Many associate epic safari adventures with the African experience. But if you are already used to jumping into a 4×4 and riding around a park or two in your country of choice, it might be worth your while to try spotting some of your favorite wildlife in a hot air balloon ride.
A safari tour in a hot air balloon ride is one of the most memorable and special ways to enjoy the beauty of the African landscape off the ground. Here are a few hot air balloon tours to check out.
Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Serengeti National Park is by far the most famous national park in the world, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For some of the best game viewing, the Serengeti is the place to be, particularly during the annual great migration where thousands of zebra and gazelle accompany the wildebeest to seek fresh grazing and water. A balloon tour of the Serengeti launches at dawn, where each adventure is as unique as each day. At the end of each excursion, an ‘Out of Africa’ breakfast is prepared and served out in the wild.
Cradle of Humankind
This hot air balloon operation is located about 45 minutes away from Sandton (near Johannesburg), and is a popular activity for groups and individuals, and is known to be an ideal “thing to do” for those who desire a sky high romantic marriage proposal. Guests are prepped for an early morning take-off, and are offered tea and biscuits to start the tour. Hot air balloon rides float serenely over the reserves, as well as the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site and Magaliesberg. Guests are treated to a celebratory toast and breakfast after each flight.
Kruger National Park
The 45 minute hot air balloon tour launches right at sunrise near Hoedspruit, a town located on the edge of Kruger National Park, and takes guests gently over Kapama Game Reserve. Depending on wind directions and speeds, balloons can fly as low as the treetops or up to 2,000 feet above land. Each journey is unique, but nothing is as entertaining as a scenic view of private nature reserves and wildlife ranches. Guests get to sip on champagne and are subsequently taken to a country lodge for breakfast and a ceremony to celebrate a successful flight.
Pilanesberg National Park
Pilanesberg balloon safaris launch from the center of Pilanesberg National Park, located close to Pretoria and Johannesburg. Pilanesberg is home to the “Big 5”, so it is expected that guests will have front row seats to the best of what the game reserve has to offer. Guests are picked up from the hotel and are taken directly to the site of the balloon launch. The hour long excursion takes guests across the park in search of game. Back on land, a time honored champagne celebration awaits guests, as well as a full English breakfast, where guests will receive a flight certificate signed by the pilot.
Right before the break of dawn, hot air balloons take off from Little Governor’s Camp, located in Kenya. The Governor’s Camp Collection offers hot air balloon rides over the plains, rivers and forests of the famous Masai Mara. Even more fascinating is the view of the sun rising as you watch wildlife prepare for the day. The hour long flight typically ends with guests treated to breakfast, and a champagne toast to a successful and exciting tour.