it fly on its own again from Bouake, I came back in time for the landing and found it was stuttering at sub 5fps for no apparent reason. I restarted again after deleting the rolling cache which fixed the problem.

3rd time, smooth sailing. I came back 5 minutes before landing. It was a grass strip and dark, drone view with increased gain to the rescue. It went very smooth this time, lined up nicely switching back and forth between camera and plane controls. The difficulty was the lightning, which had been going all day already, which completely whites out the screen with the increased gain to be able to see the terrain. Fun landing!

Leg 66, Bocanda, Côte d’Ivoire via Liberia and Guinea to Bemako, Mali

DAY10_27.PLN (6.7 KB)

10-27 Bocanda DIBC 4:51 AM
10-27 Yamoussoukro DIYO 5:12 AM The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro
10-27 Seguela DISG 5:55 AM
10-27 Mahana DITM 6:22 AM
10-27 Guiglo DIGL 7:12 AM
10-27 Gagnoa DIGA 7:47 AM
10-27 Tchien GLTN 8:44 AM
Terrible performance, streaming issues, restart
10-27 Tchien (Zwedru) GLTN 8:51 AM
10-27 Tapeta TPT 9:14 AM
10-27 Lamco GLNA 9:47 AM
10-27 Konia GUNZ 10:01 AM Massif du Zamia North-East
10-27 Odienne DIOD 10:52 AM
10-27 Gbenko GUGO 11:39 AM
10-27 Badala (Faranah) GUFH 12:21 PM
10-27 Kiniero GUKO 12:52 PM
10-27 Diankana (Kankan) GUXD 1:08 PM
10-27 Siguiri GUSI 1:33 PM
10-27 Bougouni GABG 2:11 PM
10-27 Senou (Bemako) GABS 2:45 PM

Flight time 9:47 17 stops

A lot of flying but detail was patchy, thus a lot of let AP do the work until the terrain gets better. See below for one of the worst places to fly (Liberia)

First Yamoussoukro, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire

Yamoussoukro is home to the largest church in the world, Basilica of Our Lady of Peace

Not quite like that, doesn’t look like $600 million well spend

This is what it looks like, completed 1989.

It can house 18.000 worshippers, only a few 100 attend normally. Social distancing king!

Moving on to Seguela

Ground view of that open-ish patch dead center

The typical style of Mosque around here

Mont Sângbé National Park home of the African dwarf crocodile among others

Near Késon

Guiglo on the river Zo which flows into Lac de Buyo nearby

Gagnoa, looks like rain

Yep, I was right.

There are a lot of half finished buildings around which reminds me of Greece. When we were touring there in our twenties we also noticed lots of house with only a frame for the second floor. A local explained that it had to do with taxes and building permits. No hurry completing the second floor, just need to have rods sticking out for another floor to have the building permit to finish it many years later. However, here it just seems to be coincidence or people like to take pictures of construction in progress. (There are also a lot of selfies posted for landmarks)

Something different. I always try to get the best out of the simulator, adjusting camera angles just right, keeping detail changes out of frame etc. But Liberia is a different story. This is between Tchien and Tapeta

The connection was fine, the game was simply streaming garbage. It happened for another long stretch later in Liberia, a half concentric ring of those blue squares moving along with me over extremely low detail terrain. It happens more often in the far North, first time I see it this bad at this latitude.

Not all Liberia is bad, Tapeta, over saturated but decent at the right angle.

No info on Google though, mystery town

Nimba Nature Reserve on the border with Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea

Konia, these long wide runways are making me lazy

Massif du Ziama Classified Forest in Guinea

That is some dense forest, looks like a lot of work to keep the road clear

Crossing a mountain range near Kourouko

Approaching Banankoro

Near Banankoro is Mazano with a diamond factory. I expected a little bit more than this

Faranah on the river Niger as many of the bigger cities

New meets the old (not my circle)

One of the many random pictures you see on Google for cities around here. It gives a good idea of the local culture without street view.

Siguiri on the Niger

Siguiri at street level

I flew by Sélingué Dam Hydrolectric next to Kangare on the Sankarani river in Mali and after that the city of Bougouni. Unfortunately the detail is so low in this area I couldn’t make anything of it. So I flew on to Bemako, the capital of Mali. Arriving after dusk

Bemako has a monument of independence (from France I assume, no info)

I’ll see what Bemako looks like in daylight tomorrow.

