Balloon Safari is one of the most popular ‘add-on’ option with tourists on Safari or Beach Holidays in East Africa, especially with couples on honeymoons. The hot air balloons lift off just before sunrise when the breeze on the plains is still cold. Once airborne, the balloons are blown by the prevailing winds across the broad landscape. Apart from the hiss of the burners, the flight above the Maasai Mara plains is magically silent.
Over a dozen balloons depart from sites near six of the lodges and tented camps. In many occasions, Tourists are often able to view four of the ‘Big Five’ (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo) while ballooning.
A flight certificate is issued on completion of the balloon safari.The balloon safari can be added on to any safari that includes a night in the Serengeti, at any of the lodges. Only two balloons fly each day, each with a capacity of only 12 people.
Balloon safari itinerary
The Tanzania Balloon Safari starts with a pre-dawn pick up from your lodge and a drive of 45 minutes to the launch site (80 minutes from Sopa lodge).Then, at dawn, you enter your hot-air balloon for a breathtaking one hour flight. As you float over the plains in the increasing light, the pilot will take you up to at least 1,000 ft for a breathtaking panoramic view of the plains.Much of the remainder of the balloon flight will be at a tree-top, or even grass-top, level for some close up views of the wildlife, flora and fauna below.
On landing, you are met by the ground support team with a bottle of champagne. Then it’s off to the breakfast table, which will have been set up under a fine umbrella tree close to the landing spot. You are served a full cooked English breakfast with some tropical additions – a fine spread served on bone china with silver cutlery and crystal glasses.The balloon safari is complete by around 9:30 a.m., and you are returned to the Seronera lodge to be met by our driver-guide.
As this is an early morning excursion, you can add this on even if you are in a group where not all members would like to participate.In case of cancellation by the balloon operating company, due to climatic conditions or any other reason, you will have the option of a balloon safari flight the following morning, if this fits into your itinerary, or a full refund.