What You Need to Know for Planning a Hot Air Balloon Safari in Kenya

Written by Guest Post

May 15, 2020
Home >> Travel >> Adventure Travel >> What You Need to Know for Planning a Hot Air Balloon Safari in Kenya

Not many things out there can excite you as much as a hot air balloon ride. Lazily gliding high up among the clouds with the world beneath you is a feeling that can’t be described in words. What takes things up another notch is living that same experience in Kenya. The crisp fresh air, muted earthy colors, and the lovely view of the ground below dotted with wildlife are something you can only experience in Maasai Mara. If you are eyeing Kenya for your next adventure trip, here is what you need to know about planning a hot air balloon safari in Maasai Mara.



What is a Hot Air Balloon Safari?

You know about the usual Safari tours in Africa. You get into a vehicle that takes you on a tour of the plains. You get to see animals living in their natural habitat. Occasionally, some giraffes might come up close to your vehicle to say hello. Now imagine all this in a hot air balloon gliding silently above the open plains. The experience is amazing, and no animals are bothered by your vehicle.

hot air balloon safari Before you book a balloon flight, you should know that these excursions are made possible by hot air filling the balloon, making it rise in the sky. Once in the air, the wind gently pushes your balloon in whichever direction it sees fit, so unfortunately, you can’t ask the pilot for stopovers or to go to a specific destination. All you need to do is enjoy the trip, take amazing pictures, and wait until the pilot reduces the air for a smooth landing. Most hot air balloon safaris in Maasai Mara are kept close to the ground, allowing amazing photography opportunities and a closer view of the animals.

What to Expect on a Balloon Safari in Maasai Mara

Most Balloon Safari operators in Kenya follow almost the same routine. Booking with a reputable tour operator like Far and Wild Travel is advisable. These operators will know the best places to take off from depending on things like wind direction and wildlife in the area for that time of year. Usually, balloon flights take off early, so be prepared to be still groggy.


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When I went on my first safari balloon flight, seeing the huge balloon towering in front of us was amazing. With a searing sound, the balloon operator kept adding hot air to the balloon, and it was an empowering sight to behold. During my safari, I wanted to see and learn more about hot air balloons. There was excitement everywhere. I went up to the crew to chat with them; they were friendly, and we discussed what to expect on the flight.



hot air balloon safari

Ready for the Launch

We got ready for the launch. I was still hoping I placed the camping gear in the right place before leaving camp, but I soon forgot about camp and focused on the balloon. The pilot was very nice and friendly and guided us through the process. The balloon took off immediately as the sun came out, and boy, I felt those butterflies in my stomach. The balloon stayed airborne for the next hour, and in that time, it rose continuously. We covered around 12 km (about 7.5 miles) during that time. Yes, it was a lazy ride and worth every minute.

What You Need to Know for Planning a Hot Air Balloon Safari in Kenya



There were 360° degrees of the horizon. You can see everything from such a height. The sky met with the ground, and it was such a colorful sight that could inspire any artist to draw a masterpiece. I remember having a similar view from Burj Khalifa when I was in Dubai. The only difference was there were buildings and a distant sea around me in Dubai, but here, it was just the open land filled with animals living peacefully. One of these things makes you wonder about how fast life in the cities is. You get a lot of thoughts when you are on a hot air balloon safari in Africa.

A Balloon Ride Ends with Champagne

Our balloon flew just above the treetops to see the wildlife below. Occasionally, it rose to 1,000 ft (300 meters) for an enchanting view of the ground below. We could see the land dotted with wildlife. Some lions were lazing around, giraffes plucked leaves from the top branches of trees, and zebras drank water from a pond. All this provided an excellent opportunity for some great pictures.

We were served with a delicious breakfast after the landing. Since it was over firewood, it had a unique aroma. After such a delightful trip, having a warm breakfast waiting for you was lovely. The breakfast was also accompanied by nice chilled champagne.

What You Need to Know for Planning a Hot Air Balloon Safari in Kenya  A Nice Surprise

Now, here is the interesting part. The hot air balloon never brought us back to the camp. The pilot told us that it couldn’t ride against the true wind. So, what did we get instead? A chance to ride back in a 4×4 safari vehicle. The ride was short but enjoyable. We had a chance to see numerous animals along the way. It was the best of both worlds. We were also given a certificate of participation by mid-morning, and it was awesome to bring some certification of our achievement back home.

A Trip to Remember

I hope you enjoyed my hot air balloon safari in Kenya. It was worth every penny. If you plan to visit Kenya, give the balloon safari a shot. It makes a bucket list trip even more memorable.

There are not many things out there as exciting as a hot air balloon ride. Lazily gliding high up among the clouds with the world beneath you is a feeling that can’t be described in words. What takes things up another notch is living that same experience in Kenya. The crisp fresh air, muted earthy colors, and the lovely view of the ground below dotted with wildlife is something you can only experience in Maasai Mara. Here is what you need to know for planning a hot air balloon safari in Kenya.

 



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