Balloon Safari
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Balloon Safari Overview


A balloon safari is a balloon flight, which takes place in a wilderness area and often including an element of wildlife viewing. Balloon safaris is a romantic and evocative way of experiencing the wild zones of East Africa.

Imagine floating silently over the vast plains teeming with herds of wildlife in the early morning, in a hot air balloon over a beautiful Serengeti, this offers a unique perspective, greater views and photographic opportunity of amazing scenery and wildlife below. Regardless of tour program Bush 2 City Adventure can arrange your balloon safari as an add on to your already prepared package or you can opt to do it while on safari as an optional unique experience for you to enjoy the Serengeti National Park or Tarangire National Park from the bird eye view.

TAKE OFF AT DAWN

Launching at dawn, rising as the sun rises, you will gently float over the plains of the magnificent Serengeti or Tarangire. Your Balloon Safari adventure starts early morning when you depart your lodge or camp. It is still dark and you may be fortunate to see nocturnal animals on the way to the launch site. When you arrive, you will meet your pilot and witness your balloon being inflated and prepared for launch. After a thorough safety briefing and demonstration of boarding and landing position you board your balloon and lift off! Rising as the sun rises your balloon floats in whatever direction the winds of the day are heading to this wonderful area.

It is an adventure even for us. Whereas we know where we have started, we genuinely do not know where we will land as we float in the direction of and speed of the wind. What a great way to make an already exceptional trip even more special. A hot air balloon trip over the Serengeti is not a cheap option, but it gives you such a diverse view of the reserve and its wildlife that many people choose to treat themselves to this great experience.

Your pilot will use varying altitudes and layers of air to navigate the balloon over this amazing area. Each day is different, some of the flight may be low, offering a different perspective and at other times your balloon may climb to 1000’ or more.

Nobody can predict, no two flights are ever the same and your balloon safari will be unique. While impossible to guarantee particular animals, you are likely to see various species from above. Your pilot knows the area well and is also a committed conservationist and will point out animals, birds, and features of interest.

UPON LANDING

The flight will take about an hour, depending on weather conditions. After landing, you celebrate in the traditional way with a champagne toast “well, an excellent sparkling wine” before heading off to a special “Out of Africa” breakfast. Breakfast is prepared in the bush and served under a convenient acacia tree. Linen, bone china, Sheffield, cutlery and freshly prepared fare in the company of your fellow passengers make a memorable finale to your adventure after breakfast, you are taken to the rendezvous point to meet with your driver guide and continue your day’s activities. Before departing each passenger then receives a certificate from their pilot as a special memoir of their flight.

OUT OF AFRICA “BREAKFAST”

We aim to fly for about an hour, depending on conditions.
After landing, you celebrate in the traditional way with a champagne toast (well, an excellent sparkling wine) before heading off to a special ‘Out of Africa’ breakfast.

Breakfast is prepared in the bush and served under a convenient acacia tree. Linen, bone china, Sheffield cutlery and freshly prepared fare in the company of your fellow passengers makes a memorable finale to your adventure.

After breakfast, you are taken to the rendezvous point to meet with your driver guide and continue your day’s activities.

You will fly over areas out of bounds to vehicles as off road driving is not permitted in much of the Serengeti and Tarangire.

SERENGETI LOCATION

Balloon Safaris flies over the spectacular Serengeti National Park and it covers different parts of the park such as,

Central Serengeti

The Seronera River provides the only permanent water in this area. Wildlife, therefore, congregates in the valley with many resident species. It is particularly scenic with open plains, acacia woodlands, and river with many hippo pools.

Serengeti Western Corridor

Close to the shores of Lake Victoria, this lovely area is home to many resident wildlife species. The meandering Grumeti River is home to huge crocodiles and is a formidable barrier to the migrating wildebeest as they attempt a crossing.

Serengeti South

The great migrating herds of wildebeest and zebra congregate on the southern plains December through March. This is classic ‘endless plains’ Serengeti and a fascinating ecosystem. Countless wildebeest drop their calves here in February.

