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Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

Kalix, Sweden
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683 posts
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Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

Is the light better for photography at a specific time? How about the spray amount from the falls (late June) so that we can get a clear view?

Is there any better time of day (morning/mid-day/afternoon) to do the approx. 12min helicopter flight at Victoria Falls?

How many people fit into the helicopter and does everyone have a window seat?

Frankfurt, Germany
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1. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

Can't tell you anything about the best time in June. We did an early morning flight in Dec. and it was awesome, however it might be different in June, waters are higher, rainfall rarer.

As for the helicopters, there are 2 companies, Shearwater and Bonisair. We went with the later and they used a 4 seater, so everybody gets a window seat. Shearwater, from reading the reviews, uses a bigger chopper, so that there is a middle seat.

Read my review. Maybe someone else can comment on the best time in June.

Kalix, Sweden
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2. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

Thank you so much Dudel for telling a little bit about your helicopter flight experience with Bonisair! It sounds amazing! I have also read your very helpful trip review & had a look at your stunning photos, wow! :-)

It also sounds good that they have a 4-seater helicopter where everyone gets a window seat, I like that. I cannot find much info about "Bonisair" on the Internet though, are they a new company? Do they have their own website or e-mail address?

Has anyone else done this helicopter trip over the Falls during June month and can tell a little about best-time-of-day for best photo-opportunities when it comes to light and less spray?

Thanks again!

Frankfurt, Germany
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for Garden Route
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3. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

Hi,

as for Bonisair, they are pretty new and don't have a internet site. It is owned by one of the former pilots of shearwaters who is an helicopter instructor.

We went with them by chance while booking with www.zimtourserv.com . Other than this the only info I have is the telephone number I got and passed to tripadvisor - see review.

california
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4. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

We did this in June 2010 at 9am (photo timestamp at 9:13). We used Shearwater and they rolled out a tiny 4 seater with special bubble windows for great viewing. They dusted off the windows and the 2 of us climbed in with our pilot and away we went. Hubby sat next to pilot and I had both seats in back so could see from both sides. 12 minutes was enough to get good views in my opinion.

If you are flying in to Vic Falls from Botswana, ask the pilot to take you over the falls. Even though it was a little past the airport, the pilot was thrilled to do it for us. He does need to get permission for the change in flight path though. Got equally good photos from a higher view than the helicopter. Would still do helicopter flight also as a different view and nice narration.

california
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5. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

One more thing, there was some morning fog in June and I was concerned that we wouldn't see anything. Same question as you, should I wait to book or go in the afternoon. Don't worry about that as they don't go up if the weather isn't good.

Kalix, Sweden
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6. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

Thanks again Dudel & Wildlifepainter for your helpful replies! :-)

Victoria Falls...
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7. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

Hi Annika and Peter

I have deliberated over this question myself many times and I have been on numersous flights myself aswell as speaking to the pilots and owners of the helicopters. Obviously there is no absolute rule because weather conditions on the day can change everything. But in June weather should not be an issue as it is winter and the likelyhood of rain is next to nothing. Winter in Victoria Falls produces beautiful clear blue skies.

In June the water is still quite high so there will be a lot of spray in the cold mornings this spray will rise high into the sky and is impressive to see but does obscure your view of the Falls a little. For this reason I would normally recommend an afternoon flight, by which time some of the spray has evapourated due to the heat of the day. Rainbows are good over the Falls either mid morning or mid afternoon.

Light in the mid to late afternoon is much softer and prettier for photography, definately avoid midday when the light is flat. Therefore 2.30 to 3pm is a good time.

Shearwater have 3 helicopters and they are 4 and 6 seaters (passengers) so if the flight is full someone is going to end up in the middle seat. They have fitted bubble windows which are just awesome and give such a clear view, it's like you are almost hanging out the heli, this has greatly improved the view for the middle passenger aswell.

Bonisair have a 3 seater helicopter (passengers) so everyone is guaranteed a window seat., but they don't have the bubble windows.

Hope that helps

Tony

Kalix, Sweden
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8. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

Thanks Tony for your helpful reply and views on this subject, we really appreciate it! Thanks again! :-)

levin
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9. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

hi we are there earily may this year so there possible more water over falls so from what everybody saying late afternoon would be best.the question is is it best to book copter flight in advance before we leave ?

Victoria Falls...
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for Victoria Falls
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10. Re: Helicopter flight - which time of day is best?

If you leave it until you get there you might well find that you cannot get the time slot that you wanted, then the time slots left available might well clash with other activities you want to do. Most people only come to Vic Falls for 2 to 3 days and there is a lot to do and see so it really is best to plan it ahead of schedule, get the times for the activities you want and avoid any disapointment. There should be no difference in price between booking online and pre booking.