Leg 67, Bemako, Mali via Senegal to Kaedi, Mauritania

DAY9_29.PLN (10.0 KB)

10-28 Senou (Bemako) GABS 5:01 AM
10-28 Ambodédjo (Sevare) GAMB 6:54 AM
10-28 Keibane (Nara) GANK 8:32 AM
10-28 Kolokani GAKN 9:20 AM
10-28 Bafoulabe GABF 10:23 AM Lake and parks East-ish
CTD while cruising in the background 10:59 AM
Restart, luckily little navmap was running and had the last known position
10-28 Bafoulabe GABF - Dire GADI 34nm to go 11:06 AM
10-28 Dire GADI 11:18 AM
10-28 Kedougou GOTK 11:49 AM
10-28 Simenti GOTS 12:20 PM
10-28 Tambacounda GOTT 12:39 PM
10-28 Ouro Sogui GOSM 1:29 PM
10-28 Kaedi GQNK 1:50 PM

Flight time 8:42 10 stops

More low detail areas but also some decent ones.

I started out by following the river Niger to the desert. Passing Farako

Near Kougou

The closer to the desert the less the effect of the water. Near Nakri

Near Kouli

Mopti, making good use of the water

The river Bani joins the Niger in Mopti, double the water

Fertile waters, fertile land, great place for a town

Mopti is build along the old bank of the river Bani. It looks like the river shifted a lot leaving a huge area of very fertile ground for farming.

All that water and mud is also great for building, Grand Mosque of Mopti

Niger river basin feeding Lake Débo

Quite a sight from the air, near Dogo

The river continues North to Niafunke where I departed from in leg 60

Nara to the West, not far from Mauritania (to the North)

What’s missing from the weather engine, sand storms!

That could seriously hurt my plane

Near Goumbou, washboard terrain


Passing Hatero, finally some elevation in the terrain. It has been mostly flat so far

Bafoulabe where the river Bakoi joins the river Bafing

Ferry service to connect the roads up there

Hydro dam at Manantali on the river Bafing, constructed from 1982 to 1988, operational since 2001

Apart from long time issues with funding to get the project actually delivering electricity, the dam also took food away from about 370,000 people who lived from flood recession agriculture in the Senegal river valley. Flood recession agriculture has now completely disappeared.

Wong National Park

Dire or rather Falea South-West Mali.

Big runway for a tiny little town

Kedougou, Senegal

Near Semanti inside Niokolo-Koba National Park

Flying by Fete Bowe, also not much info on towns in Senegal

Arriving in Kaedi for the last stop, just across the border (the river) into Mauritania

Leg 68, Kaedi, Mauritania via Senegal to Rabil, Cape Verde

DAY10_29.PLN (5.8 KB)

I’ll apologize in advance for the amount of screenshots, I went into the good part of the desert again. So many amazing views, well worth the ‘detour’.

10-29 Kaedi GQNK 4:31 AM
10-29 Kiffa GQNF 5:26 AM
10-29 Aioun-El-Atrouss GQNA 6:18 AM
10-29 Tidjikja GQND 7:23 AM
10-29 Letfotar GQNL 7:49 AM
10-29 Akjoujt GQNJ 8:56 AM

10-29 Akjoujt GQNJ 10:02 AM
10-29 Oumtounsy GQNO 10:51 AM Intl airport missing, just dirt strips
10-29 Nouakchott GQNN 11:00 AM
10-29 Podor GOSP 11:41 AM
10-29 Rosso GORO 12:04 PM
10-29 St Louis GOSS 12:24 PM
10-29 Thies GOTH 12:58 PM
10-29 Blaise Diagne GOBD 1:06 PM
10-29 Leopold Sedar Senghor GOOY 1:24 PM 323nm next
10-29 Rabil GVBA 3:25 PM Virtual vision landing

Flight time 9:48 14 stops

First up, the way to Kiffa from Kaedi, starts tame enough

Kiffa, large spread out town with a photo featuring Niagara falls on Google

You can’t fool me, this is the real Kiffa

Carrying on to Aioun-El-Atrouss

The desert colors are coming back

Too bad the height map resolution doesn’t match the ground detail, this is what it looks like around Aioun-El-Atrouss after some rain

On to Tidjikja, a long stretch of empty desert to cross first

Until getting to the Tagant Plateau

Across the lonely road

Hopping up onto the Tagant plateau

Approaching Tidjikja

Tidjikja, capital of the Tagant region and is known for its palm trees

On the way to Letfotar

The landscape is getting more and more varied

Letfotar, maybe. The nearest settlement is unnamed, closest named town is Moudjéria, 12 miles away.

