From the moment of stepping inside the charter aircraft, one can relax in the knowledge that the most arduous part of the journey is already over and one's role has become that of a discerning traveller gaining a unique perspective on the majestic works of nature and phenomenal achievements of man.
From the long and varied list of destinations worthy of viewing from above, here are a select few to inspire a journey:
Himalayas, Southern Asia
Sir Edmond Hillary, who in 1953 led the first expedition to reach the top of Mt Everest, once commented that the Himalayas "will bring a tear to your eye and then freeze them to your face". There is, however, no danger from the extreme cold in the air conditioned comfort of an aircraft. The Himalayas are home to over a hundred peaks exceeding 7200m and include the earth’s highest point, Mt Everest. The snow-covered mountains are breath-taking on a clear day, and to see them from a bird’s eye view is a privilege that cannot be attained while one is earth bound.
Nazca lines, Peru
To gain any perspective of the Nazca lines, located on the west coast of Peru, an air charter is imperative. When viewed from the ground, the ancient enigma would seem nothing more than enormous lines carved at random in the ground. With the advantage of altitude, however, these lines form themselves into a collection of animal figures of massive proportions, including a condor at 134m across and a monkey at 93m by 58m. Scientists and historians are yet to agree on an explanation for the creation of these figures, but for those more concerned with appreciating the ingenuity its creators, a flight over the area is highly rewarding.
Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Remote and untouched, Dusky Sound is the epitome of pure, natural beauty that New Zealand is renowned for. Access to the area is by sea or by boat only, and so a flight over the unpopulated area is a rare chance to see nature at its finest. Dusky Sound is the largest of a chain of fiords located on the south west corner of New Zealand. Captain Cook was the first European to set eyes on the sound in 1770, and it was he who gave it its name, presumably for its solemn appearance. The sheer sides of the surrounding mountains, the green of the native forest and the blue of the crystalline waters all combine to produce a scene of startling beauty.
Few places on earth can match Africa's juxtaposition of wildness of nature with luxuriousness of travel. Hosting the largest mammal migration in the world, a jet charter flight over the Serengeti will be a delight for the nature lover. Approximately 70 larger animal species can be found on the Serengeti, as well as a range of terrain including riverine forests, swamps, grasslands and woodlands. Migration time is during October and November, when over a million wildebeest and around 200 000 zebra relocate from the northern hills to the southern plains, and to catch a glimpse of this epic journey from above is unforgettable.