Many would argue that a balloon safari is one of the best ways to experience the magic of Africa – and we couldn’t agree more!
To witness herds of wildebeest, towers of giraffe or a dazzle of zebra running across the plains of Africa a few hundred metres below you is something you’re not likely to forget. Combine breathtaking aerial views with a spectacular sunrise and you’re close to imagining the splendour of an African balloon safari…
What is it all about?
You’ll be woken up before the crack of dawn and whisked away on a (very) early drive to the launch site. It can be quite chilly at this time of the morning, not to mention even more nippy once you’re up in the air, so be sure to wrap up in a few extra layers. It’s not uncommon to get a fright when they gas up the balloon, the sound can be quite loud! However, once you are in the air it is mostly silent (save for the occasional roar of the gas) so you can fully appreciate the wonder of peacefully flying miles above the landscapes and animals of the plains.
On average, a balloon safari lasts roughly between one and two hours. Once you are up high enough, the wildlife below become less aware of their audience – it really is one of the most unforgettable sights to behold. Coming back down to land can be slightly bumpy so anyone with a bad back or other injury might need to check with their doctor beforehand. Once you are back on the ground you will be treated to a scrumptious champagne breakfast – is that not the perfect end to a memorable morning in the African skies?
How does it work?
A balloon safari is extremely dependent on weather conditions – if it is too windy or rainy, the flight will be cancelled and you will receive a full refund, or have the option to reschedule to another day if that is possible. Booking well enough in advance is absolutely essential. This is not an activity that can be organised on the day and, due to the reliance on the weather, is also not on offer throughout the year, so it’s best to make sure your agent is aware of your desire to take part in this wonderful experience and have them book as far in advance as possible.
Another thing to consider is that because of safety and the large teams required to make a balloon safari happen, the price of a balloon trip can be quite high, but, if it is within your means, totally worth it. The balloons are well-maintained and serviced often so the whole experience is a safe one.