Lonely Planet Writer

Vintage 1930’s biplanes fly past the pyramids of Giza during epic five week rally

Photos have been shared that show a dozen vintage biplanes flying past the pyramids of Giza this week during the Egyptian leg of an epic five-week rally that sees a fleet flying from Crete to Cape Town.

German pilot Ingo Presser checks his Bü 131 Bücker Jungmann biplane after landing at an airfield in Cairo's 6th of October City, west of the Egyptian capital, during the Vintage Air Rally.
German pilot Ingo Presser checks his Bü 131 Bücker Jungmann biplane after landing at an airfield in Cairo’s 6th of October City, west of the Egyptian capital, during the Vintage Air Rally. Image by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

The journey is part of the Vintage Air Rally Crete2Cape project, which sees groups of international pilots following in the footsteps of pioneering flights and recreating African aviation journeys from the 1920s.

Belgian pilots Alexandra Maingard and her husband Cedric Collette fly their vintage Stampe OO-GWB biplane by one of the Pyramids of Giza, on the southern outskirts of Cairo.
Belgian pilots Alexandra Maingard and her husband Cedric Collette fly their vintage Stampe OO-GWB biplane by one of the Pyramids of Giza, on the southern outskirts of Cairo. Image by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

The trip will see pilots flying low along the Nile from Cairo to Khartoum, passing the highlands of Ethiopia before going over the Kenyan plains. The route will also take the pilots past Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti and the spice islands of Zanzibar before finishing at the Cape of South Africa in 30 days’ time.

The epic journey will take the 14 teams 30 days to complete.
The epic journey will take the 14 teams 30 days to complete. Image by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images
Belgian pilots Alexandra Maingard and her husband Cedric Collette fly near the Pyramids of Giza.
Belgian pilots Alexandra Maingard and her husband Cedric Collette fly near the Pyramids of Giza. Image by Khaled Desouki/AFFP/Getty Images

Fourteen international teams from places such as Germany, Canada, USA, Ireland, South Africa, Botswana, UK and Cyprus are currently undertaking the 8000-mile trip, all in planes that were built before 31 December 1939. This week saw the teams refuelling on the plains of Egypt before taking in stunning views of one of the most famous landmarks in the world, the pyramids of Giza.

Egyptian pilot Yasser Menaissy and Belgian pilot Cedric Collette sit in a vintage Stampe OO-GWB biplane in an airfield near the Pyramids of Giza.
Egyptian pilot Yasser Menaissy and Belgian pilot Cedric Collette sit in a vintage Stampe OO-GWB biplane in an airfield near the Pyramids of Giza. Image by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

More information about the Vintage Air Rally is available on their website, while a live tracking system is also in place for people who wish to follow the adventure.