Hot Air Balloon Safari
Location: Masai Mara Game Reserve
Cost: US$450 per person
Balloon safaris are a romantic and evocative way of experiencing the wilderness of East Africa, as you gracefully and silently fly over the plains teeming with herds of wildlife in the early morning.
Typically, a Hot Air balloon safari begins at the break of dawn, about 6 am, and lasts for around 1 hour, during which you will fly over parts of the vast Masai Mara plain, seeing the magnificent wildlife below, spread over several square kilometers of the reserve.
Balloon flights are available daily in Maasai Mara and take off from designated sites where the disturbance to animals is kept to a minimum. Your safari vehicle drops you off at the take-off site and picks you up from your landing site. The flight is followed by a champagne breakfast “in the bush”, with a well laid out seating arrangement and waiters on hand, to give you a fitting finale to your memorable flight in the wild.
Hot Air Balloon Scenery
The scenery from a hot air balloon is unforgettable due to its spectacular and breathtaking nature; the ultimate safari experience. The balloon flight takes you over the diverse habitats of the Masai Mara Reserve; the great Mara River, swamps, forests, wildlife and the African Savannah. The diversity of our flight trail enables passengers to experience a unique opportunity to be a part of the Masai Mara from the air.
The gentle and silent nature of the balloon flight allows the passengers to view the wildlife from a comfortable distance. The big five; the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo can be seen frequently along with other animals such as hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, birds and many more.
Hot Air Balloon Safari Itinerary
You will have to rise early, usually before dawn around 4 – 5 am to be taken from your camp to the ballooning start point. On getting there you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while you watch as the balloon is inflated. When they are ready you clamber into the basket and your pilot will give you a short briefing. Then, as the sun rises, so does your balloon. The direction you take will depend on the wind and you may float over forest, plains or rivers. Your pilot will point out the game below and there are ample opportunities for photography. One of the best things about ballooning is that’s totally silent apart from the occasional noise from the balloon’s burners. After around an hour you will land on the plains, possibly with a bump and certainly ready for breakfast.
Once you’ve landed a breakfast will be set up and served for you in the middle of the park. You can enjoy a glass of champagne whilst the table is laid and sausages cooked for you. Sitting on a camp stool, tucking into breakfast and watching the birds soar overhead is a magical experience. After breakfast, you climb into your safari vehicle and enjoy a game drive back to camp.