The Tiger Moth Club of South Africa
de Havilland DH.82A the legend lives on...
History by Andre van Rensburg 3 November 2011

During 1993/1994, several Tiger Moth owners got together with a view to reviving the previous club known as The de Havilland Moth Club of South Africa.

Subsequently, during 1994, an AGM was called and approximately 35 Tiger Moth and Chipmunk owners and interested parties got together at the Impala Pub  in Bedfordview.

The following items were voted on and agreed:

As the majority of de Havilland aircraft owners had Tiger Moths, the name of the club would change to ‘The Tiger Moth Club of South Africa’

Chairman: Andre van Rensburg
Secretary: Jeff Earle
Treasurer: Dickie Jurgens
Newsletter Editor: Lance Poynter

A regular get-together was arranged at the Impala Pub in Bedfordview every month and some fly-ins were arranged to Krugersdorp, Vereeniging, Orient and  Rand Airport. Under the leadership of Jeff Earle, a 4-ship Tiger Moth formation started practising formation flying and were displayed at an air show at Rand  Airport.

Formation members were:

ZS-BGN Tiger Moth Jeff Earle
ZS-BXB Tiger Moth G.B. Braak
ZS-BGL Tiger Moth Barry Keyter
ZS-DNO Tiger Moth Dickie Jurgens

During 1995, we started arrangements for a two-week trip to the Swamps in Botswana and up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately we were unable  to finalise these arrangements for 1995 and Andre van Rensburg immediately started planning this trip for 1996.

The Africa Tiger Moth Safari came together during March/April 1996 with four Tiger Moths and one support aircraft.

The Safari participants were:

ZS-BGN Tiger Moth Jeff and Sharlene Earle
ZS-BGL Tiger Moth Barry and Tony Keyter
ZS-BXB Tiger Moth G.B Braak and Mary Matthews
ZS-DNI Tiger Moth Andre and Theo van Rensburg
ZS-EYM Cessna 210 Cliff Conchie

Prior to the trip the participants appealed for sponsorships and MLS Bank donated R5000-00 towards this trip and in return we put their logo on our Tiger Moth cowlings. Tony Keyter filmed portions of this trip and this sponsorship money from MLS Bank was used to edit video material and make a master video of the trip. The editing was done in America on the America TV system known as NTSC.

We had this NTSC master converted to PAL and made several PAL and NTSC copies, some of which were sold locally and some of which were sold to the de Havilland Moth Club in the UK. These were sold at cost, the idea being to make them reach as many people as possible and make them as affordable as  possible.

The video of the Africa Tiger Mother Safari is available on DVD

Following our Africa Tiger Moth Safari, our club made contact with the de Havilland Moth Club in the UK and Brian Zeederberg travelled to the UK to represent South Africa in their aerobatic contest. Brain won this contest several times. One occasion was the event held from 18 to 21 August 2005. Click here for Brian's account and photographs of the event

During 2006 we were encouraged by Martiens Steyn to arrange a get-together at AFB Swartkop in celebration of the Tiger Moth 75 years. At this get-together Martiens Steyn was elected as the chairman of The Tiger Moth Club of SA and Andre van Rensburg would support him as website editor.

The Tiger Moth Club of SA’s activities have been various fly-ins to Baragwaneth and to Krugersdorp airfield, attendance at Swartkop for the Silver Queen Air Rally, attendance at the Parys Wings and Wheels festival and we’ve also visited Sandstone Estates where they have a unique collection of steam trains and  other heritage items.

During 2011 Courtney Watson started organizing another Africa Tiger Moth Safari. A dream that he and his father, Roy Watson, have had for a number of years. Roy’s Tiger wasn’t ready when we did the previous safari in 1996, so he had to wait a long time for the next safari.

From the 14 of April to the 1st of May 2011, a group of seven vintage de Havilland Biplanes ventured across Botswana on a once-in-a-lifetime airborne safari.

The route was from Polokwane in South Africa to the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Leaving Gweta, we flew to the inland oasis that is the Okavango Delta and then the lush riverine forest of Chobe. A few days in Livingstone, Zambia, overhead the spectacular Victoria Falls followed and then we headed back  home.

Participants came from all over the world, South Africa, Botswana, Europe and Australia. They flew their own Tiger Moths, Fox Moths and support aircraft.

There is a website dedicated to the 2011 Africa Tiger Moth Safari.

Courtney has also published a coffee table book with photographs of their adventure and has also made a DVD of the trip.

The Tiger Moth Club of SA does not have regular meetings or get-togethers. As we are an informal collection of individuals with like minded interests, we allow anybody to arrange their own get-together, be it a fly-in at their local airfield for breakfast or a braai, or meeting up at an air show.

For further information please Contact Us
Introduction