'Each day, at dawn on the Serengeti plains, a fortunate few enjoy the ultimate safari experience. As the sun rises over the Maasai Kopjes, so does the hot air balloon together with its enthralled passengers.'
Your Tanzania balloon safari starts when you are collected from your lodge or special camp for rendezvous at Seronera Lodge at 06am hours. Soon after 6 in the morning you board the Land Rovers to be taken to the launch site, a journey of some 40 minutes duration, in time to witness the dawn and the inflation of the balloon. After a final pre-flight safety briefing you board for take off.
The exact direction and duration of the flight depends on the wind and weather conditions of the day but the average flight time is about one hour. Part of the flight will be at an altitude of at least 1 000 feet for magnificent panoramic views of the plains, another part will be at tree top height for unique views of wildlife.
The balloons are equipped with 'whisper' burners to minimise the noise of the burns necessary to navigate the balloon. Periods of 'burn' are quite a small proportion of the flight so there are many intervals of complete silence. The flight is totally smooth and feels windless since the balloon is travelling at wind speed.
The variety and numbers of animals and birds seen will vary with the time of year, conditions and luck but everything that is seen is from an original and exciting viewpoint.
The pilot will land the balloon near one of the game trails and then share a champagne toast with you. The retrieve crew (who keep in contact with the balloon by radio) will arrive to collect you and pack up the balloon.
The rest of the crew, after establishing the landing area for the balloon, will have set up the breakfast table under a tree in a convenient spot on the plains. A freshly cooked full English-style breakfast is served in an unforgettable setting and then, after receiving your certificate, you will be taken back to Seronera Lodge arriving about 9:30am.
All the aspects of this adventure combine to become an unforgettable memory - possibly the highlight of many passengers' Serengeti hot air balloon safari.