Continuing on to Akjoujt

Lake El’Aleib (maybe, unnamed on Bing, kinda questionable name placement on Google)

Names are sparse, but you can see a picture of what’s on the shelves in a local shop

Then follows a lot more desert with lovely sand dunes

The ground is starting to show patterns again

And then the scenery goes wild on approach to Akjoujt

To put the actual town in a rather mundane spot

Strange form of advertising, a local grocery store (Epicerie Tasamouh) has one picture up of a heavily bandaged guy hanging out on a chair in front of (blocking) an open steel door, taken from inside a Toyota that’s stopped in the middle of the street or driving by. Also the only contribution of the poster. I feel there’s a story here.

There was a good picture of Akjoujt as well

On the way Oumtounsy

Autoroute Akjoujt N1, long straight drive

A lonely grocery store down below with pictures of the inventory posted

More sand dunes along the way

Oumtounsy is the name of the airport at or rather in Nouakchott

Nouakchott is home to Mosque Saudique

There is also a fish market nearby with the colorful pirogues to fish with

Arriving at Podor along the river Senegal which forms the border between Mauritania and Senegal

Street view is (sporadically) available in Senegal, horse and buggy seems to be the popular form of transportation in Podor.

On to Rosso, That looks like a hand with a skull drawn in the thumb

Richard Toll, named for the park of the Château de Baron Roger, laid out by botanist Jean Michel Claude Richard. Senegal looks very much like France from the road signs to the style of concrete hydro poles. Senegal gained independence from France in 1960, not very long ago.

Quite busy on the streets, bustling town.

Arriving at St Louis

Another coastal town with lots of colorful boats

Thies, a major industrial city

And lastly arriving at the capital of Senegal, Dakar

Home to the African Renaissance monument and mosque of the divinity

I’m amazed I’ve never heard of this monument before. The first picture I saw of it was a few days ago posted in a small town in Guinea. I thought it was a joke picture, it’s a real thing. It is rather new, 2010 unveiling. 52 meter high bronze statue designed by Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby and made by Mansudae Overseas Projects in North Korea. For comparison, ■■■■■■ the redeemer is ‘only’ 30 meters high.

I did know of Dakar from early on, Paris Dakar rally pc game from 1990. The rally is still going

Although the last time it went to Dakar was in 2007. From 2008 to 2019 it was held in South America due to security concerns in Mauritania and this year it was held in Saudi Aribia.

From Dakar I (or rather the plane) flew on to Cape Verde. I took a couple pictures of the sun getting low before letting it continue on its own. Near full moon today

I like how it lights up the logo on the wing

Taking a back seat for the rest of the flight

Cape Verde has no runway lights but does have a big runway in the G1000, virtual vision landing made easy. Tomorrow island hopping! I survived patch day, the game still works :smiley:

Leg 69, Rabil, Cape Verde via The Gambia to Kolda, Senegal

DAY10_30.PLN (5.1 KB)

Couple technical issues today due to the patch. The G1000 buttons keep turning on their own, it seems the button up event from the mouse is not always recognized anymore. Work around, remap cockpit zoom to button plus scroll wheel and use the scroll wheel to operate the G1000 knob.

Also TAA has changed, picture quality seems to have degraded some what even though I take screenshots at render scale 200. It could also be the terrain at Cape Verde, a lot of washed out pictures needing a bit of brightness and contrast adjustments.

The plane seems to be harder to control as well with wind or maybe the effect of wind is now better implemented. It was windy today in Cape Verde, up to 36 knots, making it very hard to land.

10-30 Rabil GVBA 5:02 AM
10-30 Amilcar Cabral GVAC 5:40 AM
10-30 Preguica GVSN 6:13 AM
10-30 Agostinho Neto GVAN 6:42 AM Took 3 attempts to land, 26 knot cross wind
10-30 Sao Pedro GVSV 7:10 AM
10-30 Esperadinha BVR 8:03 AM
10-30 Sao Filipe GVSF 8:18 AM Crazy wind, full steering lock to stay on the runway
10-30 Mosteiros GVMT 9:01 AM Awesome volcano
10-30 Mandela Intl GVNP 9:32 AM
10-30 Maio GVMA 9:50 AM 385nm next, 35 knot head wind ugh, climb!
10-30 Diofior GODI 12:50 AM
Restart, not sure if streaming is actually working or poor quality
10-30 Diofior GODI 12:50 AM poor quality
10-30 Banjul GBYD East through The Gambia 1:24 PM
10-30 Kolda GOGK 2:18 PM

