Wilderness Air Zimbabwe Safety and Security Manager
Natsai Chiremba is a pilot for Wilderness Air in Zimbabwe. She was born in a small village in Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe, the youngest of six children. Her dream of becoming a pilot was inspired by her brother who was himself a pilot.
The stories he recounted about aeroplanes and his travels around Zimbabwe while training had her spellbound. Sadly her brother passed away in 2003, which only increased her desire to follow her dreams.
Soon after completing her Advanced Level exams in 2006, Natsai moved to Harare to begin training as a pilot at Charles Prince Airport. At the time, the country was still using the rapidly declining Zimbabwean Dollar and she realised that soon her money would no longer buy her the classes she needed in order to graduate. She then moved to Westline Aviation in the Free State Province of South Africa where she completed her Private Licence, Night Rating and Commercial Ground training. From here Natsai headed to Johannesburg to finish her Commercial and Airline Transport Pilot exams and to build up her hours in the air. She moved back to Westline to complete her training before heading back to Harare to convert her licence at Zimbabwean-based Guthrie Aviation.
Knowing that Wilderness Safaris operated a stable and well-established charter – Wilderness Air – with a good history and high safety standards, in mid-2011 Natsai started contacting pilots she knew who worked for the business.
In 2012 Natsai was invited for an interview with Wilderness Air Zimbabwe and was offered an office job as a receptionist while she completed her Instrument Rating on her Zimbabwean licence. Finally, in September 2013, she took to the skies – initially with a Training Captain for a few months, and then flying solo in February 2014.
Natsai says, “Working for Wilderness Air is fantastic. I love wildlife and nature, travelling and meeting new faces, and this job allows me to see and do all of these things. I also get the opportunity to travel to extremely remote areas, which are often inaccessible by road, and which I never thought I would ever set my eyes on. Besides my flying experience with Wilderness Air, I have met, flown and worked with people from many different walks of life, which has greatly improved my interpersonal skills. I also enjoy training the new pilots on the C206, while flying our Cessna Caravans has been the highlight of my aviation career to date”.