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Maasai Mara Hot Air Balloon Adventure

Balloon Adventure Over The
Maasai Mara, Kenya Safari

Our balloon rides typically take place early in the mornings, around 6:30 am, allowing you to witness the mesmerizing sunrise over the Mara. The Mara's weather is ideal for daily balloon rides throughout the year. Our launch site is conveniently located in the heart of Masai Mara National Reserve.

The balloon flight lasts approximately one hour, covering a distance of 5 to 20 km, depending on the wind conditions. The entire excursion, from pick-up at your camp/lodge to drop-off, varies from a 4:00 am to a 6:00 am departure, depending on the camp/lodge's proximity. There are ample opportunities for photography both on board and on the ground during the balloon excursion, with a game drive en-route back to your camp/lodge by around 10:30 am.

Children under the height of the basket or below 3 years old are generally not flown. There is no upper age limit, but passengers should be reasonably fit. For safety reasons, pregnant ladies and individuals with specific health conditions should refrain from ballooning. A certain level of physical strength is required to climb in/out of the basket, which may be standing upright or lying on its side. Persons with impaired mobility can be accommodated with prior notice.

We recommend guests bring binoculars, cameras, and a "selfie stick" to capture those unforgettable moments. Dressing in layers, including a warm jacket or fleece for the cool early morning and closed shoes, is advised. Trousers and long-sleeved shirts/tops are essential, especially if walking through grass after landing.

The pilot expertly navigates the balloon's vertical landscape, utilizing burners fueled by butane gas to manipulate the temperature inside the balloon envelope. Hot air rises, causing the balloon to ascend, while allowing it to cool naturally facilitates descent. The pilot adds bursts of heat during descent to control the rate and ensure a safe landing.

Take-offs are generally gentle, with the possibility of being faster in windy conditions. Landings are mostly smooth, but some may involve a "tip-over" landing, where the basket drags along the ground before coming to a stop on its side. Safety measures are in place for any bumpy landings

On rare occasions we cancel flights due to high winds, rain, or poor visibility. If your flight is canceled, you will receive a 100% refund, or we can attempt to reschedule the flight if space is available.

Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is the ultimate ballooning destination. The landscape is stunningly beautiful wildlife can make for spectacular viewings from above. As this is a wilderness area contiguous with the Serengeti National Park of Tanzania, with free-ranging wildlife that is not fenced in, we of course cannot guarantee what we will fly over and what we will see during a particular flight. We have had some truly amazing sightings over the years, including leopards in trees, lions on kills, and active hyena dens. If you visit the Mara between July and October, you will probably see the “Great Migration” of over a million wildebeest, along with large numbers of zebras and gazelles. Observing this phenomenon from the balloon is the best way to grasp just how huge the migrating herds really are, and is an experience not to be missed. Regardless of whether the “Big Five” are seen from the balloon, most people say that the balloon flight was a highlight of their safari.

We have 2 baskets that accommodate a maximum of 12 people and 16 people respectively

Be sure to bring your camera and lots of film to record the entire experience. The balloons themselves are very colorful, and you'll want to take pictures during the setup and inflation process as well as during the flight. Video cameras are also welcome. And if you have an extra camera, give it to our ground crew so they can take some pictures of you in flight as they chase us by car.

Renewal of Vows, believe it or not, we accommodate many such requests. We can even arrange for your entourage to follow by balloon or with our chase crews, for an informal reception as the new bride and groom come back to Earth after the ceremony in the sky. The Masai mara as viewed from a hot air balloon is the perfect setting for any wedding.

Yes, we pick up our guests from various camps and lodges within the Masai Mara region. The pick-up time typically ranges from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, depending on the specific location of the camp. This allows us to ensure timely arrival at the launch site for our balloon adventures. Rest assured, our team coordinates closely with each camp to optimize pick-up times and ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for our guests.

You can have good or bad days at any time of year, we take it on a day by day basis.

Hot air balloons fly because hot air rises. Hot air rises because it is less dense than the cooler air around it and so it tends to 'float' on the cooler air. We use a burner to heat the air in the balloon until it is hotter than the air outside the balloon. Once it is, the balloon will rise, carrying us with it. If we were to allow the balloon to cool it would begin do descend as it becomes the same temperature as the outside air. If we were to let some of the hot air out of the balloon the same thing would happen because there would no longer be enough hot air in the balloon to lift us. Gas balloons work on a similar principle except that they use helium gas, which is less dense, and therefore lighter, than air to achieve the same effect.

How high we fly depends, (like so many things in ballooning), on the winds on the day. At different heights there are different wind layers in which the wind has different speeds and directions. On an average flight we go from tree-top level up to thousand feet, (several hundred meters).

Yes, our pilots have Commercial Pilot Balloon Licenses, we are just like any other aviation charter business and all of the same rules and regulations apply.

Although we need some wind to fly the balloon we can't fly if there is too much. We fly in the early morning because the winds are at their calmest then. Also, a lower ambient temperature means that it is easier to get the balloon off the ground and keep it in the air because we don't have to heat it to such a high temperature.

The first panel of the balloon is made of Nomex which is extremely fire-retardant. The material from the 2nd panel up is blend of special polyester materials.

Wicker is light in weight, flexible and very strong - and besides, it looks so nice......

Our balloon weighs approx 1500 kilos fully fueled.

Our balloon is licensed to carry up to sixteen passengers plus the pilot but it also has a weight limit, so sometimes we get to the weight limit before we get to the 16 passengers.

Any day you like - we operate seven days a week but we are dependent on the weather. We won't fly if the wind is too strong or it is raining.

We meet about an hour before sunrise. Don't worry, when you book we will let you know the exact time you will need to be where you need to be.