Up, Up and Away on a Balloon Safari

Balloon preparing for flight
Balloon preparing for flight

No trip to the Serengeti or Masai Mara is complete without experiencing a balloon safari. This unique and spectacular experience offered in Tanzania and Kenya will live on in your memories forever. The adventure begins just before dawn and anticipation mounts as flames from the hot-air balloon burners light the darkness as the crew inflates the craft.

As the balloon rises so too do the first rays of the morning sun. Suspended in a basket beneath this immense balloon, your wildlife viewing experience begins from a completely different perspective. The birds eye view allows ample opportunities for photography. The absolute stillness is broken only by the hiss of the jets. Floating over the African Savanna is perfect, beautiful and surreal.

Driven by the wind, and guided by jets of hot air from the gas burners (which allow it to rise or fall according to the pilot’s direction), the balloon will fly for a period of around one hour (trailed by a team of ground vehicles). Eventually, it descends to a gentle-controlled landing on the plains. In time honoured tradition, the flight ends with a champagne breakfast.

Ballooning over Cappadocia, Turkey
Ballooning over Cappadocia, Turkey

Goway also offers ballooning over the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, over the dunes in Sossusvlei, Namibia and in Cappadocia in Turkey.

Most Goway East Africa itineraries allow time for an optional (own expense) balloon safari. The Wild Bushtops Luxury itinerary includes a free balloon safari in the Masai Mara if travel is between January and June 2015.

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Moira Smith

General Manager of Africa & Middle East — South African-born Moira has lived in San Francisco and Toronto, but her travel map includes over 50 countries. Her heart still swings toward all things African, particularly Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, the Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania, and Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Her most treasured attributes are a great sense of adventure and a lousy sense of direction, which have combined to lead her to some wonderful travel memories and local people.

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