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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Aerial Attractions: 8 Spots for Hot Air Balloon Trips in Africa

Hot air ballooning is one of the best recreational activities the provides an exhilarating experience.

It allows floating thousands of feet to the sky above the earth’s surface to view the entire landscape. 

Although the hot air balloon ride looks spectacular from the sky anywhere in Africa, we will curate here the eight (8) spots in Africa that offer epic views of aerial attraction from hot air balloons.

Read through to discover.

1. Magaliesberg Mountain, South Africa

The Magaliesberg offers a thrilling experience to breathe the air of northern South Africa as you glide above the Macalisberg or the Cashan Mountains – as the historical name implies.

Situated at Hazyview near Johannesburg in the Drakensberg, Magaliesberg offers hot air balloon enthusiasts the best means to experience the landscapes and beauty of South Africa and its diverse heritage sites. 

Things to know about Magaliesberg hot air balloon rides

Ballon rides start every morning at sunrise, and enthusiasts need to be present at the take-off point maximum of 30 minutes before sunrise. 

The management serves hot tea or coffee while the crew gets the balloons ready for flight, which lasts approximately an hour.

They serve champagne on landing and a freshly prepared, country-style breakfast after each flight.

You’ll also get citations for bravery and champagne brunch before they take you back to the meeting point at noontime.

It’s a magical experience, and one of man’s oldest forms of flight included in South Africa’s list of activities after an international balloon race from Johannesburg to Durban. 

Minimally, the flight takes four passengers for one hot air balloon trip.

The physical requirement for the hot air balloon ride 

You should be able to stand or lean for about an hour, climb in and out of the basket.

Prices in ZAR between December 2020 – November 2021

R 2840 per person – 6 – 11 groups

R 2780 per person – 12 – 23 groups

R 2670 per person – 24 or more groups

R 2990 per person – Normal scheduled flight (four passengers minimum to fly)

R 12 500 – Exclusive use of a balloon for two passengers and one pilot

2. Masai Mara, Kenya

The most exciting event in Masai Mara is moving smoothly through the air at sunrise, enjoying the peacefulness of immense vista, excellent colors, and fresh air in a hot air balloon. 

Located in the Kenya southwestern part, the Masai Mara covers 1,510 square km and is famous for vistas, wildlife conservation, wilderness area, and many travel adventures.

What to know about Masai Mara hot air balloon safari and its booking 

  • The Masai Mara ballooning lifts at 6:15 am after the briefing.
  • The pilots must keep logbooks, carry out pre-flight checks, and monitor the weather conditions before flying. 

The floating of the balloon depends on the direction of the morning wind, which offers an avenue to view the Mara ecosystem.

Masai Mara’s hot air balloon trip is a perfect place to see wild animals on the plain, and it’s an experience one can never forget. 

Best time for hot air ballooning 

You can go for hot air ballooning at any time of the year because it is a year-round sporting activity, but it’s best at sunrise and 2 to 3 hours before sunset.

Masai Mara Hot air balloon price

Most times, travelers need to know about the cost of riding a hot air balloon at Masai Mara before proceeding with their trips. 

For Adults – $ 410

For Children (7 -12 years) – $ 310

3. Serengeti Balloon SafariTanzania

Serengeti is another excellent spot in Africa for a hot air balloon ride and other adventures.

You have the opportunity to spot different kinds of riveting wildlife in the western part of Serengeti National Park after flying in the hot air balloon.

Floating calmly over the treetops as the sun tops over the horizon allows one to witness the infinite Serengeti plains from an unforgettable angle.

Best time and condition for hot air ballooning at Serengeti

Ballooning is subject to suitable weather; thus, the favorable condition is early morning.

Serengeti Balloon Safari accommodates both active adults and seven-year-old children and above who are physically fit.

Other tips for Serengeti balloon safari

The crew will transfer you from your camp or lodge to the departure site for ballooning.

Anticipate a light breakfast after a few minutes of climb into the basket and champaign breakfast after landing.

The pilot lights the burner steadily as the crews steady the balloon.

The balloon may travel to high altitudes of at least 1000 feet throughout the flight.

The Serengeti hot balloon trip makes northern Tanzanian vacation memorable for air ballooning enthusiasts.

Cost of Serengeti balloon flight

The total cost of the Serengeti balloon flight is US$ 599 per person, including US$ 40 for the Tanapa ballooning fee.

4. Kafue National Park, Zambia

Kafue National Park is a perfect place ballooning situated at Busanga Plains of Zambia’s Kafue National Park.

Additionally, you’ll enjoy a spectacular view of abundant wildlife like the hippo, buffalo, etc., while enjoying the hot air balloon safari at this spot.

Kafue National Park Hot Air Balloon Safari Tips

It’s one of Africa’s exclusive hot air ballooning spots, opening from 1st July through 31st October every year.

Champagne breakfast is also available after landing, served at the park’s vast grasslands.

You can stay at Busanga Bush Camp or Shumba Camp while exploring the hot air balloon rides for a few days without spending extra money. 

5. Okavango Delta, Botswana

 It’s one of Africa’s most prized wilderness areas and permits visitors to see animals like elephants, cheetahs, crocodiles, rhinos, lions, etc. 

