Maasai Mara, Kenya

Experience the Thrill of Hot air Ballooning in Kenya

Hot Air Ballooning in Kenya is Unbelievable

Wake up about an hour before dawn for a hot air ballooning experience in the wild lands of Kenya. It is the perfect hour for this trip as animals wake up in the park or reserve.  The inflatable floats with the wind and the morning hour has a manageable wind speed.

The weather is cool and relaxing with a slight chill and a gentle breeze blowing through the plains. Dress in a warm jacket and carry your camera and pair of binoculars ready for the exceptional experience.

Drive from the camp, lodge or other venue to the take off point, which is always within the plains of the national reserve or park. The team prepares the balloon by connecting it to the basket and the burner.

The size of the basket varies if you are taking a couple’s ride or a group ride.  Some camps, such as the Governors’ Camp Properties, offer weddings in the ride’s basket.  Imagine saying your marriage vows from a large wicker basket floating over Maasai Mara National Reserve.

The team burns propane gas and the flame heats up the inflatable making it rise slowly as heated air increases. The basket lies horizontally and it begins to lift as the inflatable rises off the ground. Within seconds, you hop onto the basket and take your spot so you can see everything the ride has in store for you.

It gently gets off the ground and with the early morning hour, you can see the team, burners and the vehicles fading out of sight. The clear blue sky, the mauve hills in the distance begin to take shape. Start taking photographs of every scenic view as the ride proceeds through different sections of the park or reserve.

What you see depends on the spot of your hot air ballooning ride. If you are in Maasai Mara, the expansive plains look like a yellow carpet below with Mara River meandering through riverine forests that resemble fresh broccoli.  Animals run through the bushes and some, such as elephants waddle through the plains in search of the perfect morning snack. You can also spot hippos and crocodiles in Mara River.

As the inflatable lifts higher, you practically travel through birds’ highways because various species fly around you giving you the perfect view of their world. You might also see birds as they groom for the day’s activities.

This ride lets you spot hundreds of species such as lions, giraffes,  zebras,  antelopes, elephants, rhinos, hippos, gazelles, wildebeests, leopards and many more.

About 45 minutes later, after you have been to every corner of the plains, the inflatable descends slowly and the basket assumes a horizontal position on the ground. The vehicle picks you up and takes you to the dining spot for a hearty breakfast in the bush.

The kitchen team greets you with a warm smile, a hello and a hot napkin. Sit on the table, for two or for a group, and let this culinary team serve you sumptuous delights to wade off any morning chills. With the sun slowly rising in the horizon, eggs, bacon, tea, coffee and fresh fruits are what you need. Later, head back to the lodge to get ready for other safari activities.

Where to get Ballooning Adventures in Kenya

Some camps have this package alongside other safari activities, while other camps connect you to private companies that organize balloon adventures in the region.   You can find this activity in:

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Profile photo of Betsy Muriithi
on Sep 20, 2013

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