Grumeti Reserve

This exclusive private game reserve is home to many resident species. The scenic and varied habitat together with low visitor numbers makes this area particularly special. Balloon safaris here are on a private charter basis.

TARANGIRE LOCATIONS

LOCATION

Balloon Safaris flies over the spectacular Tarangire National Park, flies from a take-off site near Tarangire Sopa Lodge.

FAQ

Do I need to book in advance?

We strongly recommend that you book in advance with us to secure your place at the time of confirming your tour itinerary. Balloon Safari has limited capacity and this exclusive adventure is frequently fully booked.

How much does it cost?

The price is US$499 pp + US$47.20 Tanzania National Parks Balloon Fee + US$ 71 (Serengeti National Park entry fees or US$ 54 Tarangire National Park entry fees
Total US$ 617.2 for Serengeti National Park
Total US$ 600.2 for Tarangire National Park

When is the best time of year for ballooning?

We are fortunate that the weather in the Serengeti& Tarangire is suitable for ballooning almost every day of the year.

What about the ‘rainy seasons’?

We prefer to call them the GREEN SEASONS. The ‘long rains’ (late March to early June) & the ‘short rains’ (November to mid-December). The great balloon passes through Central Serengeti during the green seasons. At these times it USUALLY rains late afternoon and during the night. Mornings are USUALLY bright and clear with gentle winds (ideal ballooning weather!). The landscape is lush, green and dust free (yes, your vehicle may get stuck in the mud but balloon won’t!)

Do you operate year round?

Yes, balloon safari is operated daily throughout the year in central Serengeti& Tarangire National Park in general. We operate seasonally in Serengeti South, from Christmas day to 15th March. We operate seasonally in the Western Corridor from beginning of June to the end of August.

Are there any restrictions?

Yes, we love children but those who are under the age of 7 years and not allowed. There is no upper age limit, however, passengers must be reasonably mobile, fit to fly and prepared for an adventure. Ballooning is not suitable for pregnant ladies, people with mobility or health conditions (heart conditions, brittle bones, neck or back conditions). Passengers must be able to bend their knees, hold on to rope handles with both hands for take-off and landing and be able to climb into and out of the basket.

Balloon passenger weights are calculated at an average of 80 kgs. Passengers weighing 50% + more than this (i.e. 120kgs / 265lbs / 19 stone) may be charged for two places.

I am on an organized safari with a set itinerary. Can I do this?

Yes, providing you are staying at any of the central Serengeti lodges or camps or (seasonally) in any of the western corridor lodges / camps or (again seasonally) at any Serengeti South lodges or camps or those in the Ndutu area. We collect you before the flight from your lodge/camp early morning and return you to the rendezvous point at 9.45am to join the rest of your party & continue your day’s activities.

What should I wear? What should I bring?

It can be cool in the early morning, but often warm later, therefore a jacket or sweater that can be removed later is a good idea. A hat is recommended (particularly for the ‘follically challenged) as radiant heat from the burners can be uncomfortable. We suggest long trousers, long sleeves, preferably in natural fibers and stout shoes. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars. You can bring a camera bag or small backpack with you in the balloon.

Why is ballooning expensive?

Balloons each cost the same as a big Mercedes but only last a few hundred hours. They use a significant amount of fuel per flight and involve a minimum crew of six men plus professional pilot to get it in the air plus a further ten employees behind the scenes for each balloon. In addition, there are the retrieving vehicles, logistics, backup etc. We operate in a remote area. There is a very substantial sum in the form of concession fees for every passenger to Tanzania National Parks towards conservation funds.

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For a few years my wife and I and a couple with whom we have made several trips had talked of a Tanzania Great Migration Safari. Our overall planning concluded that we did not care for a “group” travel model,

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We had a great safari tour for 6 days with Bush2City. We did not look them up online beforehand, we were rather recommended to go with them via another guide we had in Lushoto. So we did not really know if they had the best…

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