It’s the best safari attraction in Botswana, and it also has unique wildlife diversity with an exceptional standard of lodges and camps. 

Balloon safaris in the Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta offers the best safari experience in Botswana. It begins at sunrise and lasts for about 45 – 60 minutes.

While going for ballooning at this spot, we recommend you go along with warm clothes and well-charged cameras.

Their balloon flight carries eight people at maximum, with the minimum age for the hot air ballooning being seven years.

The ballooning at Okavango offers a 360-degree broad view from the tree top level to a thousand feet in the air.

The crew serves their visitors coffee and hot tea upon arrival while you witness the aerial attraction.

Cost of hot air ballooning in Okavango Delta, Botswana

The proposed cost of hot air ballooning in 2022 is USD 495 per person, with an additional fee for helicopter transfer that varies from lodge to lodge or camp to camp. 

Note: Okavango Delta hot air balloon flights operate from 15th April through 15th September because of the atmospheric conditions.

6. Wadi El Gemal, Egypt

Wadi El Gemal is an Egyptian national park located in Appolonia and Qulaan Village, Appolonia, Marsa Alam, offering many attractions, including hot air ballooning through various agents.

In Egypt, one can choose any ballooning company to experience the country’s largest open-air museum for hot air balloon safaris. 

That, notwithstanding, at Wadi El Gemal National Park, you can explore a full-day trip while flying in the hot air balloon.

Duration and destination covered.

The hot air balloon trip lasts for between 45 minutes to 2 hours, covering the entire Luxor city.

Things to know

• A pick up to and fro your lodge is available with charges applied.

• Hot air ballooning trips begin early in the morning, taking visitors over Luxor’s ruins 

• You will anticipate light breakfast and tea during the trip

• All services require charges, including the flight certificate

7. Sossusvlei, Namibia

The hot air ballooning in Namibia is about a one-hour amazing tour over the mountains and dunes of Sossusvlei, providing tourists a breathtaking journey and indescribable experience.

Things to know about hot air ballooning, Sossusvlei, Namibia trip 

  • It begins and ends with a hot tea/coffee and champagne breakfast at the landing spot. 
  • The flights carry a minimum of 2 persons.
  • The cost in 2021-2022 is N$ 7350, while 2022-2023 is N$ 7800 per person.

8. Murchison Falls, Uganda

Hot air ballooning in Murchison Falls National Park (in Lolim, Masindi) gives a glimpse of wildlife in the northwest of Uganda, on the shore of Lake Albert. 

Operating under the management of the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, this national park offers hot air balloon safaris, which last for up to one hour.

Murchison Falls National Park hot air balloon safari tips

The crew takes their visitors to the launch site close to the Paraa safari lodge around 5:00 am for hot air balloons.

Their flights accommodate a maximum of 8 passengers in the balloon, with a minimum age limit of six (6) years, with a necessary consideration that flights reach 10,000 feet above sea level, making younger children quite uneasy.

Cost of Murchison Falls hot air ballooning

  • Adult – $380 per person
  • Children of 12 years and below receive – $190 ( which is a 50% discount)

Note that the fee takes in refreshments before and after, flight in a balloon, and the certificate of participation.

Things to pack

  • par sunglasses  
  • a wide-brimmed hat with straps 
  • a camera and binoculars.

Additional adventures

Exploring hot balloon safaris at Murchison Falls offers a scenic view of the entire national park, Lake Albert, off-road animals hidden away, Victoria Nile, and other remarkable features.

They offer a minimum safari tour and crossings by ferry while returning, depending on the position for landing. 

Also, the guests and balloon lands get a participation certificate after the balloon safari.   

What are the health benefits of the hot air balloon ride?

Hot air ballooning improves mood and helps the white blood cells to work powerfully. 

Again, it regulates healthy weight, grants peace of mind when flying, gives fresh air, takes worries away. 

What’s more, it boosts energetic feeling and general wellbeing. 

How much is a hot air balloon safari in Africa?

Most African countries’ hot air balloon ride takes in the round trip transfers, the balloon ride, breakfast, which all amounts to $564.20 per person.

Where is a hot air balloon ride most popular?

With many multicolored hot air balloons floating among Cappadocia’s iconic fairy chimneys, the most popular spot for hot air balloon ride worldwide is in Cappadocia, Turkey.

What is the cost of a hot air balloon ride in Serengeti?

The Serengeti balloon ride charges US$ 599 per individual, and it includes the ballooning fee, transfer from camp to balloon site. 

The balloon, a champagne breakfast after a 70 minutes ride, is integrated into the fee.

How much is the fee for a hot air balloon ride in Kenya?

The balloon ride cost in Kenya varies from adult to children – $410 for adults and $300 for children below 12 years. 

Hot air balloon ride in Kenya does not take care of accommodation or transportation to the Masai Mara. 

In South Africa, how much does a hot air balloon ride cost?

The cost of a balloon ride in South Africa is 2150 per individual, and two children under 12 get a 50% discount.                                                                            

Conclusion

Hot air ballooning is a romantic travel adventure with the most incredible bucket list experience you could ever imagine.

It’s hard t wrong with hot air balloon rides in all the African destinations listed above. 

As you wrap around the panorama, you will view everything while drifting slowly from your vantage point in the hot air balloon.

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