The pinnacle of air safaris in Africa is undoubtedly ascending and descending over breathtaking vistas while simultaneously scanning the horizon from the basket of a hot-air balloon. Few excursions on the continent beat being caressed by the wind and warmed by the sun with an uninterrupted view of all things wild and wonderful below.
The diverse landscapes of Africa come alive when viewed from up high during a hot-air balloon safari. The endless savannahs, distinguishable Acacia treetops, impenetrable forest canopies, scraggy mountain peaks, and glistening rivers will glide by in slow motion. Eyes will be searching and scanning for species big and small going about their business on terra firma.
Safari-goers can witness a new day breaking as leaving Mother Earth to view Mother Nature from a hot-air balloon is usually an early morning affair that lasts anywhere from one to three hours.
At the launch site, the pilot of this unique vessel would’ve already begun firing up the balloon as hot air is needed to take safari-goers up and away. After a safety-briefing visitors will board the basket, be airborne in a few moments, and then journey to wherever the wind is blowing on a particular day. Upon touch-down, this most awe-inspiring experience is often celebrated with a glass of bubbly.
— Budget in advance as this sought-after activity is on the higher end of the scale, especially in popular locations like the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara.
— Make use of reputable and experienced balloon operators.
— Hot-air ballooning is a safe safari activity to participate in.
— Groups of up to 16 can be accommodated or if preferred, a private experience can be arranged.
— Dress in layers as the morning may start out a bit chilly. However, it warms up as the day progresses.
— Children under the age of 10 are generally not allowed to participate.
Apart from the allure of spotting the Big 5 from a higher vantage point over the famed Lowveld region, venturing closer to the clouds over the Drakensberg and Magaliesberg mountains is just as captivating.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a top choice to behold the serenity of the landscape below that, at the same time, is playing host to the strife of this particular part of the great migration.
For the ultimate air experience, glide over the Serengeti National Park and witness the great migration of millions of wildebeest. Capture spectacular moments of the struggle for survival during this iconic undertaking from a different angle.
The remoteness of the Kafue National Park is the ideal spot to take to the skies for a safari excursion. An abundance of wildlife will lead to sightings of impressive antelope, such as puku and red lechwe, as well as herds of buffalo and pods of hippos.