Microlighting over the  Smoke that Thunders 

While some people may celebrate their 90th birthday with tea and cake, Helga Bultemeier boarded a rather flimsy-looking, two-man open aircraft and with the wind in her face, soared over the thundering Zambezi River and majestic Victoria Falls.

The resident of Rand Aid’s Thornhill Manor, who joined the nonagenarian club on July 20, 2019,  said it was the most amazing experience.

The flight was a birthday gift from her son and daughter, who – along with other family members and grandchildren – joined her for an unforgettable trip to one of Africa’s most scenic places. They stayed at the Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, where zebra wander the grounds and sweeping views of the Zambezi River and savannah stretch out forever.

The microlight flight, booked through Livingstone’s Adventure, was 15-minutes long. “I would absolutely do it again, anytime,” says Helga, whose late husband was a pilot who loved taking his wife for rides in similar lightweight aircraft.

Helga has always been an adventurous person. She is actively involved in village life at Thornhill Manor, happily cooking German fare and manning the stall at the annual fete. She used to love volunteering at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre where her dog, Dr Pippi, brought much joy to the residents. Thornhill Manor has been her home for over 10 years.

“We are looking forward to celebrating Mom’s 100th birthday, with her maybe piloting the microlight,” chuckles son Bernard Bultemeier.

“Thank you for taking such great care of my mom; she absolutely loves Thornhill Manor,” he added.