No Money Mondays: Ranginator’s Okavango Delta

February 21, 2022

Cue the stereotypical African safari drum beat, as we take a look into a continent that is widely uncovered and undiscovered by the X-Plane community. Embedded in the sprawling grass plains of the Southern African region of Botswana, are a number of remote airstrips servicing the resorts that scatter across this lively area known as the Okavango Delta. 

Many aviation enthusiasts will certainly recognise this place from the tv show “Bush Pilots” where rookie pilots battle it out in the harshest conditions the African continent has to offer, purely to earn the title and bragging rights that come with this location. Short dirt runways, high temperatures, heavy payloads and daily subtropical storms mean earning your wings here is an achievement in itself. 

Lucky for us, Ranginator has developed a decent rendition of the Okavango Delta, so that we can get in on some of the action, without all the associated risks. The scenery is comprehensive and it appears a great deal of time has been taken to implement relatively detailed coverage for such an expansive region.

The scenery is complete with numerous resorts, helipads and airstrips, a full breakdown is provided below:

  • 5 safari camps (Abu Camp, Chief’s Camp, Mombo Camp, Nxabega Camp and Xigera Camp.
  • 5 airfields: Abu (FB00), Chief’s Camp (FBPJ), Mombo airfield (FB50), Nxabega (FB57) and Xigera (FB95).
  • Camp tents with helipads.
  • Highly accurate buildings modelled.
  • Detailed airport objects, vehicles and vegetation.
  • Custom textured runways and helipads.
  • Custom surrounding buildings.
  • 26 helipads.
  • Hundreds of animals.
  • Custom water, roads, pavement and PBR textures.

With so many locations to explore, you'll certainly need a map as your Garmins might just struggle a little out here, hence Ranginator putting a map together for us. This is a neat rustic feature that will have you aviating just as penguins did in the movie Madagascar. 

As mentioned above the scenery is complete with Animal figures, although they are a little stiff, you'll have to use your imagination on this one. Take extreme care when landing your floatplanes in the delta, as you might lose your pontoons to the creatures beneath, that you'll have to keep an eye out for. 

To get the full experience, I suggest approaching this scenery with the correct aircraft. I would recommend using a PC12, twin otter or C208, the latter being the most common aircraft in these parts. Liveries for local operators don't seem to be out there, therefore I recommend using this SA Airlink C208 Livery.

In summary, I personally grew up in this part of the world, and while constantly striving to build on my African continent coverage, I found this scenery to be the closest representation of a true safari bush flying experience, across both payware and freeware. This scenery is relatively detailed for a freeware add-on and will definitely suffice in creating an authentic safari vibe.

The scenery can be found here on the forums.

Should you decide to take up the challenge, watch out that you don’t take out any Giraffes on your low levels, this serves as your African ground proximity warning system.

Threshold encourages informed discussion and debate - though this can only happen if all commenters remain civil when voicing their opinions.