Suddenly you’re 20 feet off the ground, floating through the sky as the sun begins to rise across the plains of the Serengeti …
Fly high above the Serengeti on a sunrise hot air balloon safari. We’ll take you to our launch site for 6am, in time for coffee and a full safety briefing before take-off. You’ll be attached to a safety belt clipped to the floor and asked to get into the launch position as we rise into the air. Suddenly, everything will go quiet and the pilot will tell you to stand up – then you realise you’re 20 feet off the ground, floating through the sky as the sun begins to rise across the plains of the Serengeti. It’s a very special moment.
We can soar as high as 600 feet but your pilot will spend most of the trip just 10-20 feet off the ground. This allows for the best wildlife viewing and you’re likely to spot everything from antelopes to elephants, big cats, ostriches and smaller animals like African hares. We’ll usually pass over a river where you’ll notice hippos, crocodiles and depending on the time of year, herds of migrating wildebeest. The Serengeti is also famous for its hyena population and we regularly see these animals hunting. Although they have a terrible reputation, many researchers believe that hyenas kill their own prey more often than lions do.
The landscape on the balloon safari is breath-taking. You get views across the endless flat plains, patches of forest and grassland. To the east, you can see the rim of the Ngorongoro crater and to the south, vast lakes. On a clear day, you might see as far as the waters of Lake Victoria. All over the Serengeti, the landscape is dotted with kopjes, which have been formed by magma from the centre of the earth that’s cooled to granite. These are ancient landscapes that have developed over millennia and it’s a privilege to see them from an aerial perspective.
When it’s time to land, we celebrate the flight with a glass of bubbly or fruit juice, which is a ballooning tradition that dates back to the first manned flight in 18th century Paris. Then you’ll be taken by car to our bush breakfast spot in the middle of the Serengeti, which has been set up with tables, chairs and a kitchen. You’ll be served hot drinks and more champagne, freshly baked rolls and a full cooked breakfast prepared right there in the bush. It’s a quintessential safari experience that you can enjoy in the middle of nowhere while giraffe and wildebeest wander by.
The Serengeti hot air balloon safari is absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Flying in a balloon is extraordinary anyway but to do it over the Serengeti where you have this incredible landscape and a chance to see animals is unique. Passengers often tell me it’s the pinnacle of their safari and completely different from a game drive. My favourite part is leaning over the wicker basket and watching the wildlife show going on below in the grassy plains – it’s fabulous.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Gemma, who's travelled extensively in Tanzania. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it on their own. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife, the village chiefs who'll give you a genuine insight into local life and the camp managers who can recommend the very best spot to enjoy your sundowner.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656