Who We Are
About Us

Pilots and pioneering aviation professionals with an unquenchable passion for Africa exploration.

Since that fateful flight up the East African coast in 2009, the Scenic Air brand has developed a sterling reputation for providing uniquely pioneering tailor-made flying safaris and executive air charter services throughout East and Southern Africa.

By far our greatest strength as a company, lies in our team of people and the wealth of experience we can call upon. Our motivation is to do more than simply achieve financial success, it is fuelled by a love for aviation, for Africa, its wildlife, people and its magical landscapes.

A Team Effort

We live the dream of Africa. We do what we love and we love what we do. Here’s our team that make it all possible:

Capt. Torben Rune

Managing Director

A committed wildlife conservationist and private pilot for the past 30 years, Torben has vast experience within International Tourism. He studied Marketing and Business Studies in South Africa, returning to Kenya where he managed Southern Cross Safaris as a partner and Managing Director. A trustee of the Satao community and wildlife trust and past trustee of the East African Whale Shark Trust.

He studied Marketing and Business Studies in South Africa, returning to Kenya where he managed Southern Cross Safaris as a partner and Managing Director until 2017. He is the Chairman of the George Adamson Wildlife Trust in Kenya, a trustee of the Satao community and wildlife trust and a past founder trustee of the East African Whale Shark Trust.

Simon Penfold

Marketing & Innovations

Simon was born to an aviation family in East Africa. His father Capt. Eddie Penfold was a pioneering ‘Wing Safari’ pilot in the 1960s. He read Airlines & Tourism in Glasgow, Scotland, then travelled extensively, before eventually - like the majestic salmon - returning to his spawning grounds in Kenya. (Simon has never come across a river or an ocean he doesn’t love to fish.)

With his passion for tourism and for aviation, Simon first ran a destination management company in Kenya before moving to Scenic Air Safaris to oversee its marketing development programme. Always looking for fresh ideas and markets, he takes particular pride in innovating all-new and utterly unique flying safari experiences, designed to showcase the extraordinary wildlife and landscapes of his beloved continent.

An avid outdoor enthusiast who cares deeply about the protection of endangered species, Simon never travels without his fly rod, or a fabulous sense of humour.

Capt. Murtaza Walijee

Chief Pilot & Host

Murtaza ‘Ice Man’ Walijee leads our team of pioneering aviators, with over 7,500 hrs of bush flying in East Africa. He is also a certified flight instructor with an instrument rating. He relishes the challenges of 'bush flying' and in particular, flying and guiding our Ultimate Across Africa flying safari.

A great story-teller with a trove of incredible  experiences, Murtaza’s favourite flights are over the wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara and Serengeti, the Pink Flamingos over Lake Natron and the low level scenic flight over the Mahale Mountains on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

Capt. Sam Mbugua

Pilot and Host

A smooth flier, Sam brings alive what he calls ‘my own Africa’ with expert, engaging commentaries on all that lies below. Sam is instrument rated, and a certified flight instructor with over 5,800 hrs of bush flying experience. He originally wanted to be a doctor but, thankfully for us, chose to become a pilot instead, adapting his calm bedside manner to loftier altitudes.

Sam loves discovering new off-the-beaten-track destinations and unusual game. A favourite with our guests, he makes it his business to get clients up close and personal with the remarkable wildlife of East Africa.

Capt. Ryan Outram

Pilot & Host

Captain Ryan Outram has a keen sense of adventure and especially enjoys the challenges of flying both the Cessna Caravan and the Stationair, off the beaten track to remote locations around Kenya and Tanzania. Having spent his childhood on a farm on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, staring skyward at farmers flying to and fro, he followed his dream of flying, graduating from the well known Flying Frontiers Bush Pilot Academy in South Africa. Ryan is a passionate outdoors enthusiast, active conservationist, water skier, kitesurfer and the perfect gentleman host who loves to see the excited reaction of guests witnessing their first sightings of African wildlife from the air.

Capt. Darryl Van Dyk

Pilot

Born in The Kingdom of Swaziland, Darryl spent his childhood in Africa’s smallest country before moving to South Africa to study and to follow his dream of learning to fly. Before settling in Kenya, Darryl has lived, worked and flown throughout East, Central, and West Africa, gaining some invaluable bush flying experience. Since making Kenya his home, he attained his Kenya commercial pilots licence (CPL) and started out by flying our Cessna 206 on popular coastal charter routes whilst based in Diani. Now based upcountry, at his new home on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Darryl is 'living the dream’ of flying guests around the wild un-tamed expanses of northern Kenya in his faithful Cessna 206.

Sharlet Tandi

Sales and Reservations

Sharlet is our first point of contact at Scenic Air Safaris. Passionate about discovery and adventure, her travels and experience within the aviation business have enabled her to realise her dream; to mix air travel and wildlife as a career. Her favourite destination above all others is the Masai Mara.

Sharlet holds a Bachelor of Business Management, with marketing and a diploma in Cabin Crew and Ticketing. Her experience is the glue that binds our sales and operations together.

Gillie Levitan

Tailor-made flying safari specialist

Born and brought up in Kenya, Gillie has wide experience both in the hospitality and corporate worlds. She has run luxury game lodges in both Kenya and South Africa, and for many years, worked with the leading tour operator, Abercrombie & Kent. Gillie is a pure destination specialist; her experience and ability to hand-select luxury accommodation, sights, excursions and private guides, as a well as arrange transfers and scheduled flights to complement our full concierge service is well known throughout the industry. Gillie is a passionate globe trotter, though her favourite place above all is being in the African bush, preferably as off the beaten track as possible.