Flight time 9:04 12 stops

First up Boa Vista, sadly very little detail

What the coast really looks like

There is an old freighter ran aground at the beach in 1968, Praia da Atalanta, but detail is too low to see it

Rabil, cute town next to the airport

São Nicolau to the West

Ribeira Brava, the airport is just to the left

Parque Natural Monte Gordo in the mountains, quite green in reality

Awesome coast line here as well

Vale do PaúlIlha de Santo Antão, or simply Paul Valley

Ponta do Sol, actually this landing was easier than it looks

Esgamaleiro tucked into that valley

Chã de Igreja

the real thing, those vertical cliffs on the water!


A little bit to the South-West, São Vicente

In the middle of the bay on the left is this rock, turned into tourist attraction

Mindelo on São Vicente

A long way to the South, Esperadinha Brava, another ‘interesting’ landing experience

Just East of Brava is Ilha do Fogo with a massive volcano, Pico do Fogo

Active 9,281 ft. stratovolcano

With a huge caldera, Fogo National Park

People live there, Bangera and Portela

The lava field at the base of the volcano

Fogo as seen from its caldera

Looking down into the caldera from the peak

And one more goodbye shot for the overview

On to Santiago a little bit to the East, Porto Mosquito to the right, sounds inviting…

Quite a colorful island

Praia, the capital of Cape Verde

View from Lighthouse Dona Maria Pia at the end of that small peninsula

Last island for today, Porto Inglês on Maio

Nice Beach. It’s still 27 degrees there at 11 PM, looks inviting

Back to the mainland, back to Senegal. Flying over Moundé

This area is part of the Saloum river delta

Bakau in The Gambia, a small country around the river Gambia

Kachikally Crocodile Pool in the middle of town where you can pet the crocodiles

Hmm, not sure if you can trust that one

Banjul, the capital of The Gambia

Arch 22, decorative gate commemorating 1994’s military coup d’état

I followed the river Gambia to the East until the sun went down

About time to turn South to my final destination of the day

Arriving in Kolda, Senegal, night lighting has changed

No lights at the airport, no problem, runway data was in the G1000

Tomorrow back to the coast and follow it Eastwards.

Leg 70, Kolda, Senegal via Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sierra Leone to Sinoe, Liberia

DAY10_31.PLN (7.3 KB)

Landing is still tricky after the latest patch. Something is messed up with the sensitivity curve of both the flight stick and the way the ailerons react. Auto pilot has issues as well, very jerky when switching to VS mode. While leveling off over the runway, when pulling the stick back slowly, there is a point where it suddenly gets super sensitive and the plane pitches up wildly. Move it a mm back and it violently pitches back down. For now my solution is to land with trim set to 20% up, thus pulling the stick less far back while landing.

First back to the coast, at Cap Skriring

Cap Skirring is a popular seaside resort for Europeans and great place to catch the waves

Varela National Park

The Rio Mansoa river delta

Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau on the river Geba

Contrasting city, modern to decaying Portugese colonial buildings

Labe to the East in Guinea

Fouta Djallon next to Labe


Crossing into Sierra Leone near Kabala

Agriculture near Kabala

Interesting mountains near Makiti, a huge eroded plateau, must be old

Conakry the capital of Guinea

A long city, it actually started quite a bit way back from my first picture

Topped by the remnants of an old volcano

Îles de Los

Looking back on the city extending in the far distance

Museum and Grande Mosque of Conakry


Approaching Freetown in Sierra Leone

Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, known for its historical role in the slave trade

The old town’s centuries-old Cotton Tree, a historical landmark, symbol of emancipation

Freetown on departure

Near Rontok

Near Funkio, some nice colors along the coast

It’s all part of various river basins, here the Tai river basin

Heading in land again, passing Lanty dry mining plant

Apparently pruduces heavy minerals, rutile, ilmenite and zircon (Mr Zurcon?)


Kambui Hills Forest Reserve next to Kenema

On the way to Robertsport, shields up

Robertsport, named after Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the first president of Liberia

The beach around here

Monrovia, capital of Liberia

View from Ducor intercontinental hotel

The old hotel is now a tourist attraction, with great views

You can explore it in street view, pretty cool

The layout reminds me of the abandoned building in The last of us 2

I flew on to Sinoe to arrive there in the dark with lots of lightning, drone view landing for visibility

Bright during a flash, near pitch black right after, fun landing with that going off every few seconds

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