A must-see activity in your visit to the African continent! Do not miss the opportunity to witness a sunrise from the skies facing the immense meadows of the Serengeti or Masai Mara.
I think it’s once in a lifetime adventure any human being can experience. Although it is true that other destinations in different parts of the world offer this activity, I can assure you that none has the enchantment of traveling by hot air balloon in Serengeti or the Maasai Mara.
You know that I promote two (2) events a year to visit Tanzania (February and/or March) and Kenya (July and/or August); and these months are not random. First, in Tanzania there is the annual move Great Migration and in Kenya is when take place the mighty Great Mara River Crossing.
Now imagine being able to watch some of these events from a hot air balloon. The sights, sensations, smells I could not describe it even with 10 words. You must live it and I guarantee, it will be something you treasure for the rest of your life.
Hot Air Balloon Flights in Serengeti and Masai Mara
What I do can describe is part of the process of traveling by hot air balloon in Serengeti. This journey begins when you are picked up at your accommodation, it is usually between 4:30am and 5:30am. It will really depend on the distance between your accommodation and the launch site of the balloon.
I always request to be woken up with coffee and cookies that in effect end up waking me up! of course the hot shower is not enough. The important thing is to be ready for the pickup. We leave very early, what allows us to look up to the Milky Way with that darkness that is not seen beyond what a flashlight illuminate. If you pay attention, you can hear the nature sounds!
When you reach the launch point you can watch and of course live the process. From the preparation of the burner that throws the hot air, the mounting and unfurling of the balloon enveloppe with its basket until you are invited to enter it to start the ascent of the balloon.
The balloon starts its take off by scratching the dawn so that you can watch the sunrise from above. For photography lovers it is a unique opportunity to achieve unrepeatable shots. Although not everyone likes fisheye lens, taking a photo with this lens at that height produce the feeling of the earth curvature getting great pictures of this event.
Of course this is just the beginning. The highlight is to contemplate or photograph the great plains, the herds of Wildebeest, Zebras, Giraffes, Hippos among other animals from the heights. The photos are amazing, of course only beaten by the experience of the trip itself.
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In the case of Tanzania, if are migration dates, there is a greater opportunity to contemplate the kilometric marches of up to a million animals on their journey to better pastures and rain in the north of the continent. If it is Kenya, one of the routes contemplates crossing the Mara River. One of the most important rivers in Africa and home to the famous Nile crocodiles. These are the largest crocodiles in Africa and can reach up to 7 meters in length.
The Mara River has its upper course in Kenya and flows into Tanzania, discharging into Lake Victoria. It is one of the most important rivers for wildlife, its 395 kilometers length run through two of the largest nature reserves: The Maasai Mara Nature Reserve in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
I recommend you to read: Africa best travel tips.
After making almost an hour and a half tour, that is the duration of the ride, the balloon lands to take breakfast, at a point chosen by the captain. The breakfast includes assorted fruits, breads, meats, etc.
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