Balloon Safaris over the Serengeti

Balloon safari on the Serengeti fro Seronera Wildlife LodgeBalloon safari on the Serengeti fro Seronera Wildlife Lodge
One of the most tranquil game viewing experiences has to be going on a balloon safari where you float over the flat landscape which teems with wildlife, notably Wildebeest and Zebra. Discover the pure romance of going up in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti in Tanzania, where every balloon flight is different. Embark on a novel adventure and make it the highpoint of your safari. It is the most tranquil and beautiful way to absorb the vastness and splendour of Tanzania's wilderness areas.

Take in the extent of the great migration with the far-reaching herds of Zebra, Wildebeest and Thomson's Gazelle moving on the plains below.

Serengeti

There are just three launch sites for a balloon safari over the undulating plains of the Serengeti. The central launch site is near the Seronera River, which provides the only permanent water source in the area. Therefore, the wildlife congregates in the valley with many resident species. The open plains, acacia woodlands, the meandering river and its many hippo pools all produce a scenic vista seen from above. The Western Corridor launch site encompasses the Grumeti Plains, close to the shores of Lake Victoria.

Fly over the mighty Grumeti River, home to some of the largest crocodiles in Africa that lay in wait for the migrating wildebeest, as they attempt to cross this natural barrier. The Serengeti South launch site offers views of the endless plains of this fascinating ecosystem. During mid-December through to March, these plains are jam packed with migrating wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. During February, these mighty herds calve en mass, a delight to behold and a feast for the resident predators.

That Floating in Paradise Experience

Sunset balloon safari from Mara Intrpids LodgeWake up before dawn with a quick cup of tea or coffee and a snack before setting off on your balloon adventure. Wrap up warm and enjoy the drive to the launch site in the dark, as you may be lucky enough to encounter some nocturnal animals.

On arrival at the launch site, meet your pilot and watch as your balloon is inflated ready for lift off. Launch as dawn is breaking, rise up in the sky as the sun rises. Witness the magnificent spectacle as darkness lifts, the sky is painted orange and the groundís silhouette begins to take form. Float along the vast plains, following the whims of the wind, watching the mighty herds below. The launch site is in a fixed location, however the landing site is always an added adventure, for everyone, as it is determined solely on the wind direction and speed. Your pilot uses various altitudes and air layers to navigate the balloon across the rolling plains. Each flight is novel.

Go from skimming the tall grass, to just missing the flat table tops of the acacias trees, to soaring high above the plains at 1000 feet in the land of eagles and vulture. Fly over areas inaccessible to vehicles. Appreciate the awesome vistas as you float silently above the undisturbed game. No two flights are ever the same, making for a really magical experience.
The flight usually lasts for about an hour, depending on conditions. Celebrate your landing in the traditional way, with some chilled champagne before heading off to a celebratory bush breakfast. Indulge in fresh fruit and a freshly cooked breakfast complete with crisp tablecloth, bone china and shiny silver ware, in the company of your fellow passengers. A fitting finale to the morning. After a leisurely breakfast, youíll be escorted to the rendezvous point to meet your guide to continue on a game drive back to camp.

Lodges that offer Hot Air Ballooning

Morning balloon safariThere is nothing like sailing quietly over the animals as they graze

Lemala Ewanjan Stay in a luxurious colonial style seasonal tented camp in the Central Serengeti. See large herds of Wildebeest, Zebra and Thompson's Gazelle.Lemala Mara Camp An elegant tented camp situated in one of the best game viewing areas of the Northern Serengeti close to two of the major migration crossing points.Serengeti Kat Kati Tented Camp A mobile tented camp in the Central Serengeti. Aside from game drives, the migration and hot air ballooning, guests can visit the Olduvai Gorge where the links to our earliest ancestors have been found.Exclusive Mobile Camps These luxurious mobile tented camps move with the seasons throughout the Serengeti Eco system, allowing you to always be close to the best game viewing.

Please note that children must be 7 years or older to take part in this safari activity. Passengers must be reasonably mobile to be able to partake in the balloon flight. These flights are not suitable for pregnant ladies, people with mobility problems or health conditions. You must be able to bend your knees, hold onto rope handles with both hands and be able to climb in and out of the basket.
African Safaris Guide to South and East Africa
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