BUY ONLINE OR CALL 01252 844222 TO BOOK

Balloon Safaris in Africa

In the early 90's Kim Hull was invited to visit one of the company pilots who during the English wintertime worked as a pilot in Kenya. Africa is a popular ballooning location for tourists, particularly in the game parks where the African wildlife adds another dimension to the surreal nature of hot air ballooning.

Floating over the Mara River in a hot air balloon

Floating over the Mara River in a hot air balloon

The balloon flights are made in the morning because evening flights are not possible due to the gusty evening winds, and the fact that darkness falls very quickly in these equatorial regions and you wouldn't want to get stuck after your landing amongst all the wild animals.

At this particular "camp" in the Masai Mara in Kenya guests are flown in from the capital Nairobi for a couple of days, spending one day with a guide doing an overground safari by 4 x 4 and then taking the balloon flight the following morning. The camps are designed to re-create the atmosphere of a typical camp when big game hunting rather than conservation was the thing to do.

Preparing the balloon for hot inflation

Preparing the balloon for hot inflation

Morning Balloon take off

Morning Balloon take off

Up to 4 balloons may take off, each one carrying 12 or more passengers for about an hour long flight. The chief pilot of the day will have released a helium met balloon to see what the wind speed and direction is on the day. The local Masai crew will then drive ahead of the balloons to the expected landing site and start to prepare breakfast for the balloon passengers. Pilots they vie to see who can land closest to the breakfast site.

At the breakfast site all is prepared, including spears to act as a deterrent for low flying birds that would try to steal the breakfast from your plate

Balloon landing - hopefully close to breakfast

Balloon landing - hopefully close to breakfast

Special Shapes Balloons - Your breakfast is prepared using a modified balloon burner that has passed it's sell by date.

Your breakfast is prepared using a modified balloon burner that has passed it's sell by date.

Special Shapes Balloons - The balloonist's breakfast is laid out ready

The balloonist's breakfast is laid out ready

After the flight guests are returned to the camp in a 4 x 4 while the local crew pack the balloon away and take it back using tractors and trailers. The passengers then fly back to Narobi in a beautiful old Douglas DC3.

Special Shapes Balloons - Local Masai crew put the balloons onto tractors and trailers to return them to the camp.

Local Masai crew put the balloons onto tractors and trailers to return them to the camp.

Special Shapes Balloons - Local Masai crew put the balloons onto tractors and trailers to return them to the camp.

Local Masai crew put the balloons onto tractors and trailers to return them to the camp.

For information and further details of Hot air balloon safaris in the Masai Mara & Serengeti this is a good African ballooning link.

Adventure Balloons Ltd, Winchfield Park, London Road, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, RG27 8HY.
Reg No 4837166

© Copyright 2012 Adventure Balloons