Back to Africa on a Dream
Out of Africa’s little yellow biplane can once again be seen flitting above the East African savanna. Article originally published by High Tea With Elephants
“Up in this air you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of heart. In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.”
Karen Blixen’s beautifully scripted words from the Oscar-winning screenplay Out of Africa are subtly pertinent to the story of the film’s memorable yellow biplane, which is back where it ought to be.
The wonderful old flying machine – a 1929-model Gypsy Moth – spent around 50 hours soaring over the quintessential East African bushveld during the filming of Out of Africa – a 20th century colonial Kenyan tale of romance between Danish Baroness Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) and big-game hunter Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford).
28 years on, the iconic G-AAMY has returned to East Africa. Jochen Zeitz, owner of Segera Retreat and founder of the Zeitz Foundation, purchased the gleaming vintage avion at a Paris auction in 2013 and followed his dream to bring it home.
The video that tells this story is a masterpiece in its own right. With elegantly crafted cinematography and a soundtrack so beautifully stirring (Suite Bergamasque: Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy), it reveals the inch-by-inch re-assembling of G-AAMY’s metal parts by the skillful engineer Henry Labouchere at Segera.
Today, complete with a humming new engine, the little yellow biplane’s familiar form can once again be seen flitting above the East African savanna, with Jochen Zeitz at its helm.
It is something truly spectacular to view Africa’s vast, wild expanses from the air – the archetypal spread of acacias, the infinite grassland and the bulbous African sun so indulged by film and photography over decades. The Gypsy Moth’s evocative past – its connection to an ‘Out of Africa’ time and place – adds to that magic. “
We are delighted to offer an incredible opportunity for our guests to enjoy G-AAMY and to experience this unique aspect of Kenyan safari history”, says Segera GM Jens Kozany. “Reminiscent of a bygone era in Kenya, G-AAMY brings a romantic piece of history to our eco-friendly luxury Retreat. Even more importantly, we hope it will encourage further interest in, and support for, Segera’s important 4Cs (Commerce, Conservation, Community and Culture) projects in collaboration with the Zeitz Foundation.”
Visit Segera Retreat to experience it.