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Last summer I delivered a Cessna Caravan to Safarilink, an airline based at Wilson airport (HKNW) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Safarilink C-208 Caravan

A Safarilink Caravan on the ramp at Wilson Airport in Nairobi

Never one to miss an opportunity to gather some intel for you, I pulled out my MP3 recorder and interviewed one of the pilots, Shahid Rasuel, while I had the chance.

Safarilink mostly flies tourists to dirt strips at safari camps in Kenya and northern Tanzania, and to paved strips at beach resorts on the Kenyan coast. They operate a bunch of Cessna Caravans, a DeHavilland Twin Otter, and a DeHavilland Dash 8.

Passenger Terminal at Wilson Airport

The passenger terminal

In the interview you’ll hear how Shahid got his start as a flight instructor, the type of flying that Safarilink pilots do, what the company looks for in pilots, and his best advice for someone wanting to learn to fly in Kenya.


Press the Play icon to begin streaming the audio, or right-click the text link and choose Save As or Save Link.

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Right-click to download the MP3 file (27 minutes – 24.9 MB)

Did you like this interview? Please leave your comments and questions below.

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4 Responses to “Flying tourists in Kenya: An interview with Safarilink pilot Shahid Rasuel”

  1. Pete says:

    Aidan, Thanks for the very interesting interview. Do the planes that you ferry over there stay N registered? Or once in Kenya do they change registration?

  2. Aidan says:

    No worries. It was fun sitting down with those guys.
    As for the planes. They get a Kenyan registry, or Tanzanian, wherever they are ending up. There are good maintenance facilities at Wilson so many planes stop at there. The owners generally pick them form there.
    Occasionally we’ll deliver planes that are not N registered. Then you need to get a endorsement from the governing body of the country that holds the registration. The Caravans we took to Nepal are a good example.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks for the quick response…..Sounds like aviation is doing really well in Kenya. From the interview it seems that there are lots of students to fill the pilot positions there. That would make sense instead of hiring pilots from the outside. I was under the assumption that most pilots from other countries trained in the US then went back to work in their country.
      This is just the kind of job that’s always intrigued me. Flying to remote unpaved strips in wild lands across the globe. Very interesting stuff here. I hope you keep sharing the experiences and hope to share some of mine as well. Thanks for the great site!

  3. Sylvia says:

    What a nice interview. Bush flying seems to be interesting. Looking forward to fly with safari link someday.

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