Hot Air Balloon Serengeti
flickr image by Lars Damgaard Jensen

Hot Air Balloon Safari Over the Serengeti


There can be nothing more romantic or magnificent than a hot air balloon safari anywhere in the world, however, over the Serengeti, it can be simply mind-blowing. There can nothing remotely in the same category as this incredibly unique and superbly special outing over the horizons of earth. The untamed wild of Eastern Africa comes to life in the early break of dawn, as the creatures of the Serengeti rise to begin their day in the cool air of the African daybreak.

Hot air balloon safaris in the Serengeti take off at an early start from a designated launch site, usually in the Seronera area. The launch site is far enough away from any of the wildlife, so that a safari lodge vehicle will be able to travel to the site without disturbing or upsetting any of the animals in the area, but close enough so that the 6 am start doesn’t feel like you have to get up in the middle of the night to make it on time to catch a lift down to the launch site.

Hot Air Balloon Safari Over the Serengeti

flickr image by David Berkowitz

The entire African Adventure package starts off the day before when you arrive at your lodge, Serena Lodge, Seronera Lodge or Sopa Lodge, or any of the well known camping sites in the Central Serengeti camping area or the official Tented Serengeti African Adventure site of Camp Mapito. You are greeted in traditional African style by lodge staff whom appear bearing fresh watermelon juice and a bowl full of warm soapy water and a wash cloth, where they proceed to wash and dry your hands, as it is customary.

Once you have checked in, you can retire to a lounger next to one of the swimming pools, where you will be able to watch elephants, wildebeest and other wild animals grazing in their natural habitat and going about their daily life in the Serengeti.

Nowhere else in the world will you encounter such friendly, willing and helpful staff who go out of their way to make you feel at home, get you anything you need or help you make your stay the best you have ever had. Enjoy sundowners on the deck or balcony of your gorgeous suite, and experience the most amazing, fresh and wholesome African food, all while enjoying an evening of traditional entertainment and a super special chance to hear the staff choir sing beautiful African songs.

The next morning, a staff member will make sure you are up early enough to make it to the launch site, by providing you with a wakeup call and tea or coffee. After a quick drive to the launch site, you will arrive at 5am to meet your pilot and have a quick briefing on your flight. You will then be able to watch the exciting process of your balloon inflating.

As dawn breaks you will be able to board your Acacia green and Savannah Gold coloured hot air balloon, coloured especially to match the colours of the Serengeti. Balloon safaris can accommodate up to a maximum of 16 people, but unfortunately children under the age of 7 cannot be accommodated at this time, for safety reasons.

For the next 2 hours, be prepared to experience rapture and amazement as you glide effortlessly over canopies of lush vegetation and have to rare chance to experience the African wild at its most raw and vulnerable. Your extremely competent pilot will be able to precisely control the direction and the altitude of the balloon as required, which will enable all passengers to get an unbelievable view of life right from the treetop height or higher, creating once in a lifetime photographic opportunities to create a gallery of memories.

Floating over a few good kilometres of terrain, you can expect to see any number of zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, water buffalo, elephants and all sorts of amazing African wildlife, all going about their morning activities in the Serengeti Game Park. Depending on the wind and weather conditions on the morning you go out, your flight could take you around the park for up to 2 entire blissful hours.

Upon landing be prepared to experience a true traditional English – Out –Of-Africa-Style Champagne breakfast, complete with a fully laid table, linen table cloths and napkins, tea drunk from bone china, and the Kings silver accompaniments, right there in the middle of the bush. The lodge staff will ensure that you will be extremely well fed and looked after during your entire stay with them in the Serengeti.

After breakfast, you will receive your Serengeti Hot Air Balloon Safari certificate to take home with you, and you will once again embark on the short journey back to your lodge, just in time for tea and little lie down with your book next to the pool, ready to do it all again the next day.

As one may expect, this spectacular adventure does not come cheap, so expect to part with anything from around US$490 and up, for the extra ordinary privilege.

Date posted: 14th September, 2013

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