Balloon Safari in Serengeti: Is it worth it? : Serengeti national park is a classic African safari destination any travelers should add on their bucket list, the park is the most famous wildlife destination in Tanzania and the most popular on the African continent.
Serengeti national park is a marvel of nature and a true jewel of Africa with array of wildlife, stunning landscapes and enchanting lakes, the park spans over an area of 30,000 square kilometers inhabiting a variety of flora and fauna.
Hot air balloon is one of the thrilling and memorable safari activities in Serengeti national park and is a great way to explore the park’s incredible landscapes and animals. Hot air balloon is a lifetime experience as you rise into the sky with the sun and gently sail through the air in the direction the winds may blow (the air balloon has a pilot who controls its movement in the sky).
Hot air balloon is a fascinating activity to witness the large herds of wildebeest during the annual great wildebeest migration, prides of lions as they ran across the endless plains of Serengeti and other animals just a few hundred meters below and your eyes can dart to every possible corner.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Hot air balloon safaris in Serengeti national park are operated by several companies, as travelers you are advised to book this experience in advance.
Note: Hot air Balloon safari cannot be organized on the day of the safari and this is due to the reliance on favorable weather. This activity is not offered throughout the year.
Hot air balloon safari is charged approximately 500 – 600 USD per person, this price covers the ride, a champagne toast after landing and a delicious bush breakfast with vegans/vegetarians options.
The prices of the Hot air Balloon reflects relatively on the high cost of maintaining and servicing the balloons as well as pre and post – launch activities including launching and recovering and road transport to and from the launch site.
Each hot air balloon trip requires a licensed pilot and a formidable team of about 20.
Note: the weight of the balloon is a crucial safety consideration, passengers who weigh over 120 kilograms (265 pounds) may need to reserve 2 places.
Due to the price, hot air balloon safari may be too pricey for budget and standard travelers. However if it is with in your means as a traveler you will get unmatched experience as you look down at the incredible scenery.
If you were asking yourself if hot air balloon safari in Serengeti national park is worth, the answer is YES, hot air balloon safari is 100% worth it.
Balloons used in the Hot air balloon experience are huge and the compartmented comfy baskets can accommodate from around 8 to 16 people for each trip / voyage depending on the size. On these trips only children over 7 years old are allowed and they must be accompanied by an adult.
WHEN TO GO
The best time of the year to go for a hot air balloon safari in Serengeti national park is during the season, from June to October. However even in the rainy months, some companies will still offer tours, although the actual flight will depend on the weather conditions of that particular day. If it is too rainy or windy, the flight will be canceled and you payment will be fully refunded.
If you have enough time or extra days on your Tanzania safari, the flight can be rescheduled to another day.
The dry season is the great time for the hot air balloon as it also coincides with the perfect time to witness the Great Migration, floating silently about this wondrous spectacle offers you a life time treat.
WHAT TO PACK
Binoculars and a DSLR Camera are some of the items which should not miss on packing list, these will help you capture the majestic sights below during your flight. Other items to carry include comfortable clothes with a few extra layers as the ride is usually chilly before and at the start, however it gets warmer later
WHAT TO EXPECT
On a hot air balloon safari in Serengeti national park, expect the following
- Pick up at early dawn usually around 5/5.30 AM, you can grab a coffee and a light breakfast before departing from your lodge. On your way to the launch site, you may spot nocturnal animals that can be encountered at any other time of the day.
- A pre-launch safety briefing from the pilot as the balloon is being inflated, flight is approximately 1 hour and the balloon can ascend up to 1000 ft unveiling the vast magnificent and spectacular panorama of the Serengeti plains. The pilot can precisely control the attitude of balloon flying at a treetop height so that you can see animals at a close quarter.
- Champagne toast to a long life “Maisha Marefu”, after that you enjoy a bush breakfast in the middle of the Serengeti plains, capping off the most thrilling experience ever.
In conclusion, hot air balloon safari in Serengeti national park is absolutely worth it.