Serengeti Hot Air Balloon Safari Tour Tanzania
Balloon Safari, Tanzania
Close your eyes, and for a moment feel your body lift up, with you having no control over it, and there is a certain part of you, inside you, saying to yourself, I am crazy for taking this Serengeti balloon safari. This is what most people feel, when the excitement of a Serengeti hot air balloon safari crosses one's emotion of self-control and independence..
Serengeti Balloon Safari
The feeling is indescribable, crispness of the African air, chill in the wind that hits your face as your Mara hot air balloon gradually rises, smoothness in the exhale of your breath, and the excitement to see and learn more. One's physical presence can be felt on the plains of the Serengeti when reading this.
You trip begins when you get your wake up call at your safari lodge in central Serengeti in the early hours of the morning, as you yawn away, and thoughts about your wildlife viewing from an elevated position begins to stir your mind. The fresh Tanzanian traditional hot tea and coffee quickly awaken you, in fact preparing you for a "mission".
You will enjoy and experience nature, wildlife, habit and habitat of the fauna and flora in the natural areas, also peoples and culture. Availability 90%
Minimum Rate Per Adult: US$
Departing From: Serengeti
Duration: 1 HR
Departure Time: 0530 Hrs
Minimum Persons Required:
Best Time: All round the year
Balloon safaris are a romantic and evocative way of experiencing the wilderness of East Africa, as you gracefully and silently fly over the plains teeming with herds of wild life in the early morning. Typically, a ballon safari begins between 6 am and lasts for around 1-2 hours, during which you will likely see the magnificent wildlife below over several square kilometres of the game park. Ballon safaris are held regularly only in the Serengeti and take off from designated sites (in the Seronera area) where the disturbance to animals is kept to a minimum. Your safari vehicle drops you off at the take off site and picks you up from your landing site. The safari is followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush, a fitting end to your memorable flight in the wild.
Maximum in a balloon: 16 adults
BALLOONS: are top of the range Cameron & Ultra Magic A315 & A415. Colours: acacia green & Savannah gold to blend with those of the Serengeti. Burners: state of the art ‘whisper & stealth”.
The balloon ride
5:00 am, Serengeti Balloon Safaris will collect you from your central Serengeti lodge or camp, and transfer you by Landrover to our launch site near Maasai Kopjes. Here you will meet your pilot, receive a briefing and watch the inflation of your balloon.
At dawn we take off, rising as the sun rises and float in whichever direction the winds of the morning take us. Your pilot can precisely control the altitude of your balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below.
At other times he will ascend to 1000 ft. (300m) or more to see the enormity and wonderful panorama of the Serengeti. From time to time the pilot increases more heat into the balloon with the powerful whisper burners. In between these burns, there is silence apart from the natural sounds below.
The flight is for about one hour depending on conditions, on landing you celebrate in the traditional manner with champagne (well, an excellent sparkling wine), before sitting down to a full English breakfast prepared and served in the bush in 'Out of Africa' style with bone china, linen table cloths, King's silver etc.
After breakfast you receive your Serengeti Balloon certificate and we drive you back to Seronera Lodge game viewing enroute. 9:30 am arrive at Seronera ready to continue your day's activities.
This adventure will fit in with all safari itineraries that include a night in central Serengeti (Serena Lodge, Seronera Lodge or Sopa Lodge or any of the central Serengeti camp sites, also from our camp Mapito).
RESTRICTIONS: children under the age of 7 are not allowed on the balloons.
Serengeti National Park
A million wildebeest... each one driven by the same ancient rhythm, fulfilling its instinctive role in the inescapable cycle of life: a frenzied three-week bout of territorial conquests and mating; survival of the fittest as 40km (25 mile) long columns plunge through crocodile-infested waters on the annual exodus north; replenishing the species in a brief population explosion that produces more than 8,000 calves daily before the 1,000 km (600 mile) pilgrimage begins again.
Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th world wide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden-maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the southeastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat.
But there is more to Serengeti than large mammals. Gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around the surfaces of the park’s isolated granite koppies. A full 100 varieties of dung beetle have been recorded, as have 500-plus bird species, ranging from the outsized ostrich and bizarre secretary bird of the open grassland, to the black eagles that soar effortlessly above the Lobo Hills.
As enduring as the game-viewing is the liberating sense of space that characterises the Serengeti Plains, stretching across sunburnt savannah to a shimmering golden horizon at the end of the earth. Yet, after the rains, this golden expanse of grass is transformed into an endless green carpet flecked with wildflowers. And there are also wooded hills and towering termite mounds, rivers lined with fig trees and acacia woodland stained orange by dust.
Popular the Serengeti might be, but it remains so vast that you may be the only human audience when a pride of lions masterminds a siege, focussed unswervingly on its next meal.
Size: 14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles).
Location: 335km (208 miles) from Arusha, stretching north to Kenya and bordering Lake Victoria to the west.
Scheduled and charter flights from Arusha, Lake Manyara and Mwanza.
Drive from Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire or Ngorongoro Crater.
What to do
Hot air balloon safaris, walking safari, picnicking, game drives, bush lunch/dinner can be arranged with hotels/tour operators. Maasai rock paintings and musical rocks.
Visit neighbouring Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano and Lake Natron's flamingos.
When to go
To follow the wildebeest migration, December-July. To see predators, June-October.
Four lodges, six luxury tented camps and camp sites scattered through the park; one new lodge will be opened next season (Bilila Lodge); one luxury camp, a lodge and two tented camps just outside.
The route and timing of the wildebeest migration is unpredictable. Allow at least three days to be assured of seeing them on your visit - longer if you want to see the main predators as well.