TAKE OF AT DAWN
Serengeti Balloon Safari adventure starts early morning when it is still dark and you may be fortunate to see nocturnal animals on the way to the launch site. When you arrive, you will meet your pilot and witness your balloon being inflated and prepared for launch. After a thorough safety briefing and demonstration of boarding and landing position you board your balloon and lift off! Rising as the sun rises your balloon floats in whatever direction the winds of the day are heading over this wonderful area.
It is an adventure – even for us. Whereas we know where we have started, we genuinely do not know where we will land as we float in the direction of and speed of the wind. Your pilot will use varying altitudes and layers of air to navigate the balloon over this amazing area. Each day is different, some of the flight may be low, offering a different perspective and at other times your balloon may climb to 1000’ or more. Nobody can predict, no two flights are ever the same and your balloon safari will be unique.
A balloon offers an opportunity to see the Serengeti from a unique perspective. You will notice wildlife trails made by generations of animals impossible to see from the ground. We aim to fly for about an hour, depending on conditions. After landing, you celebrate in the traditional way with a champagne toast (well, an excellent sparkling wine) before heading off to a special ‘Out of Africa’ breakfast.
Out of Africa Breakfast
Breakfast is prepared in the bush and served under a convenient acacia tree. Linen, bone china, Sheffield cutlery and freshly prepared fare in the company of your fellow passengers makes a memorable finale to your adventure.
After breakfast, you are taken to the rendezvous point to meet with your driver guide and continue your day’s activities.
You will fly over areas out of bounds to vehicles as off road driving is not permitted in much of the Serengeti
BALLOON SAFARI FAQ
We strongly recommend that you book in advance with your tour operator to secure your place. We have limited capacity and this exclusive adventure is frequently fully booked.
The price is US$599 inclusive of all fees & taxes
This is also the rate that you will pay if you book ‘stand by’ on a space available basis in Serengeti.
We are fortunate that the weather in the Serengeti is suitable for ballooning almost every day of the year.
We prefer to call them the GREEN SEASONS. The ‘long rains’ (late March to early June) & the ‘short rains’ (November to mid-December). The great migration passes through Central Serengeti during the green seasons. At these times it USUALLY rains late afternoon and during the night. Mornings are USUALLY bright and clear with gentle winds (ideal ballooning weather!). The landscape is lush, green and dust free (yes, your vehicle may get stuck in the mud – but our balloon won’t!)
Yes, we operate daily throughout the year in central Serengeti. We operate seasonally in Serengeti South, from Christmas day to 15th March. We operate seasonally in the Western Corridor from beginning of June to the end of August.
Yes, we do not carry children under the age of 7 years. There is no upper age limit, however passengers must be reasonably mobile, fit to fly and prepared for an adventure. Ballooning is not suitable for pregnant ladies, people with mobility or health conditions (heart conditions, brittle bones, neck or back conditions). Passengers must be able to bend their knees, hold on to rope handles with both hands for take-off and landing and be able to climb into and out of the basket.
Balloon passenger weights are calculated at an average of 80 kgs. Passengers weighing 50% + more than this (i.e. 120kgs / 265lbs / 19 stone) may be charged for two places.
Yes, providing you are staying at any of the central Serengeti lodges or camps or (seasonally) in any of the western corridor lodges / camps or (again seasonally) at any Serengeti South lodges or camps or those in the Ndutu area. We collect you before the flight from your lodge/camp early morning and return you to the rendezvous point at 9.45am to join the rest of your party & continue your day’s activities
It can be cool in the early morning, but often warm later, therefore a jacket or sweater that can be removed later is a good idea. A hat is recommended (particularly for the ‘follically challenged) as radiant heat from the burners can be uncomfortable. We suggest long trousers, long sleeves, preferably in natural fibres and stout shoes. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars. You can bring a camera bag or small backpack with you in the balloon.
Our balloons each cost the same as a big Mercedes but only last a few hundreds hours. They use a significant amount of fuel per flight and involve a minimum crew of six men plus professional pilot to get it in the air plus a further ten employees behind the scenes for each balloon. In addition, there are the retrieving vehicles, logistics, back up etc. We operate in a remote area. There is a very substantial sum in the form of concession fees for every passenger to Tanzania National Parks towards conservation funds.